If you want your child to succeed in studying, they should learn not only when at school but also independently, as well. Independent learning will help your child understand the material better and gain confidence in their knowledge. Besides, independent learning is very important for professionals from various areas. Your kids should understand that learning is a continuous process, and independent learning is its crucial part.
Independent Learning and Its Benefits
Independent learners adopt a proactive approach to learning. They are highly motivated and engaged. The best thing about independent learning is that a child learns regardless of whether somebody helps them or not. Independent learners don’t depend on external sources of motivation and improve their problem-solving skills. Besides, independent learning will teach your kid critical thinking.
Younger kids get information in bite-sized portions in school, but this style of education quickly changes when kids go to high school and college. In college, students need to dedicate a lot of time to independent studies, and the best solution is to help your kids get used to this type of learning as early as possible.
Children who start writing from a young age, for instance, usually have no problems expressing their thoughts, writing papers throughout college, submitting effective MBA application essays, and even winning scholarships. They don’t have to be stressed about the fact that they will be penalized for buying essays online unlike those kids who like writing and write their own essays (you can read more about this on betterwritingservices.com). Higher education is a lot of stress, let alone writing multiple essays or research papers in a short time. Students who like to write just escape lots of stress and don’t have to think about any risks involved with using an essay writing service.
Independent learning can help your kid memorize information better and apply their knowledge in practice. In addition, independent learning will improve your child’s organization and time management. These skills will be useful not only while they’re in college but also throughout their professional careers.
Ways To Encourage Independent Learning
1. Let your child self-monitor their success
Independent learning is impossible without effective self-monitoring. In turn, self-monitoring is based on the two core elements: establishing clear goals and generating feedback. Your kid shouldn’t evaluate their progress based on grades only. They should also analyze their work, determine what they could do better, and what approaches would be more effective in each particular situation.
2. Ask open-ended questions
Independent learning is all about researching the subject and looking for information that can improve one’s understanding of the topic. Open-ended questions can help you start a discussion and encourage your kid to look for effective arguments.
We recommend that you ask your kids questions related to topics that are already familiar to them. This way, it will be easier for them to choose the right direction for their research. Open-ended questions will also inspire your child to learn new topics and look for the most relevant information.
3. Cultivate a passion for self-development
Stick with positive language when talking about learning and show your kid a good example. If you demonstrate how important self-development is for you, your child will mimic this behavior and put more effort into independent learning.
Make sure to help your kid establish a positive emotional connection with the learning process. Ask them how they feel after learning something new and what emotions they experience after finishing an assignment or project. If your child starts to associate positive emotions with learning, they will develop intrinsic motivation so they won’t need to receive constant encouragement from you.
4. Reward their initiatives
The easiest and the most effective way to inspire your kid to work on something independently is to reward them when they do it. Your kid will be much more likely to dedicate their time to independent learning if they receive a reward for it.
You can encourage your kid with a little treat, fun activities, and meaningful words. Talk to them about the topic they’re studying and ask them insightful questions. This way, you’ll recognize their effort and praise their achievements, reinforcing learning as a good, positive thing.
5. Set clear goals
Teach your child to set challenging yet realistic goals. Recommend a book that is longer than books that they would read normally or suggest a subject they know little about. This way, you will encourage independent learning because your kid will verbalize their goals.
In addition, setting clear goals will help your kid make learning more manageable. They will learn to break long-term goals into short-term goals. This way, they will also learn to recognize every stage of the learning process as an achievement.
6. Encourage reading
Many kids associate books with the school. They only read books when they have to, which is certainly not the best attitude for independent learning. Therefore, you should help your kid understand that reading can also be fun. Recreational reading will not only help your child learn something new but also improve their vocabulary and writing.
The main thing is to keep in mind your child’s interests. Recreational reading is all about finding pleasure in the very process of reading itself so don’t force your kid to read something they don’t like. Fiction, nonfiction, short stories and long novels, magazines — the options are endless so let your kid read something they will actually enjoy.
7. Challenge them to find answers to their questions
This piece of advice can be especially useful when dealing with younger children. Kids ask questions all the time, and it’s easy to get used to answering all of their questions immediately. There’s nothing wrong with helping your kid to understand something, and sometimes, you can avoid many more questions by quickly answering the first one.
However, independent learners should look for answers themselves. Therefore, we suggest that you always encourage your kid to find solutions without any help from you. It may be a little difficult at first, but your child will also feel much more satisfied once they’ve answered all of their questions through research and analysis.
Independent learning is very important not only for high school and college students but also for successful employees and leaders. Fortunately, you can foster independent learning in your kids and teach them to approach the learning process in a proactive way.
Use our tips to help your kid develop a positive emotional connection with the learning process. Help them develop the necessary motivation and make sure to recognize their efforts. Encouraging independent learning will help your kid prepare for adult life and develop numerous useful skills and traits that will help them succeed in the future.