Students in high school have guidance counselors. According to schoolcounselor.org, counselors give assistance when it comes to the student’s core curriculum, they assist with individual planning, respond to students’ needs and concerns, provide referrals, consultation and collaboration. For a homeschooled student all these roles are generally provided by the parent primarily responsible for the delivery of the education, or in my house, me!
I don’t want all this to fall on my shoulders. To use that all to popular catch phrase, I don’t want something to “fall between the cracks” and even in homeschooling, there are cracks. I fully admit that I cannot be everything to everyone under this roof.
We are very fortunate that the girl’s Aunt Kris, is actively involved in their homeschooling. Years ago, she took on the role of math teacher and met with the girls weekly to do Simply Charlotte Mason’s Business Math. While this program is tedious and we never did find out if the businesses turned a profit, this math program is still talk ed about from time to time. Since then she has kept up to date on what we are up to through Instagram and my blog. She is not one to ask the girls “What did you do this week?” but rather, “Tell me everything about your trip to the theater!”, or “What book are you reading now?”.
Now that the girls are older, she is still actively involved in their learning and now it is needed more than ever. The girls are working on beautiful things. Their lapbook for The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is really too beautiful to live inside a binder. When there is no audience for a child’s work, the child (at least mine) questions why it has to be done with effort and skill and beauty. In fact, why do it at all? Why not just read or watch the documentary and then move on? Each girl has an A average in Teaching Textbooks this year. We learn for mastery. I expect an A. However, there is no report card to show relatives, no honor roll to be inducted into and no name posted in the local newspaper. Having someone other than the parent take interest, ask questions, review work, give constructive criticism, provide feedback, and challenge the child to do more is very powerful. It helps feed the internal fire of intrinsically motivated learning.
My heart soars when Grace tells me she thinks it is neat that her Aunt comes for dinner, watches a movie based on a book that she read alongside the girls, and looks through their growing binders of work. I love that Kris remembers which projects are not finished and makes those the first things she asks to see the next time she visits. She is their guidance counselor in addition to being their Aunt. She is providing those valuable roles of giving assistance with curriculum and planning. She is responding to their needs and concerns. She is providing feedback. She consults with them and she certainly collaborates with them. How many family members ask for the study guide we are using so they can do some of the same activities? Not many!