I have a 12 year old son. I'm pretty sure he's working on his Transition to Scholar. Today he asked me for a Scholar Day. Those are the days when he get to practice at being a Scholar. What is a Scholar? That's when he gets to study 8-10 hours a day uninterrupted. I don't tell him what he has to study. He gets to choose. But right now that's not hard for him to do. He has lots that he wants to learn about. I think he's reading The Sign of the Beaver right now. That's the next book we'll be discussing for our Young Statemen's Book Club. He's read it once and now he's going through it again (must be a classic). But he has lots of other interests. He's making blue prints for a treehouse he wants to build this summer. He wants to write a script for a movie and then have me film him and his brothers acting it out (that should be interesting!). He is working on his aviation merit badge for Boy Scouts and building a model airplane.
One of the benefits of having a practice Scholar day is that I agree to not call on him for all the little things I need done during the day. He's the oldest and I rely on him a lot. He can do laundry, dishes, take out the trash, clean the bathroom and babysit. That is very valuable to me. And when he's not practicing Scholar, I use him. But days like today I realize that I'm on my own. When he get's to the actual Scholar Phase there are responsibilities that come along with that. But for now, its just him and his study. He can do my bidding tomorrow. Right now I'm letting him be while he studies as much as he wants.
It hasn't always been this way. Previously the last thing he wanted to do was "school". But that was when school consisted of textbooks and worksheets. He's discovered a whole new world where he gets to learn about what he is excited about. And right now that is pretty much everything.
Can you imagine the education you could get if you had all the time you wanted to study and learn? With someone else paying the bills and making your meals? I can. It would be amazing. But for now, I'll take the few minutes here and there that I squeeze in my own learning. But for my son, I can give him that time. He has the opportunity to get that education. He has to make the choice and I don't require it of him. But occasionally he'll come down in the morning and ask, "Mom, can I have a Scholar day?". And I smile and am glad that he's making those choices.
*There is a great article by Oliver & Rachel DeMille called "Transition to Scholar" if you are interested in learning more about this phase of your child's life.