Whether your child loves school or not, there is no doubt they are always learning. They have structured education in class with their teachers, but they also need to make sure they are directing their own learning. This can come in several forms.
What is Self Learning?
Self-directed learning is an active learning process and can take some practice. Your child will direct their own learning by identifying their learning needs, their strengths, and their weaknesses. When doing this, they will set their own learning goals and even search for materials to help them.
For example, they may realize they don’t understand how the water cycle works in their science class and go to the library or internet to try to find more information about it. Then they will figure out if they had effective strategies to achieve their learning goals. In this example, your child will decide if they understand the water cycle or if they need to do more research into the subject.
Why is it Important?
Self learning is important because it switches the focus of learning from the teachers to the student themselves. Your child will therefore become more interested and motivated in learning. Learning activities like guided reading, reflective writing, and studying in groups will be easier for them and they’ll be more engaged in those settings.
Most importantly, your child will be responsible for their own decisions and actions for their learning. They’ll be able to apply their knowledge to real-world problems and develop the skills to solve those problems. They can also develop the decision-making skills to handle situations confidently since they already know how to think and learn independently. You probably already noticed that these are all important skills for adulthood and building a career.
How Can You Help?
The first step to help your child with self learning is to help them become aware of their study habits, learning attitudes and behaviors, and their areas of strengths and weaknesses. Creating this self-awareness helps students to evaluate their learning patterns and abilities.
Giving your child choices in and out of the classroom can help them learn through observation, exploration, experimentation, and discovery. It’s important to let your child choose their own learning activities, methods of expressing learning, and their learning tools. This will make their self-directed learning skills stronger.
It’s also important to encourage your child to critique their decisions and actions in learning. This lets them determine how effective their learning strategies are and whether they need to adjust. It also lets them learn to identify the effects of their actions on their learning and how to consider different points of view.
Genie Academy provides after-school enrichment programs for students covering math, reading, writing, and coding. With locations throughout New Jersey, including Plainsboro, our programs are tailored for students in Pre-K through 8th grade.1