When a child is learning independently, they are taking full responsibility for their learning. Often homeschool families gradually move to this style of homeschooling as their students get older, particularly for high school studies. Following a structured learning plan, the child will read the lesson in the textbook (or watch the video), answer the questions or problems, check their work, study for the test, and take the test without parental involvement. The parent teacher may grade the tests and papers or help the student when they don’t understand something; but, for the most part the student is on their own. In a typical homeschool day, a student chooses when they study. For example: reading and note taking; review previously learned material; make some flashcards; present assignments or tests to the parent for marking; discuss or research something they are having difficulty with; and/or, make a study schedule for the next course or textbook they will complete.


  • good for busy families that need their children to work more independently
  • the student learns how to read or listen for understanding
  • the student learns how to study, encouraging a habit of lifelong learning
  • allows the child freedom to determine their own routine
  • the student learns characteristics such as perseverance, self-reliance, initiative, and time management which will be an asset in post-secondary studies or life in general


  • parents need to be aware of what level of accountability is appropriate for their child
  • not suitable for younger children; many high school age students thrive in this environment
  • this method may not be ideal for families who want the student’s interests to guide what is studied


The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence by Joanne Calderwood

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