Tips on how to help your children become independent learners

Children who have the facility to look at a problem and figure out the solution almost entirely on their own are on the path to success in today’s World. Parents always want children to do well in school, but sometimes that desire can lead to too much parental involvement in their work. By doing so, we hinder the independence of the child and do not let them develop autonomy in their learning process.  Instead parents should help them develop strategies to tackle independent learning skills. Outlined below are some tips that can help you as parents develop these skills:    
  • Create a learning environment at home
  If you have a place filled with blocks, board games, puzzle books, colouring tools, math games and other crafting materials, children will be more inclined to pick up and experiment, rather than ask for attention. This will help them develop their problem-solving skills.     1.Let the kids work in their own way There usually isn’t just one right way to solve a homework assignment. Allowing your children, the freedom to find their own ways to the answers is better than dictating how a problem should be handled, even if it takes longer. Prompt them towards ways they can look for these answers themselves. Don’t impose your ideas!   2.Outline a routine for their homework It has been proven that kids who have a clearly defined homework routine, including a set time and place, tend to have more success in school. Even though, working independently can sometimes lead to more delay and careless work methods, but if you impose clear-cut guidelines around when, where and how the work should be done, it usually ignites productivity.   3.Plenty of rewards and praises It’s important for kids just like everyone else to know how they progress and motivate them on their work. Use ample praise on every success and positive feedback first. Try not to be critical. Discuss in a friendly way if something needs improving. It’s great for kids to know they have something fun coming to them when they finish a project. Find out what they’d like and offer it to them before on the condition they do their best. Just make sure the rules are clearly drawn before defining a rewards system.   4.Find ways where they can evaluate themselves and take pride in their work Children feel proud of the work they’ve done when they turn it in the next day. Ask them to rate how well they think they did on their assignments on a scale from 1 to 10. Make sure they know they won’t be punished if they feel like they didn’t do a great job on something — it’s just a way for them to reflect on their work, and recognize where they could’ve done better.   5.Have discussions about future short-term and long-term goals Kids often think about things that they would like to do but often not express them to parents. It’s important for parents to talk to their children about their interests and plans. This will help you relate to them and have an open relation where they feel confident in discussing anything that they need including school assignments. Always point out the skills they learn from some projects and guide them towards their goals. This will develop their confidence in their own decisions.    6.Remind them that struggling is good You want your kids to be confident in their abilities as independent learners, but they should also know that no one has gotten anywhere without struggling. Encourage them if they need motivation. If your child is having a particularly hard time with a problem, remind them that it’s totally OK. You can then help them approach the problem from a different angle that might give better results.    
  • Always encourage children to look for help from teachers
  If there’s a problem, encourage your kid to ask their teacher for help first rather than you. That way you remain the guide, and they learn how easy and important it is for self-motivated learners to be able to ask for help.    Hope these tips help you in making your children independent learners. Remember that independence at the end of the day is not the absence of guidance. They still need you through this process. At Nuevo Continente, our teachers undertake the task of understanding what students want to learn to provide an interesting and appropriate course of action to cater for their learning needs and styles. By doing so, we maximise their learning potential and make them independent learners.    Do not wait any longer, let us be your support to form leaders and independent people, contact us.

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