I don’t know about anyone else that homeschools but we needed to make the drastic move of accountability here in The Rogers Academy. I spent so much time lamenting how our lessons just never seemed to get done. I plan out these fantastic semesters then end up feeling defeated because we never finish them. It’s not that the lessons are too long or too hard. It’s a character issue of poor work ethic. Autism doesn’t negate the immeasurable job of molding their character.
In our case, we instituted Dad as Principal. I called an emergency family meeting where I vented my frustration about our inability to finish our work. Before either child had the chance to throw me under the bus, I admitted my own faults as well. Alas, that was a bitter pill to swallow. Showing humility in front of your children is a necessary evil in life. If you happen to be a single parent then make it someone who you feel comfortable holding you accountable. Someone you trust that not only knows your family situation intimately but knows what your child with autism is capable of doing. Do not pick someone who has no desire to see you succeed or will expect too much out of your child developmentally. You and that person have to be on the same page at all times. Call timely meetings in order to share accoutability.
After listening to the many excuses that spewed out of by the children, Dad announced some shocking changes. In all honesty, I was not shocked. We had already discussed what the changes would be during our 5 mile run earlier in the day. Don’t tell that to the children. Lunchtime on Mondays, we will present to Principal Dad last week’s plans, completed or not. If not completed, then a reason must be given. Principal Dad reserves the right to determine the consequences if appropriate. Consequences will range from loss of electronics to missing a field trip to catch up on work. Some weeks will have valid reasons for not finishing although some will need correction.
Everyone needs accountability from someone else. The reasons for not finishing the lessons have nothing to do with modifications or the inability to do the work. It is a lack of motivation. It’s a typical problem in homeschools. Autism doesn’t make the typical problems disappear. You may have to be more creative in how you handle them is all. We all work so much more efficiently knowing that we have to account for ourselves on Monday. Just like every project needs a manager, every homeschool needs a principal.
How do you handle accountability in your homeschool?