The Cons of Independent Learning in Your Homeschool

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If you begin homeschooling when your kids are young, one of your goals may be to work toward independent learning.


You dream of the day when you do not have to sit next to your child for every subject, watching over them as they complete every math problem.

Tell me I’m not the only one who dreamed of the day when my kids could actually complete a page without me sitting next to them!


That’s our goal – raising independent life-long learners.


And that first school year when our child can do some assignments independently, we silently cheer as we think of the time that we’ll get back.

I’ve been there.

I now I several fairly independent learners. Oh the bliss! Oh the joy! The celebration!


Wait, there’s actually a huge downfall to all this independent learning.

Yes, there’s a major con that no one mentioned to you. You probably didn’t even think about it yourself.



You have to do all the review, checking, and grading.


Maybe this already occurred to you and you were prepared for the hours that you would spend reading back over completed work.


I however, was not. No one mentioned all the grading that would accompany independence.

I feel a little bit misled.


I’m sitting here staring at a giant pile of notebooks, workbooks, and loose papers. They all need my review with colorful stars drawn across the top.

It’s incredibly time consuming!


I used to check and grade as we went since I was needed to sit nearby to help my kids stay on track.

Now they just bring me piles of work and dump it on my desk.


Last school year I made the fatal mistake of getting a few days behind. Those few days turned in to a few weeks because I was too intimidated to begin going back over all the days of work I had overlooked.


This is the pit of despair in the homeschool world. Don’t let this happen to you.


I spent hours and hours getting caught back up and correcting errors and looking back over the corrections with each child.


For this new school year, I’m determined to learn from my mistakes.

I will NEVER allow myself to get that behind in grading again. Ever. Ever. Ever.


Every night the kids bring their pile of work to my desk for me to review. And every night I sit in my little office chair with a stack of colored pens and I review all the work that was completed that day.


Even the Kindergartener feels like she needs to get in on the action, so she brings me her handwriting pages so I can draw stars at the top for her.


So, be warned, if you have independent learners, you will spend quite a bit of your spare time going back over their work to make corrections, grade, and write suggestions.


Independent learning…it’s wonderful until you realize that you still have a massive amount of work to do.


Just because your children are independent learners doesn’t mean you can hang up your homeschool mom “hat” anytime soon. Retirement is still years away….


Further Reading

Independent Work and My Homeschooled 4th Grader

The Myth of Independent Work in Elementary

7th Grade Curriculum Choices

Thoughts on 5th Grade 


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