The morning after her first community day, I sat with my new Challenge A student and talked about the weekly schedule.
She has a student planner with large spaces for each day and I asked her to read the guide for that week and start making plans in pencil.
Then I read the guide for myself and made mental some notes.
Then we sat together and read it again together and I changed or adjusted her plans as needed.
I ask my kids to put everything on their planner including "piano practice-20 minutes" everyday even though that isn't in the Challenge guide and even though they have been practicing piano everyday for years.
Once the Challenge year and work begins, it's easy to forget those extra activities that you may still need or want to do daily.
Challenge A is about taking ownership and digging into the guide like this together allows me disciple my students in how to manage their workload.
It was intense hour trying to figure it all out again even though I have directed Challenge A twice before this.
I can't imagine a kid of 12 or 13 being able to interpret the guide without a parent's diligent attention and help.
I know there are some exceptional kids out there.
I have actually tutored at least one of those and her parents did not have to do any of this work to make sure she understood what to do each and they didn't even have to make sure she actually got it all done.
But that kid is the rare exception.
I find that most kids, including mine, need a healthy dose of support as they plan their week and they also accountability as the week goes on.
I think it was Cindy Rollins who said, "Inspect what you expect."
Therefore, I always tell new CC moms that sitting with their students like this and making and checking plans and then checking their work through the week periodically is one of the most important things a mom can do to ensure success in Challenge.
If students aren't engaging with the work there is no way they will actually get all the benefits of all the rich and beautiful content in Challenge, and those parents are the ones who can't see the benefits of Challenge, because they aren't there, so they eventually drop out.
And, of course, it is when moms sit with their student like this that they can decide to scale the work down if what is in the guide is too much for their student.
As students get older and go into upper Challenge levels, they may need less support in making their daily plans, but I find they still need as much accountability to ensure they are getting the work done.
And I not only need to assess the work to ensure my kids are being honest and stewarding their work well, but also have to be able to assign grades for transcripts, so I keep looking at everything.