The ability to learn independently is one of the most important learning abilities that parents can help their child learn, as children who are more independent learners often exhibit greater self-confidence and a greater sense of control. Young children can be encouraged to learn independently but it can be challenging for parents who are not qualified enough to decide whether they are providing too much or not enough support.
Here are some easy steps you can take to help your child learn independently:
1. Distance yourself from – Give your child a little help with the first one or two questions in the activity, and let them do the rest on their own. If you make a habit of going there when your child finishes his schoolwork, gradually distance yourself from them over time. Offering help at the beginning of their homework and then moving to sit near but not with them can reassure them that you are there and motivate them to complete the task. As children gain independence, you can gradually make more space so that you can focus on your individual work.
2. Positive reinforcement – When discussing learning, use uplifting words and set a good example for your child. If you show your child how important self-improvement is, they will imitate your actions and work harder at independent learning.
Make sure to help your child develop a satisfying emotional bond with the learning process. Ask about their feelings after learning something new and about their feelings after completing an assignment or project. You can choose to reward them when they complete their own tasks.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Pankaj Kumar Singh, MD, Cambridge Montessori Preschool and Daycare, said, “Rewarding your child for independent work is a simple and very effective method. If they are rewarded for it, your child will be more motivated to invest their time in adapting to independent learning. Your child can get a small treat or Motivated by fun activities.
Recommending instilling curiosity in your child, Pankaj Kumar Singh said, “Encouraging intelligent questions is very important. Giving your child the freedom to ask questions and the opportunity to find their own solutions is essential to fostering independent learning. Children are naturally curious, and it is our responsibility to help them ask insightful questions that improve their understanding of the world, but because of this, be careful how you help your youngster find answers to their inquiries. Instead of just giving them answers, try to help them think about the problem so they can come up with their own solution.
Neelima Kamrah, Principal, KIIT World School Gurugram highlighted, “A child’s capacity for independent learning is built on adopting a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is the assumption that skills and abilities are immutable and that success can only be achieved through natural intelligence. A growth mindset means that skills can be acquired over time through effort, planning, and feedback from others. If you help your child learn on their own, think critically, and come up with solutions, their learning will be memorable, achievement powerful, and a sense of pride inspiring. Group learning, cooperative learning and research major projects are great ways to develop your child. Children develop invaluable self-confidence and motivation when they begin to take ownership of their education and achieve success.
Echoing this, Usha Patel, Director, Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD) revealed, “Design education by its very nature demands practice-based learning and observation and absorption of surrounding ideas. These observational skills and experiential experience develop a person’s cognitive skills. The whole purpose of learning design is to develop the habit of understanding the environment and then creating something new and useful. Such skills when introduced at an early age allow for exponential growth and development of the child.
He said, “Design thinking and practice equips children with better tools to develop interpersonal relationships, inquisitive minds, quick knowledge equations. There are many effective strategies to develop and enhance self-learning skills in children, such as building blocks, exploring sculptures, clay molding. Classrooms and textbooks should not form boundaries for learning. .Learning extends beyond classrooms, where a child has the freedom to explore a variety of everyday objects and work hands-on, allowing independent learning skills to develop.