Wednesday, May 1, 2013
My youngest student is a teenage soon-to-be man. I have been working with him all his life, and he has made tremendous progress. This student is my only one out of five, who was learning disabled, and wasn't able to learn to read well until he was 10 years old. It just didn't click for him until then. Day after day, year after year, from the time he was 5, I worked with him. Now, all these years later, he reads the KJV Bible fluently. But we still have such a long way to go. The difficulty is understanding our relationship. I am his Mother. He is growing up and will be a man. He doesn't always want to do things my way. He sometimes senses that I am "nagging" him in our little school at home. I must adjust.
I realized that we need to communicate in a different way. We need a way that will work, or his education with me will not progress. The way I have discovered is through letters.
For a student to learn, he must have time to think. He must have time to seek out his education. He must have time and quiet to evaluate and analyze. He must study and solve. How can this happen knowing his mother is hovering nearby waiting to "help?" This is why I have backed away. I will let him stumble and struggle while he learns the skill of learning for himself, rather than learning for me.
On each weekday morning, I have a set of letters waiting for him. These are formal letters, with dates and indented paragraphs, and a proper signature. The letters are instructions for the day, where to find the books he needs, and a little chart to show him a specific lesson I would have showed him in person. He will use these letters to guide him through his homeschool day. He will also take notes and write me back, telling me what he learned, and telling me what he needs help with.
He will also see the chalkboard, with problems and puzzles to solve. They will appear "mysteriously" on the board because I will write them when no one is around to see me. This adds intrigue and adventure to his learning.
Each night, I will read his letters to me and check his books. I will then write back, explaining problems he had trouble with, and giving him the new day's directions.
As he learns to work all day long, without a hovering mother, he will begin to grow and think more independently. He will acquire mighty skills he needs in order to be a man. He will become less dependent on me. He will also rise in wisdom and knowledge because there is a sense of intrigue in these letters and secret chalkboard puzzles, which will create in him a thirst for learning.
These Homeschool Letters are my key to finishing the last few years of his education. I am stepping back, while he is stepping up. This is the last phase of my mothering of a child.
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