How Parents Can Encourage Self-Guided Learning for Kids
How can you get your kids interested in learning from a young age? What’s the best way to build a growth mindset? Is it possible to make kids approach learning as a fun activity rather than a tedious task?
Kids have an intrinsic ability to learn new things, their brains are like sponges that quickly absorb what they’re exposed to. As parents, it is possible for us to cultivate their curiosity and encourage them to become self-directed learners from an early age. Self-guided learners don’t require constant monitoring and assistance, rather just guidance in the right direction.
A good example of a self-guided learner is a child who doesn’t need their parents to sit with them till they complete their homework, rather just a helping hand when they get stuck completing their task.
In this article, we explore some tricks and tactics that will help parents encourage self-learning in their children.
1. Allow Children to Play Freely
If you think back, we were the quickest to pick up new talents and skills while playing; be it learning to draw, creating fun shapes with play dough, building structures using legos or even improving motor skills like racing, skipping or playing hide & seek. It’s the same even today. While playing, kids are on their own and need to fend for themselves, pushing them to use their imagination, creativity and learning potential to the maximum.
2. Create Opportunities for Learning
We can encourage children to find their areas of interest by giving them many opportunities for self-learning from a young age. Taking simple steps like having color pencils and paper in their rooms, giving easy access to their cupboards so that they can choose their clothes, allowing them to make their own bowl of cereal or choose books to read from a stack is a start.
You will notice that soon they will be able to perform several tasks independently with a bit of guidance from your end.
3. Connect Playtime with Learning
Playtime is often disconnected from the child’s natural surroundings or the environment that they’re exposed to. However, as a parent, you can start introducing everyday concepts to them while they play. For example, if the child draws a boat, you could explain what boats are used for or how they’re made.
Nowadays with mixed-reality toys in the market, you can take this a bit further by actually showing them how the element that they’re drawn works in the real world. Skipy is one such simple technology toy for kids that uses the kid’s drawing in an animated short story. Further, there are many other electronic toys in the market that can be used to aid self-guided learning in kids.
4. Make Effort the Priority over Success
Gone are the days when failure was seen as a setback. Even in the corporate environment, failure is an acknowledgment of having tried something new. Similarly, allow the child to make as many mistakes as possible while trying tasks, show them the importance of having put in the effort rather than focusing on success.
Children who are afraid of failing are less likely to try new things whereas children who are encouraged for trying, will, in fact, try harder. Removing the fear of failure from an early age builds the road to quick and independent learning.
5. Being Patient is the Key
It is difficult to hold off when a child is learning to tie their shoelace or eat with a spoon. But as tempting as it is to step in and complete the task for them, the right thing to do is be patient. Guide them to complete it on their own no matter how long it takes or how hard they are struggling. It will turn out to be beneficial for both of you in the long run.
Skipy is one of the best mixed-reality drawing toys for toddlers in the market. This fun toy encourages kids to draw by bringing their drawings to life through digital stories.
If you’re looking for a way to encourage your kids to draw, give Skipy a try.