How can a child benefit from taking responsibility for their own learning?
Giving children independence, in whatever form, can be tough for a parent. We want to look after them as much as possible, so allowing a child to falter, fail or fall can be unnerving.
Parents know that most children crave some form of independence from a young age, and want to "do it by themselves" and we, in turn, want to support their desire for growth and responsibility - even if it means a task takes three times as long!
So when it comes to their education and learning development, a child does at some point need to do it by him or herself too. Every parent cares about how their child is progressing at school and often are involved in things like homework and learning timetables. But encouraging a child to take responsibility for their own learning schedule can have endless benefits.
Whether it's learned behaviour, laziness or a super-smart sense that a child knows their parent will always help them out, ultimately it's better for a child to have a sense of responsibility for their own tasks if they are going to be able to progress and self-motivate without procrastination.
It may seem like a risky move to take a step back from your child's learning schedule, but it doesn't have to be that drastic. By asking them what work they have to do, rather than telling them, they'll be given a sense of responsibility as a result of some added independence.You can still monitor their progress from a distance, and step in if help is needed, but giving your child some space will help them develop learning skills on their own.
Teaching problem solving
School homework and Kumon daily study worksheets are designed to extend and solidify previous learning, as well as encouraging the child to have a sense of the responsibility and an understanding of the consequences of not completing a task. If you're a parent that is quick to manage your child's study time and assist with homework, see if you can begin to instil a sense of independence and responsibility in your child. Instead of sitting down with them each night to go through it, encourage your child to attempt it on their own before asking for help.
Managing their time
Rather than dragging your child away from a game, play or hangout time according to your availability, and invariably receiving a negative response and attitude towards the task, increasingly try to encourage them to manage their own time. Consider giving your child parameters and choices;
"What homework do you have this weekend and when do you think is the best time to complete it?"
"We'll be out of the house at a party between 12pm -3pm but we'll otherwise be home. When do you think you'll be freshest and most focused on your homework? "
or "You have activities after-school tomorrow. Will you be doing your homework before school tomorrow or before dinner time?"
By helping them to schedule their own time, and trying to tackle their homework on their own, you'll help your child will learn to face challenges head-on, as well as developing their problem-solving skills,
Identifying strengths and weaknesses
By taking responsibility for their own learning, your child will be able to get a much better idea of what they are best at – and what they need to work harder at.
Realising their strengths and weaknesses and how they study best is invaluable to a child's educational development and will help them develop vital skills in their later school and university career and in later life, too!