Have you ever been in a situation where you wish your kid could work alone for at least 10 minutes? Maybe you need to help another child with their lessons or maybe you just need to run to the kitchen for another cup of coffee to keep you going?
I can totally relate. Not so long ago I couldn’t leave my 5 year old alone for one minute to do his lessons. I would walk into the kitchen to grab a quick snack and when I would get back to my kiddo nothing was done. Well, not considering that one time when all of the worksheets were painted blue! Later on that day I noticed that the dog was also painted blue! *sigh*
I put together some really great tips that have helped me encourage my little guy independent learning skills. The older they get the more work you can trust them with.
1. Be a Role Model – As you are trying to instill a love of learning in your child, show him how you, too, sincerely love to learn new things. Have him help you research a new project or learn a new skill. Make it a point to show him when you use math in your everyday life. Live what you want him to learn. If he sees that you, at your advanced age, are still curious and interested in the world around you, he’s more likely to follow suit. Learning is serious, lifelong business.
2. Be Realistic – Teaching your child to work and learn independently is not something that simply happens when a child reaches a certain age. Many parents inadvertently set their child up to fail by expecting him to work on his own when he is not developmentally ready to do so. This is especially true with oldest and only children. To you, your oldest/only child seems very grown up at nine. In reality, if you leave him on his own to do math, you will likely return to find him flopped on the floor staring at the ceiling fan or teaching the dog a new trick. Most kids are not ready for a lot of independent work until middle or high school.
3. Be Inclusive – Even at a young age, encourage your child to be invested in his own education. When you are choosing materials ask for your child’s opinion. As he gets older, have him do some of the legwork as you determine your schedule and curriculum. Give him choices about some of the books he reads, gradually giving him full reign. This is also a great confidence builder for children.
Start early and teach purposefully and your child will become an independent, lifelong learner. Check out this book “A Mindset For Learning” for even more tips and tricks!
Have anything you would like to add to this list on independent learning? Let me know in comments!
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