Education Methods

Independent Learning

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, an independent learner may be: reading and note taking; reviewing previously learned material; making flashcards; presenting assignments or tests to the parent for marking; discussing or researching something; and, making a study schedule for the next course or textbook they will complete.

Boy working hard on notes with laptop beside him


  • Busy families that need their children to work more independently benefit from this approach;
  • Effectively enables students to learn how to read and listen for understanding;
  • Lifelong learning is encouraged as the student learns how to take ownership of their studies;
  • Flexible enough for students to determine their own routine;
  • Advantageous to students to help them learn perseverance, self-reliance, initiative, and time management which will be assets in postsecondary studies or life in general.

Points to consider

  • Parents need to be aware of what level of accountability is appropriate for their child;
  • Unsuitable for younger children, while high school-aged students often thrive in this environment;
  • Families who want the student’s interests to guide what is studied may not find this an ideal method.


  • The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence by Joanne Calderwood
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* The Resources on this page are examples of resource options that many homeschooling parents have found helpful. Note that they are not created or distributed by HOMESCHOOL.TODAY. For your convenience we occasionally add links to helpful websites, books, etc. but these will open in a separate tab.