One of my goals for my children is that they become an independent student. This is a developmental process, and in the young years I work at giving them the skills with this end in mind.
And independent student:
- can read, think, respond by themselves
- can understand your goals, and have educational goals of their own
- will have topics of interest that they want to pursue
- will understand their own learning style, how they best learn
- can work by themselves, keeping an eye on their priorities
- ask for help when they need it
Yesterday Jess and Josh both spoke to me about their Character studies. I was very proud of them for bringing a concern to me. We had a little family conference and discussed the outcomes I was expecting (5 notebook pages/trait, one trait/month) as well some thoughts they had on how they would like to study Character. The end result has actually broadened the study and output and yet because of their input they are happier with the expected outcomes.
To be honest it was the process they wanted changed not the outcome. Actually this has happened a few times, with different studies they are working on. At first it seems a little threatening, I as the parent, have for so long set goals and expectations, and to now have a team-worker takes a little getting used to. I believe this is age appropriate though.
How do I know it is age appropriate?
- They are respectful, they just want me to know their feelings, they are still happy to go with my decision
- They have earnt the privilege of coming to me with their concerns because of their good study ethic, and their general desire to learn
- It is actually a training opportunity in and of itself, they have to learn to collaborate a project, to share concerns with a team manager and yet work with the final decision.