I remember going to a parent-teachers meeting in Zeeka’s school. They asked us, parents, what our parenting objectives are. My husband and I shared that we want Zeeka to be an independent and confident adult in the future, capable of making her own decisions. We want her to learn and eventually exhibit the values that we believe in.
I think every parent wants to raise independent learners. I know we want our kids to grow and thrive so they could live the life they want.
The demand for problem-solving and critical thinking skills are much higher today than it was before. Because of new discoveries and innovations in technology, new businesses and careers are required to fill the gap. That’s why I try to give Zeeka as much support and opportunities as I can while she’s growing up.
So I did a quick research to know what skills and traits one should have to be called an independent learner and here’s what I found.
Characteristics of an Independent Learner
– Independent learners are naturally curious and explorative of their surroundings. They love learning from different angles and approaches
– Independent learners are motivated by personal goals they set for themselves.
– Independent learners know how to evaluate themselves fairly.
– Independent learners are responsible and remain accountable for their tasks. They also do it out of need without anyone telling them what to do.
– Independent learners are critical thinkers who examine possibilities and come up with multiple solutions to a problem
– Independent learners also have an uncanny way of learning. They read, visualize, or kinaesthetically instruct themselves and require little or no instructions from adults.
– Independent learners are also persistent. They don’t give up easily even if the tasks seem impossible.
So how do we raise our kids to be independent learners? Here are some tips
1. Build their confidence.
Self-esteem is a characteristic of an independent learner that you can nurture through acceptance, support, and love.
As parents, you need to recognize your kid’s talents and give praise when it is due. But be sure to be realistic with the praise and not let it get to their heads.
It’s also important to let them know it’s ok to be silly at times and not to take yourself too seriously.
Let kids experience failure so they know it’s part of the process. Kids need to understand that every mistake can be turned into an opportunity to learn from. What’s important is how they are willing to adapt and make necessary changes to correct their mistakes.
2. Create opportunities for independence.
I have the tendency to look at my little girl as if she’s always going to be my baby. I guess that’s just normal for every parent.
I mean, kids do grow up too fast. And I’m also so lucky to get to witness Zeeka grow up before my eyes.
But I also know that I won’t always be there to help her. So I try as much as I could to present her with opportunities where she can learn on her own.
I give her small tasks at home that she can do by herself, like packing her toys away or choosing what to wear for the day. I also ask her to help around the house. Even if we have a helper, I let her set up our table when it’s time to eat. I also require her to eat by herself.
These might menial, but it helps strengthen her motor skills and build her character. It also makes her aware of what responsibilities are and gives her a sense of accomplishment every time she completes a task.
3. Nurture your child’s interests and help them set realistic goals.
My little Zeeka is quite a performer. She can be shy and timid at first, but when she gets her groove on she can be such a ball of energy.
She loves being in front of the camera. She even told me she wanted to have her own talk show someday, like Ellen.
Here she is doing her version of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.
Here she is looking so kikay when we visited Lady Kitty’s house at Sanrio Puro Land.
That’s why I look for different events and workshops where she can showcase her talents. Last summer, I enrolled her in a dance camp for kids and she absolutely loved it! She even has her own Youtube channel where she gets to talk about her toys, makeup, and other things she loves.
Check out her KinderJoy Egg Surprise Review here:
4. Don’t interrupt.
Kids learn things best when they figure it out on their own. Sometimes, their methods may not be what we expect. And as adults, we also need to let them be and learn how to deal with it.
Case in point.
If kids ask for opportunities to help or work on their own, don’t interrupt. But make sure to be there when they need some guidance. Don’t dismiss them or ignore them when they have questions.
It also helps to have a “no spoon-feeding rule” at home. In case they can’t figure it out, you can point them in the right direction. What’s more important is their desire to give things a try.
5. Encourage the love of books and math.
Reading books introduce us to different concepts and ideas. And in turn, it also feeds our minds and makes us more creative. It also expands our vocabulary, improves our communication skills and our memory.
Reading also enriches our analytical skills and enhances our decision-making. It also stimulates our mental capacities and improves focus and concentration.
Much like reading, Mathematics is a mental exercise that helps develop critical thinking skills and independent learning. It is all about making connections and seeing patterns and builds our concrete and abstract thinking abilities.
Research shows that Mathematics trains the brains to see connections and build neural pathways that increase the brain’s power.
Here are some of the brain’s response when doing Maths according to Creation.com:
- It creates the basis for systemic thinking
- Develops analysis and problem-solving skills
- Helps build critical sequencing skills that help one arrive at accurate results or logical conclusions
- Promotes cautious thinking through deciphering complex math problems to arrive at an accurate answer.
- Learning to integrate different principles by a trial and error basis to come to a logical conclusion
One way to build your kid’s independence is to enrol them in Math enrichment programs such as S.A.M. Singapore Math.
Seriously Addictive Mathematics Philippines or S.A.M. makes it fun and easy for kids to learn Math. Students get to learn Mathematics through play, using toys, tools, and manipulatives. This makes it easy for students, especially the younger ones, to understand mathematical concepts and increases their comprehension levels.
You can get to know more about S.A.M. Singapore Math here. SAM Singapore Math: What You Need to Know About
Raising independent learners can be easier with the right type of tools and a community supports you along the way.
So if you have any tips on how to raise independent learners, please do share them with us in the comments below.
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