How to Take Your Children from Dependence to Independence
At the end of this month, I’m back to school (literally) for some continuing education. I do this to maintain my certification as a part-time snowboard instructor at Mt. Hood Meadows. There’s a lot of similarity between the methods I use when teaching/tutoring here at Basic Skills and the way I instruct on the mountain. The consequences, though, for students not paying attention in the classroom are not nearly as severe as they are for students who get distracted or forget the technique I’m teaching while sliding down a sheet of ice.
Five years ago at one of these continuing education clinics, I was introduced to a four-step approach designed to incrementally enable students to become independent riders and skiers. I saw that the principles I learned could be used at home to achieve a similar goal: to move our students from being academically dependent learners to independent learners. Called the Gradual Release Model, the illustration below shows how this works.
As you look at it, you might think it speaks for itself. It does! You might be saying to yourself, “That’s common sense,” or, “That’s what I’m already doing.” If so, that’s great, and I encourage you to keep at it. Nevertheless, in the tips to follow, I’ll explain each part of the model and how you can use it when home schooling. For now, I recommend you keep it as a visual aid to remind you of where you want to take your children: from being dependent learners to becoming independent learners.
Aim to help your student move from being dependent learners to becoming independent learners.