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One of the things we have been working on with my youngest two (10/12yo) is independent study skills.  They have the ability to do some work independently and yet they lack the self discipline to get in and do it.  This is the area we have been working on.

 

  1. Heart.  We have had many conversations about the idea of growing up, not only physically but also morally.  I have put the idea out there for them to slowly latch onto that they need to start being self disciplined – making the right decisions for themselves, not because I am there telling them what to do or checking up on them.  This is something that takes a while for them to grasp and run with so we are slowly putting the idea out there.  I can’t make them grow up, I can’t make them mature, but I can surround them with opportunities for them to make choices and then be diligent with ensuring they have to live out the consequences of their choices.

 

  1. Habits.  Habits are a helpful thing – we practice something so much that we don’t think about it.  Like breathing!  In order to establish habit each of my children have two lists that they work on in the morning.  Personal Responsibilities and Independent Study.  The idea is that this list is their reminder, their prompt, instead of me.  While in training I do remind them to check their list – referring to a list is yet another habit to be developed.  I need to help them establish a habit and yet not remove all sense of responsibility and thinking from them.  I need to remind them to think, rather than remind them to do.

 

Their independent studies lists

 

Nomi:

Piano
Math

Writing

Reading / Journal

Art

 

Daniel:

Typing

Math

Writing

 

Having our children work independently is an admirable goal – one that is high on my priorities but it must be kept in balance with the idea that we are discipling our children.  That means, we need to spend time with them, sharing our heart, and building their hearts and lives.  Imagine Jesus with his disciples encouraging them to go be independent as they learnt of him.  No, Jesus had his disciples with him, observing him, talking with him and questioning him, being involved in the things that he was involved in.  We must keep a discipleship balance in our lives.

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