How You can Guide Your Child’s Educational Independence

Parenting is a tricky business…

 It goes without saying that parenting is tricky. Parents are tasked with guiding their children through so many of life’s processes, challenges, and important choices. This is all happening “on the clock” as the eventuality of adulthood looms ahead.

One of the critical areas for children’s development is education. At some point, a child’s education, for better or worse, becomes truly and totally his to utilize as a foundation for his future. So, it makes sense that the combination of parental support and appropriate self-sufficiency occur along the way.

In this blog post are some tips for guiding your child toward educational independence.

Educational Independence
At some point, a child’s education, for better or worse, becomes truly and totally his to utilize as a foundation for his future. So, it makes sense that the combination of parental support and appropriate self-sufficiency occur along the way.

Tips for Guiding Your Child’s Educational Independence

Grade LevelsMilestoneGuidance (With your enthusiasm, support, and praise along the way. 😊)
K-2Independent selection of and engagement
in appropriate reading materials to instill a
love for and a habit of reading at an early
age.
  • Provide a wide variety of materials at home of books and magazines for self-selection.
    Visit libraries and book stores for more resources.
  • Establish a daily routine at a specific time when the rest of life is set aside for quiet,
    independent reading. Allow your child to choose the length of time spent whenever
    possible. Be available for questions and answer eagerly.
  • Reward your child for his or her progress and mastery along the way.
3-5Independent selection of and engagement   in writing to instill a love for and a habit of writing at an early age.
  • Provide a wide variety of materials at home of paper, markers, pens, and pencils for
    self-selection.
  • Establish a daily routine at a specific time when the rest of life is set aside for quiet,
    independent writing. Allow your child to choose the length of time spent whenever
    possible. Be available for questions and ideas and answer eagerly.
  • Give writing suggestions (with a goal of increase in word creation) , like:
    1. Write a sentence about a great thing that happened today. Include a colored
      picture!
    2. Write in 3 or more sentences an idea for improving your school and include an
      example of how the improvement can take place. Also include a colored picture
      with a caption.
    3. Choose two of your favorite characters for whom to make up a conversation
      (dialogue). Reference one of your fiction books to see how the dialogue is
      formatted. Include a colored picture!
    4. Keep a daily diary of each day’s events (both good and bad) with your choice as to how to format it and colorize it.
    5. But also allow for “free writing” times when you expect a product but your child
      may choose the topic and development of it.
  • Reward your child for his or her progress and mastery along the way.
6-8Good time management
  • Provide a planner and show your child how to use it. Make entries for both school and
    home responsibilities. Explain that you will check it daily and then periodically as he
    shows that he is following it.
  • Allow opportunities for your child to set his or her own schedule, but supervise and guide it. If necessary, give consequences if your child chooses not to follow it.
  • Reward your child for his or her progress and mastery along the way.
9-12Good academic management
  • Expect specific grades in specific subjects with consequences for lack of achievement.(You know best what your child excels in.) This accountability will provide an “urgency” in him to seek support and advice when needed, such as tutors and teacher counseling.
  • Discuss college, careers, and future life goals from a supportive angle. Keep the dialogue open so that you can help shape his or her decisions.

Children who experience the supportive and enduring guidance with their educational independence can reap great rewards in adulthood in their academic, personal, and professional lives. This time of gently nudging them “out of the nest” will be well worth it.  

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