When I began teaching my oldest, I knew in order for us to be successful I needed to teach him how to complete independent work. Soon I would be teaching my younger son, and needed my oldest to be able to complete work given to him by himself. A kindergarten day is quick, we usually spent 45 minutes on our lesson, and then I gave him an activity or craft to complete by himself that took about 15 minutes. This is how I introduced independent work. As the year went on I gradually added a little more so that his time would increase little by little. His first grade year we started at 30 minutes, and we will probably continue right around that for his second grade year.
This year we are continuing with independent work, but in your home it may look more like independent learning. Which is when a child completes a lesson entirely by themself (reading and answering problems, checking their own work, taking an assessment) all without anyone teaching them. You know when your child is ready for this step, and this is also one reason we are incorporating independent work into our daily schedule. When the time comes I can begin incorporating independent learning.
I know it may seem like I benefit the most from this–just handing the learning off to my child. However, children benefit greatly when they are given tasks to complete. Independent work helps a child with their time management skills. This helps both in and outside the regular school work. It also helps with answering challenging questions, by researching the answer in the reading passage or lesson without an adult’s help. Once he has completed his work for the day, we review it before we start our lessons. I will point out that, I knew my son was ready for independent work. Even starting small at 5 minutes and working your way to 15 minutes is a wonderful place to start.
Cursive First – We will use this daily, and complete one page a day.
Building Writers– We will complete one or two pages of this a day, depending on the assignment
Abeka Language 3 Grammar and Writing– We used the Abeka Language Arts workbooks this year and will continue to use them this year for independent work. We will complete one page day from this.
My Own Keepsake Bible– This will be completed on the days that we do not have a Bible lesson (around 3 days a week). We always do 1 family Bible lesson once a week.
During the year, I may add a new workbook or project into his work time. I also try not to have him exceed 45 minutes–so if I see something will take extra long one day, I reevaluate and change my plans for the day. My next post will be about the independent work my kindergarten student does. Do you do independent work time? If so, what age do you start?