The Journey- Part 4: Don’t Forget the People!

By Beth Martin: Once you have established the destination (The Journey- Part 1), the transportation (The Journey- Part 2), and the map (The Journey- Part 3), it’s time for the people!  In the homeschool excursion, you as the parents are the driver, while your children are the passengers.  As the driver, you may ask for input along the way, but you have the ultimate control of the car (curriculum) and the destination (goals).  Your kids’ role in this trip is to be engaged and enjoy the trip they are taking.  Just as a road trip is so much more fun when everyone is singing songs, playing word games, and talking about life, so too is the homeschool journey more exciting when the kids are engaged and involved.  As our kids got older, they were involved at a deeper level.  They helped us plan, gave more input on where we stopped along the way, and eventually they even got behind the wheel to help with the driving.  So it should also be with our homeschooling.  Parents, you are still in charge of this trip, but the older your child becomes, the more he or she should be contributing to the journey.  Get them involved in the planning, even allow them to drive a bit.  At first in the safer areas with mom or dad in the passenger seat keeping watch, but later through the big cities or the mountains with mom or dad asleep in the passenger seat.  Gradually begin to turn over responsibility to your child.  Let him plan their schedule for the day.  Give guidance and help, but give space.  Provide gentle correction and suggestions as needed, but also lots of encouragement.  By the time he is a senior (maybe sooner), he should be able to manage his schedule, meet deadlines and show responsibility in his work.  Moms and dads, you become more of a navigator (and hopefully not the annoying backseat driver!!).

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