Hello! Thank you for reading this. (I trust there is not a gun to your head and you are doing it of your own free will.) What I am about to share is an unbelievable, innate principle which you can exploit – I mean use – in your home school and in your family life as well.
The Ownership Principle can help you clean up your house. It can help you save precious lung capacity. (Less screaming) It can also help your child or young adult reach their full potential.
Self-teaching is all about the student taking ownership of his or her education! Once the student sees that he is the one in control versus being told what he *has* to do, something magical takes place.
Here is a great real-time example. Last year our oldest, Nick, regularly drove the family vehicles. He had a job in town, and he drove one of the cars as if it were his own.
I found myself frustrated that the car he used regularly resembled a trash can on the inside. I mean, how hard is it to take in your Sonic Route 44 drink cup when you are done with it? Why does one leave soccer stuff spread out all over the back seat when it can easily be located neatly in the soccer bag? And the guitar paraphernalia….picks in the drink holders. Argh! You get the picture.
When Nick graduated from high school last May, we gave him the opportunity to purchase the car he had been using from us for a fraction of its value. He was delighted to own his own car! Guess what he immediately did upon receiving the car? He went out and cleaned and vacuumed it! I mean, the car hadn’t looked that shiny new in months!
Until he had ownership, he didn’t take any real pride in the car. Once it was *his,* it became much more worthy of his time and attention. His car became a reflection of him and not of the entire Calderwood Clan.
Education is exactly the same. If you as the parent own the process, the student doesn’t feel any real inclination to go all out.
But put the student in the driver’s seat, allow her to take the wheel and decide where she is going that day, how far and how fast, and suddenly education is worthy of that student’s time and attention.
The student takes pride in her work like never before!
Ever get frustrated with your kids because they played a board game and left it out in the middle of the floor where the box top gets stepped on, the pieces get dispersed around the room because of the cats who play hockey with them, and the game gets ruined all because no one took responsibility for the game? (Oh no; that has never happened here.)
Use the Ownership Principle to your advantage with items around the house. What I have done is to give each game to a particular child when it comes in the door from the store. Scrabble belongs to Olivia, or Clue belongs to Lydia, etc. That way somebody owns it and actually takes care of it.
This especially works well with decks of cards. We have certain children who take really good care of cards, and as their reward, they get to own them. If one of the others wants to play with the cards, they must get permission from the owner, and they also must give the cards back to the owner immediately upon finishing. Works most of the time.
If you would like to see an attitude shift in your students, if you want to see their performance go up several notches, hand them the keys to their brand new educational vehicle: self-teaching.
I tell ya, it works. [wink]
Have a great Tuesday!