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The 4 Moms are discussing teaching big kids this week. Be sure to check out what the other moms have to say about this topic.
As for the Smockity Bunch, our goal is to encourage our big kids toward self sufficiency. This is not to say that once they reach a certain age we wish them luck and send them off to their rooms with a handshake and a stack of books hoping for the best.
We do, however, expect them to follow the schedule and curriculum we, the parents, have mapped out without much hand holding or prodding after about the age of 10 or so (depending on the child).
What this means, practically, is that after our morning Bible reading and discussion time, the big kids drift off to the places where they like to do their studies and begin to get the day's lessons done.
They check in with me frequently if they need help or if I need to give them a dictation test. I also check their work, and let them know how they are doing. Sometimes an assignment is done perfectly. Other times it may need to be completely redone, or maybe there are only a few minor corrections that need to be made.
As the big kids get bigger (as in 13+) and they have outside commitments to think about, like lawn mowing jobs or working for Daddy at the golf shop, they learn time management as well as cause and effect of poor planning. We give them plenty of advice about how to balance school lessons and outside activities, but at the same time we strive to allow them to see for themselves the natural consequences of not diligently applying themselves toward their work.
For instance, a certain Smockity student will be doing two math lessons every day throughout the summer while the Smockity siblings are enjoying the sunny weather activities. This is a consequence of pretending to do his best, while slapping down any old number with an occasional decimal point for good measure and counting on the fact that Mama is trusting him to grade his own work.
And believe you me, Mama has learned a homeschool lesson here as well. And that would be that while the cat's away, the mice will play. Or in this case, while the Mama lets the kid grade his own work, he will take full advantage of that fact and report that he is doing FANTASTIC! GREAT! and TERRIFIC! on his assignments, when in actuality the truth is more MEH! NAH! and BLECH!
In summary, we are working toward producing responsible, self motivated adults who bring glory and honor to God in all they do. That is a pretty tall task and 'most every day I don't feel adequate to tackle it. I remind myself daily that "My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)
Would you like to see what the 4 Moms have to say about other topics? Check these out:
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