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What does your 6th grader do independently?

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    What does your 6th grader do independently?

    And I guess for Tanya the question would be, what are the 6th graders at Highlands assigned to do independently? We are moving from a more Charlotte Mason based education into a more Classical based. Up to this point we have done the majority of our work together and not that I want to abandon that entirely (I love read alouds!) I would like to move the boys toward more working more independently. Ideas, suggestions, what works for you? Thanks!

    Hi, Kelly.

    Sixth grade is a great year to encourage more independence. When I was teaching, I would always continue reading aloud portions of each lesson, especially at the beginning of a new novel or book. Then, I would turn my students loose to complete the reading themselves. They were also able to complete their study guides pretty independently, but then we would go over them together, letting that be the impetus for our discussion of what they had read. I felt like my role changed from modeling a lesson to being the discernment for the students - what was important to retain, discuss, master. It was a fun transition, but I still stayed heavily involved, just in a different way!





      The role Tanya described at this age is very do so much less instruction compared to discussion and guidance. My oldest is just finishing Sixth grade, and it is an exciting time to see big growth.

      Since you are transitioning to more independence, I would take it slowly at first. Make sure they understand the assignments and what your expectations are. You will probably notice that you do the most hand-holding the first few weeks while they adjust, but then they will get the hang of it and go gang-busters. The biggest thing you will be looking for is quality answers to the guides, so they realize your expectations. We don't have time to discuss all the guidework, so I just make sure they have answered thoroughly, and that they have put real thought into their answers.

      I will usually try to pick out one or two discussion areas, or if she seems particularly struck by something then we'll go with that. She's not a huge talker by nature, so I have to pick or she'll just shrug her shoulders (sweetly, of course!)

      Things like grammar, spelling, and math are quite easy to have them do completely on their own, as they can check their work and find any mistakes. I do ask how many were missed, and whether it was from confusion or carelessness.

      Lastly, Latin is one we do together, and her Catechism usually has some question portions that are done completely orally for discussion, which she knows to bring to me anytime she comes to those.

      Good luck with the transition!
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 17
      DD, 15
      DD, 13
      DD, 11
      DD, 9
      DD, 7
      DS, 2