3 Ways to Encourage Independent Learning in Children
It is important for parents to encourage independent learning in their children. Independent learning is a learning method whereby children are allowed to learn without support from parents or their peers. During independent learning, students will be encouraged to pursue their own research to identify the most valuable learning materials and resources.
Learning independently is a valuable skill to have because it teaches the young ones how to complete school curriculums through their own efforts with minimal guidance. It also teaches them to be independent in workplaces after graduation and beyond.
Independent learning is important because it endows children with a wide range of skills that can be applied to most jobs later on in life. Some of the skills students gain through independent learning include better time management and organisation skills, taking initiative, motivation to achieve goals, creative thinking, working without supervision, and strong writing and reading skills, among others.
Read on to find out how you can encourage independent learning in your kids.
1. Teach Prioritisation Over Multitasking
In today’s information age where the internet provides a vast learning environment, multitasking has become all too common in your child’s daily lives, even while they are learning. Children’s attention spans are also diminishing fast especially with all the devices and gadgets fighting for their attention. 21st-century children are surrounded by smartphones, tablets, laptops, and gaming devices. It is no surprise why multitasking has become the norm.
With a myriad of external factors affecting your child’s attention, parents should step in to teach children how to adopt prioritisation over multitasking. Independent learning focuses on pursuing personal goals, which can be achieved through the prioritisation of more important tasks rather than multitasking.
When teaching your child about prioritisation, you empower them to give more thought and serious consideration to the current task they are working on and complete their work independently and efficiently without any distractions. Prioritisation helps children to make progress as they work towards achieving their personal goals through consistency.
2. Ask, Don’t Tell
Another way of encouraging independent learning in children is to ask them for answers instead of telling them the answers. For example, you can use open-ended questions when discussing a project with the children to encourage them to explore a situation further.
You can try “Why do you consider this to be important?” or “So how did you arrive at this conclusion?” Ask questions that do not require a simple yes or no answer to promote further exploration and discussion. Open-ended questions also help to encourage the children to take a personal initiative to explore an idea further and evaluate their performance independently instead of expecting to be spoon-fed the answers.
3. Encourage Curiosity
It is often said that curiosity is key to learning. Thankfully, children are curious by nature as their young minds are always seeking to learn more about any subject under the sun. However, despite their natural curiosity, children should also be encouraged to ask questions and be allowed the freedom to find the answers to the questions all by themselves.
When children go through a process of self-discovery by answering their own questions, they develop a better understanding of the concept they are exploring. Self-discovery also motivates them to be more inquisitive and learn more about a given subject.
One of the most effective ways of encouraging independent learning is by creating a learning corner for the kids. Their personal learning corner will serve as a comfortable spot in the house to put their thinking caps on without unwanted disruptions. You can easily create the learning corner with comfortable ergonomic chairs and tables that are designed with your children’s health and wellness in mind.
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