This week we've been talking with Marcia Somerville. Marcia, as our children move through high school, how can we teach them to become independent learners?
What we've done, Mike, with our children, is to recognize that when they leave our homes, they will need to be motivated from within to run their own schedules. We can both remember arriving at college campuses unprepared for this aspect of college. So what we sought to do is to allow our children, within limits, to plan their own work. We give them a set of deadlines or classes that they have to prepare for, and a set of assignments. But within that framework, we allow them to work—whether they want to work a subject all at once in the morning, or spread it out over the week. We school them and train them to plan their work and then work their plan. I think one big aspect of high school independent learning is to be a coach to your students and to actually teach them to manage time, and then to step back and require them to manage time and have consequences if they don't—things like they can't go out with friends or to a sports event that they'd been looking forward to, or something like that.
Have you gotten feedback from your children when they went off to college—that they thought that was helpful—the way you taught them to be independent?
Extremely. They know how to take a college syllabus that's handed to them at the beginning of the year, and break it down into daily assignments that they set deadlines on for themselves.
Well, Marcia, this has been very informative and an encouraging week for listeners. Thank you so much. And until next time, I'm Mike Smith.