How do I figure out my asynchronous child?
Where do I start with interest led learning?
How do I know If my child is making progress?
When a parent asks me a question about their child’s development and homeschool progress, so often my answer is the same.
The best advice I can give you?
Become a student of your child.
How Do You Define Being A Student Of Your Child?
Being a student of your child means taking time to really observe and reflect. It means going to what you know to be true of your child first, before looking to any parenting book or expert. It’s tapping into relationship and connection as a basis for helping them learn and succeed.
5 Resources That Will Help You Become A Student Of Your Child
1. Getting Started
It’s easy to say “be a student of your child” but actually doing it can feel a little strange at first.
In this video, I walk you through three simple strategies to help you get started with being a student of your own child.
2. Keeping Track
Being a student usually requires some notetaking. This is true for us as well!
When I first committed to this approach, I had a little notebook with flagged pages for each of my kiddos. As I thought of things or observed something about my children, I would jot it down. Keeping track is necessary to begin to see the full picture of what is going on with our children and to come up with solutions to help.
Shawna has created new homeschool planning pages specifically for interest-led and strength based learning. In her planner, she includes notes pages specifically titled, “Being A Student Of My Child” so that you can write down your observations and thoughts all in one place. I love that she created the planner she needed for her life with quirky kiddos and it does not surprise me that she thought to include a place for being a student of our children!
3. Making It A Part Of Everyday
Once you have some ideas, figuring out how to implement them is the next step.
My course, all about homeschooling gifted and twice exceptional children has an entire module devoted to being a student of your own child and helps you figure out what to do next.
It is exactly the resource I wish I had when I first began homeschooling my children!
4. Keeping The Momentum
I find that I tend to really focus on this skill in fits and spurts (kinda like everything else in my homeschool!). Sometimes, the challenge is figuring out how to maintain this posture of learning from our own kids, and keep our homeschools focused on what we know to be true about our children.
What has worked best for me time and time again is making unit studies the backbone of our homeschool. Unit studies allow me to focus our learning on what I have observed to be interesting or needed for my children. They are a practical way of creating an environment that is child-led, but just as rich and engaging.
My Favorite Unit Study Resources To Help You Get Started
5. Learning From Other Parents
For me, hearing how other parents approach learning about what works for their kids is inspirational and encouraging. It makes me feel less alone, to be sure. It also gives me so many ideas to use in my own home, with my own children.
This week’s podcast episode is all about helping you become a student of your own child and gives you a peek into how other families make it work!
Raising Lifelong Learners Episode 119: The Best Advice I Can Give You Is To Become A Student Of Your Child
Amazing things can happen when we trust our children, become students of them and their interests, and encourage them to follow those passions. In this episode, Colleen talks to Andrew Peterson — Christian music artist, author, speaker, and Founder of The Rabbit Room, a community of like-minded people celebrating a love of the arts together — all about helping our kids follow their loves and develop their talents, even when they don’t fall into the easily-measured subject areas, and how trusting our kids can really shape who they become. You don’t want to miss this episode.
Links and Resources From Today’s Show:
- Sponsor: Royal Fireworks Press
- Michael Clay Thompson Gifted Curriculum
- Royal Fireworks Online Learning Community
- Andrew’s Site
- The Rabbit Room
- On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
- North! Or Be Eaten
- The Monster in the Hollows
- The Warden and the Wolf King
- The Self-Driven Child
- The Wingfeather Saga Short Film
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