You know what really makes independent learning work? Trust. A trust from the student that their teaching parent will do their part to make them a success. Then trust from the teaching parent that their student will do their work to the best of their ability. Without that two-fold trust, independent learning simply won’t work. So how do you go about establishing trust?
What is Trust?
Trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone.
Trusting someone means that you think they are reliable and that you have confidence in them. When you trust someone you feel safe with them.
How do you establish trust?
Trust is something that comes with time and experience. Sometimes your intuition will have you trusting someone immediately, but overall, trust takes time to develop.
Since we live in a fallen world, where people do things they aught not to, trust isn’t the easiest topic to converse on. People who are in positions of authority who should be able to be trusted, sometimes they can’t be. Families aren’t always what they should be, parents do things they aught not, kids do bonehead things, and I cannot address every situation in this post. I will work based on my experience only! 🙂
It starts when you first meet. Kids in my classroom, children of friends, and son of my own. Trust starts to build from your first meeting.
- Do you do what you say you will? Can your words be trusted?
- Do you act like you say you will? Do your actions show truth?
Once you have that baseline established, trust is furthered by your
Questions to ask yourself
In your home, do your children trust that you will do all you can to help them? Whether that is pointing them in the right direction to get the answers and help they need, or by providing them with the answer yourself. Have you established yourself as reliable source of aid?
Do you take the time to learn how to communicate with each other? This is something that is continuing to change in my household as my son matures. He LOVES precision in words..they matter a lot to him. Having to deal with a mom who is not so precise in her language sometimes creates barriers (both from his end and my own).
Integrity comes by saying and doing what you say you will. It shows in how you do your work. I made a promise to my lad that I will never deliberately lie to him. What I say is so. This doesn’t take into account the occasional misunderstanding, but since he knows I don’t ever intend to lie to him, it’s good. He knows me well enough there and it becomes a matter of clarification not wrong-doing. Can your children say the same of you?
Competency comes through in the accuracy of your help. Can you render the assistance needed? Can you organize their stuff, order their supplies, keep them on task, and do the myriad of supportive tasks to get them through their schooling? My son has learned that when it comes to estimating the time it takes to do something… I am horrible! 🙂 So he always doubles the time of what I think something will take (I learned this two weeks ago). 🙂 But he’s also learned that I do have my areas where I shine and takes full advantage of it.
Your student has the same expectations placed upon him/her. They need to show competency in doing their work, reliability in completing it, integrity in holding to what he/she says/does, and have the ability to communicate with you clearly when there is a problem.
Some of these skills needed to be encouraged and/or strengthened, or perhaps outright taught. Youth don’t just pick up these skills, they learn them through being taught what’s a correct response.
Teaching them when they are little to have a system of organization (even if it doesn’t match yours), allowing them to make decisions about when to do what in their school day, and finding a way to finish what you started. Accept them for who they are, but encourage them to do it well.
Trust Takes Time
So for my son who has a thing for insects, he raises ants and has learned to create habitats for them, with the end goal being to sell them (the ants as a colony) at some point. I have used my love of mice (and his love for his snake) to teach him how to sell mice as a precursor to him selling his ants when they are ready.
Over this past year, we’ve discussed changing the price we charge and have worked out things like commission if I sell his mice for him, and which mice we keep back. This year he’ll be responsible for taking pictures of the mice and posting decent ads for them. Now.. mice don’t move as fast as ants do, but it takes patience to get a good picture of a mouse. All these incremental steps give him the confidence he needs for when he assumes control of this business. Running your own business means balancing a lot of skills.
Just as I’m slowly allocating more responsibility to my lad for his mice, is how you increase their abilities to be trustworthy with their school work.
Establishing trust takes time. Give them time to cement the skills you’ve taught them, add new expectations, and before you know it, they’ll be running the show. 🙂
Summer is almost here and let’s just celebrate now with the homeschool year wrapping up.
I’ve gotten together with 7 other bloggers to bring you this wonderful giveaway so that you can enjoy planning for your next homeschool year.
We are giving away 3 $100 giftcards from the place of your choice. You can choose from:
- Rainbow Resource
- Hobby Lobby
- Christian Books
The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize or else another winner will be chosen. By entering this giveaway you will be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers. Read the terms and conditions for more details.