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Are you having your child work toward the suggested level of independence in Heart of Dakota?

Heart of Dakota - Teaching Tip - Are you having your child work toward the suggested level of independence?
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This is the next installment in our series of posts about things to check if your school day seems to be running longer than you would like. I know this can happen to any of us, and hopefully these tips may help!

Are you working toward the suggested level of independence noted for each box in the daily plans?

In the guides from Preparing Hearts on up, each box of the daily plans is coded ‘I,’ ‘S,’ or ‘T.’ This helpful code is meant to guide you in the level of independence you can expect from your child for that box of plans. I = Independent, S = Semi-Independent, and T = Teacher Directed.

Understanding the code will save you time.

If you are thinking that the ‘I’ boxes mean that the child has total independence and you have no role in the box, this is a misunderstanding. ‘I’ means the child can complete the box “Independently,” but independent work also needs to be checked. So, I always go over all of the ‘I’ boxes with my child. I discus what is in the box and check any work done independently. This is a similar situation to when a classroom teacher assigns homework to be done independently at home. Imagine how quickly a child would quit doing homework well, or doing it at all, if it were never checked!

Following the code will save you time!

If you are having your child do the ‘S’ (Semi-Independent) or the ‘T’ (Teacher-Directed) boxes without you, you will likely find that it adds time to your day. This is because the ‘S’ and ‘T’ boxes are written with the expectation that the teacher is helping or guiding the student. Assigning the student to do these boxes on his/her own often results in problems during work time or mistakes that aren’t caught until later and need to be fixed. ‘S’ and ‘T’ boxes are harder and require more parent help. I compensate for this by sticking close to my kiddos during ‘S’ boxes, popping in at the beginning or middle to check progress. For the ‘T’ boxes, I am always present, as many of these boxes are discussion based.

Check to see that you are following the code.

You may want to check the way you are handling each box in your Heart of Dakota guide. Doing this will help you be more effective overall. The ‘S’, ‘T’, and ‘I’ codes are a good guideline for me on how to handle each box. Hopefully they will be for you too! Try following the code, and see if the flow of independence and teacher involvement helps your day run more smoothly.


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