We help our children strive for independence from pretty much day one.
- When our kids hold their heads up or roll over for the first time, we celebrate.
- We help them learn to walk, talk, write their names, and read.
- We guide them through social situations, giving them the tools they need to engage politely and communicate clearly.
We teach them with an eye towards independence because eventually, they will be on their own.
Like me, you probably also shed a few tears and wish for a rewind button when you think about your children flying from the nest. Independence is great, but it’s hard for a parent to swallow the reality of not being needed as much.
My oldest, for example, is learning to drive. While I love the time we now regularly share in the car and his determination and focus, a part of me is also wishing we were practicing how to ride a bike without training wheels instead.
It all goes too fast, but my job is to eventually let go of the bike and my kid.
The best way to make sure he is a safe driver is to let him get behind the wheel. He can’t learn to drive by watching me.
Helping our kids become more independent in their homeschool days has a similar feel. We have to give our kids the tools and opportunity they need to drive themselves.
As we help our kids become independent learners, we have to let the kids take the lead. Lucky for us, BookShark Virtual is a fantastic new tool to help us set our kids up for success with independent learning.
1. Students Have Their Own Account
With BookShark Virtual, my homeschooler has her own account. She can access her classes and lessons in a browser or on the mobile app, find out what she needs to do each day, and do her assignments. While I can certainly sit with her and help her, she doesn’t need me to go through my Instructor’s Guide to know what to do. Everything she needs for the day is right there for her inside the digital interface. The virtual program also has the immersive reader option, which reads the text aloud, so if my daughter needs help reading the directions or text, there’s another way she can flex her independence.
As the teacher/parent, my separate account allows me to set up lessons quickly, turn on automatic grading, and determine which tasks she needs to do. I especially love that I can turn on one assignment at a time, so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed seeing the entire curriculum at once.
2. Parents Set Up Due Dates
Giving kids manageable bits of information is one of the best ways to help our kids learn to become independent. I wouldn’t stick my new driver on the freeway. For the same reason, handing a kid an entire curriculum and saying, “Go for it!” probably won’t go well.
Instead, small steps set our kids up for success.
Thanks to the flexibility of BookShark Virtual, we can determine the pace for moving through the curriculum and how much work kids need to do in a given day, week, or month.
3. Students Have an Assignment Calendar and To-do List
Probably the most infuriating part of homeschooling is continually reminding my kid to do an assignment. They are annoyed that I am reminding them, and I’m annoyed that I have to remind them!
The student calendar and to-do list inside Virtual are awesome tools to help kids become more self-directed and erase the need for nagging reminders. When parents set up a due day for an assignment, it immediately syncs to your student’s calendar and is added to their to-do list. No more nudging! Your students can clearly see what is due when. They can also click on the assignment to go directly to it.
If you are a BookShark user or have ever wanted to give BookShark a try, now is a perfect time to check out Virtual. It’s ideal for the family who’s on the go or working from home while homeschooling, and it’s excellent for kids and teens who need to learn or are seeking independence.