The topic this month is:
Nurturing Independence in High School.... To what extent do your highschoolers collaborate in planning their studies, how do you encourage your highschoolers to take the reins of their education, what tools do you use and how is this input communicated?
|JRR Tolkien, Rivendell|
|JRR Tolkien, map of Lonely Mountain|
But when they seem ready to be more independent, I am not the type to cling to them. Sometimes I question whether I don't do enough actively to make them seek out challenges; however, I have to trust that God will prompt me if it's really important. I pray a lot.
|JRR Tolkien, Hobbiton|
My second was my "different learner" and during his high school years, every weekday morning, I made him some cocoa and toast, sat down next to him, read The Iliad or the Aeneid or Witness to Hope (bio of John Paull II) to him, and then worked with him on German, Traditional Logic, and Math. Then I wrote out a daily plan for him, mostly involving reading, with some writing assignments.
|JRR Tolkien, Misty Mountains|
We have just come back from visiting him up in Oregon where he is in college; he told me about his classes and I felt blessed by what a perceptive, mature and thoughtful soul this quiet child of mine is. I feel like I could have been a better mother to all my kids, not excepting this one, but our daily study-time together was one of the areas where I feel like God was with us and I benefited as much as I feel my son did.
This kind of interaction through great books and ideas is my ideal; I only wish my energy and motivation level could always cooperate, or that we didn't sometimes get distracted with others things that don't turn out to be so enduring in the long term.
I will always remember the times I spent WITH my kids sharing in their learning; I can see how teaching independence is good, too, but I notice that all my three grown kids are pretty good about doing that independent thing now that they are out of the home.
Aren't the Tolkien pictures beautiful? I am glad I thought of hunting for them. Tolkien illustrations will always remind me of Brendan, and those earlier days of homeschooling are so intertwined with Tolkien's influence to me that I feel a little homesick when I look at them. If you want to see more, take a look at the Tolkien Gateway.