When I started homeschooling, I had the impression that I was going to be my child’s instructor.
I was wrong.
What I’ve found is this: my job is to train my kids to take charge of their own learning. That’s what being an “independent learner” means.
It’s not just a good skill for my kids to have for life, but it makes my day infinitely easier knowing my child has the drive and skills to pursue his own studies. And as my family continues to grow, that’s a relief!
An independent learner set goals, monitor and evaluate their own academic development.
But how do we raise independent learners?
1. Inspire in them a love for learning: If you as a parent love learning, your child is going to be more motivated to learn. Use anything to motivate them to learn. They love football, then encourage them to find out more about their favourite footballer. If they love video games, encourage them to find out how its made. If they love cars or gadgets, watch documentaries on how they are made. And if you have daughters that love fashion help them learn about types of fabrics, how things are made (the science behind it all) will motivate them to learn
2. Help them set goals: Setting goals with your child helps them to be independent learners. In swimming, help your child set a goal to complete the lap within a time duration. Goals must be realistic and individualised. Learning goal for my younger son is in English but for my older son, it is in Yoruba. For one person, it can be getting all A+ but for another, it can be getting A+ in Maths and English. Constantly setting clear and smart goals is key to raising an independent learner.
3. Teach them discipline: Once they have set goals and there is a clear plan to achieve the goal, then the key thing is discipline to carry out the plan. To improve your swimming, you need to practice 30mins every day. If your child wants to move from a D grade to an A grade, he needs to have the discipline of implementing the plan.
4. Resist the urge to step in to help: When a child is very young and doesn’t understand a math problem, it makes sense to read through the lesson with them and guide them along. But as they get older, instead of always coming to their aid, start replying, “If you can’t figure out the problem, you’ll need to keep studying and try and figure it out.” The more they can solve it one their own, the more independent they become.
5. Help them self-assess: Teach your child to periodically stop and see what progress they have made even if they haven’t reached their final goals. Frequent self-assessment helps motivate them to keep working on their goals as they that they have better grades, are swimming the lap in shorter time or able to play the musical piece with minimal errors.
6. Celebrate progress: Even if the goals have not been achieved, look for opportunities to celebrate progress made. This helps to keep the child motivated.
There are a number of resources to help learners achieve their goals. These can be used in class as part of a lesson to self-study or they can be used at home.
9ijakids has created fun and engaging games to help children assess their understanding and revise what they have learned. The use of scores, badges, leaderboards also help motivates them to better performance
Visit our website to learn more https://bit.ly/9ijakidswebsite