People enjoy laboring when they chose to do a task. The same is true for learning. If a child feels that he has chosen to work on something, he will not begrudge the process of learning. Thus, the children have agency in their studies.
How much agency each child is allowed is determined by their learning mindset. Their learning mindset may vary from subject to subject. There are three mindset levels; laborer, apprentice and scholar.
The first level – Laborer
Laborers view themselves as servants. They do a job because they are asked to. They don’t think about how the job is to be done, they just do the work. They do their school work as an employee. They do their learning to earn something, a grade, a prize, or praise.
They ask, “How much do I have to learn?”
They need external motivation.
The 2nd level – Apprentice
Apprentices want to learn so they can become a doctor, lawyer, robotics engineer, pilot, etc. They want to know all about how to do a job and the best way to do it. They can see their future and are looking to prepare themselves for it through their education. They don’t need the prizes, they just need to focus on what their goals are for their career.
They ask, “What do I need to know for my work in life?”
They have found a motivation.
The 3rd level – Scholar
Scholars love learning. Learning is their friend. They welcome learning and enjoy it for the sake of learning.
They ask, “What is next to learn?”
They are self motivated.
Students set their own Learning Goals
At the beginning of the semester, when students chose their goals, teachers grant more freedom of choice to students in level 2 and even more to students in level 3.
The teacher then holds the student to the goals. The teacher offers a constant gentle pressure to accomplish the goals the students have set for themselves. As pieces of the goals are met the teacher or a parent signs off the work as it is finished.
- I will answer all questions and curiosities I have this week and document them.
- I will choose a historical person to study this week and make a lap book about them.
- I will choose a country to study for the week and prepare food from that country.
Students that have completed their goals for the week get to participate in “Fun Friday Parent events. If their work is not finished, they spend Friday finishing their goals.
Reach for the stars
Sometimes students will not reach for all they could. They tend to take the easy road. To avoid the goals being lower than the student should reach for, teachers and mentors help expand the student’s mind to the possibility of accomplishing great things.
Teachers and mentors inspire students to reach for a high level of education.
We follow the guide, “inspire not require.”
We lead, guide, and walk beside students in their learning.
“…compassion, not compulsion; caring, not control” – M. RUSSELL BALLARD
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of a position of authority, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.
Sources of Inspiration
- Teachers and mentors model inquisitiveness.
- Classic books inspire the child to seek out answers to questions they would not think of on their own.
- Programs like robotics, engineering club, geography bees, spelling bees, and ExploraVision, can inspire students to study.
- Love of Learning Show and Tell Times
- Group Discussions will inspire students on to new learning paths.
“…participation fosters inspiration. When everyone has an equal chance to contribute, the combined ideas of individual people become stronger.” from Counseling Together in Marriage
We avoid things that destroy motivation. Every effort is given to avoid wasting children’s time. The school will not just teach to the test.