Mom-to-Mom Support/How to homeschool with regard to independent study

How to homeschool with regard to independent study

Girl studies independently while Mom makes dinner


How do other mothers homeschool with regard to independent study? How much is expected of the student(s)? I feel guilty when I can’t sit down with my daughter for most of her subjects. Some moms I have talked to let their children do most of their work alone while others are right there through all of the work. I feel I am failing at home-schooling because I can’t always sit down with my daughter. I have so many things to tend to (as we all do) and I just can’t get to everything. Her home-schooling is certainly the priority, but there are other demands as well.

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your question!

Independent learning is an important step for every student to make, and it sounds as though you are on the right track with your daughter.

Independent learning will vary according to the needs of the student and the preference of the mother. For instance, some mothers can be by their child’s side through most of the school day. This isn’t necessarily bad. It depends on how much attention that student needs. Sometimes children who are new to homeschooling need to have that extra attention.

However, independence must be taught gradually. Ideally, by the time the child is ready for middle school and the upper grades the student should work independently for at least 80-90% of the school day. For example, you can read the instructions for the math lesson together, but she should finish the work on her own. If you know she is having difficulty in a subject, obviously you will want to spend more time with her. However, if you know that your daughter can do the work, then let her know that she is expected to work independently.

Most mothers must juggle not only homeschooling, but also many other duties that go with running a household. Many mothers who homeschool also have several children, including infants. Therefore, these mothers simply do not have the time to stay by each child’s side throughout the school day. From a practical standpoint, it is therefore advantageous for the student to be a fairly independent learner as he grows older.

If your daughter can work independently and is comfortable at this level, then I see no reason to worry or feel guilty. You are preparing your child for adulthood, and the independence she is learning now will enable her to be successful. I see teaching your child to be an independent learner as a crucial part of homeschooling.

God bless you and your family!
Laura Corrigan

About Laura Corrigan

Laura Corrigan is a mother of five. She was homeschooled through high school and received her teaching certificate from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. She has also homeschooled her own children.