There are several reasons I am called a “guide” versus a “teacher.” One reason is because Guides should only ask questions and Learners should discover answers independently. Because of this, the Learners are going to be more like teachers with you, the parent, and you will be more like a student.

By that, I mean the Eagles should be coming home and explaining things like the Journey Tracker (their online tool for setting and tracking goals) and the Core Skills software. As you know, 3rd and 4th grade Eagles use Khan Academy and Aleks Quicktables for math, and Lexia, Spelling City, and Typing Club for other skills. Our 2nd graders use Dreambox for math, Click n’ Kids for reading and spelling, and handwriting worksheets. Eagles should be teaching you how these programs work. They may seem esoteric and incomprehensible at first (trust me, each one has exasperated me at some point!) but even our youngest Eagles have almost got the hang of everything, and so will you! Here are some questions you could ask your Eagles:

  • How do you set goals for yourself in the Journey Tracker?

  • What’s a realistic but tough goal for Khan Academy?

  • What’s a challenge book for you? Is the book your reading truly a Challenge Book? (Challenge books are "Badge Books" that they need to read to get their Reading Badge. It should fall within their "Challenge Zone" meaning it should be tough, time-consuming, and something they wouldn't normally seek out. We can touch more on that later).

  • How many points do you get for XYZ? How many for ABC? How much more do you need to earn for this badge?

These questions will force the Eagles to find seek out the answers, which they will remember much more readily than just being told. They have already figured out that with their freedom, they can choose to earn points in the programs that are easier for them. But soon, they will run out of points that are available in those programs, and will need to turn their focus to their struggle areas in order to keep earning points. This is when they will need support at home in the form of Socratic questions that reinforce tough, ambitious, but attainable goals.

What’s most important, however, is that they continue to teach you about their work and tracking goals. This is far and away the most effective means for them to become comfortable with the programs, and will help you become more comfortable with the progress and having meaningful Socratic discussions about their work.