When I began our home education journey, I knew the main goal (after all the other learning) I wanted to achieve was self learning. After twelve years of classroom teaching, I had had it up to my eyeballs with spoon fed learners and I was in no way going to have my son be that kind of young person. Don’t get me wrong, I know not all students who attend school are spoon fed, but the majority of them are and it is not all their fault. No, I didn't throw my son into the deep end and expect him to come out on top without any guidance. In fact, it took almost all the elementary years to get to the point where self learning could be enjoyed.
I'll never forget how it only took a Science book to start the ball rolling. When the weekly assignment sheet was given, my precious son began looking at all the pictures and reading ahead of what was planned for that particular day. He even came to me several times that morning telling me things he had learned. While I was impressed at his learning and excitement, I was a little fearful he would realize he was behind for the day and shut down. I'd be lying if I told you I was happy-go-lucky about the not getting everything finished for that day. I mean I still struggle with the classroom teacher mindset and still follow a schedule for certain things. Well, he didn't shut down, he came to me and asked since he completed all of that week’s science reading and written work could he do his Language Arts and Math for the day and be finished. :) I knew we were on to something good at that moment.
Over the years, I have been able to loosen the reins quite a bit. While I do go behind my son and make sure he has everything completed for the week, he has learned how to correct his work and make the necessary changes so I will know when a mistake was made.
For the past two weeks, we've dealt with mostly all self learning in our school. While I was sick for several days and then having to recover from surgery, my precious son knew what he had to work on and he completed it on his own. There was no tug of war on deciding whether to do school or not, it was completed with no worries.
While there are many benefits to self learning, these are five are things I've seen in my own son and other self learning young people.
Five Benefits of Self Learning
A young person becomes an independent thinker -In today’s society, they need to think for themselves without being led in more than one direction.
A young person learns to accept responsibility and becomes accountable - Excuses for not reaching one’s potential are eliminated.
A young person gains the freedom to learn without boundaries - In this day of technology, nothing should stand in the way of one’s learning.
A young person develops self confidence and perseverance - With a continuance of self learning, a young person will grow to become a more mature and productive adult.
A young person will be more than ready for college because of motivation and planning ahead - The real world workload for college won’t be such a scary thing to deal with, when motivation and pre-planning is a natural instinct.
It’s never too late to start your child on the road to self learning. With a little time and perseverance, your child can become a self learner, also. Depending on their age, start with one or two subjects and move on from there. Don't forget, you can only eat an elephant, one bite at a time.