Sept 9, 2020 – Teaching Personal Responsibility

As we discuss moving from public school to homeschooling, I feel like this is the biggest difference:

Personal responsibility.

What is it?

“personal responsibility is defined as a person’s “response-ability,” that is, the ability of a person to maturely respond to the various challenges and circumstances of life.”

Quote from Dr Frank Thomas.

Our students are not being taught personal responsibility in today’s school environment. Everyone blames someone else for the child’s learning experience not being what it should be. They MUST learn how to “maturely respond to challenges of life”.

In the homeschooling world, students learn early on that they are responsible for their own education and learning experience.

My children always have been actively involved in choosing how and what they will learn.

We set goals. If those goals aren’t met, they don’t earn rewards, such as going to do fun things with friends. Their responsibility is to get their work done, then they can play.

My youngest has always had an extremely difficult time sitting still. She knows that about herself. She has learned how to handle her own challenges in life. No one makes her sit still. She will schedule things throughout the day.

For example, as an 8th grader, she has an area in the living room floor where she does her schoolwork. That works for her. Sitting at a desk or table does not. She gets up in the morning, does her barn chores, does a few lessons, goes outside to ride her bike or bathe her horse or walk her pig. She comes back in to complete more schoolwork. She repeats this pattern until she has completed her schoolwork.

Her 12th grade brother is enrolled in dual-enrollment classes on Monday and Wednesday. He apprentices learning electrical skills on Tuesday and Thursday. He rodeos on the weekends. He understands that if schoolwork isn’t done (and done well) that the apprenticeship and the rodeos don’t happen.

This has not been an easy concept to teach. All of my children have missed “important” and fun events. My husband and I have been loathed by them at times. But they now understand that it not punishing them, they are simply reaping the rewards of what they do.

Take care of your responsibilities and earn rewards. Don’t take care of your responsibilities and stay home.

It’s a beautiful life lesson best learned early and while they are still home. Once they get out into the real world, there’s no one there to pick them up. And once they become adults, you shouldn’t be rescuing them. They must learn.

Tomorrow we will discuss what this looks like with younger children. Even they can learn personal responsibility. There isn’t a time when they “switch” from being children to becoming decent, kind adults. It’s a gradual process that happens over 18 years.

You can do this!!!

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