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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Promoting Independent Learning in Children – Learning the Basics

By Andrew Loh

Independent learning is all about your children seizing available opportunities and time to think, plan, develop and execute their preferred play and interests. It also means that your child will be able to extend his or her learning process to different domains that eventually lead to an all-round personality development. When your child learns independently, he or she will encourage his conscience to explore, develop, plan actions, solve problems and later take risks associated with the previously taken decisions.

Your child will also develop the ability to apply the acquired skills and knowledge gained from other areas of learning to a given context that is relevant to them and their expertise. With independent learning, your children can consolidate, crystallize and internalize the learned subjects and later form a deeper understanding of the subjects learned.

Developing and promoting independent learning in your children is an arduous task that takes a long time. Asking your children to plan and execute what they do, always involves them in their own learning. In fact, this could provide a motivating ambience and a learning experience to become engaged in developing skills of concentration and dedication. Helping your children develop independent learning and thinking skills should be a major priority in your life.

There are a number of benefits and advantages associated with independent learning and thinking. Most of these benefits provide a life-long advantage of creating a favorable personality that is extremely pleasing and affable. Some of these positive advantages are:

  1. Sharp and agile mind that can help them to perform better in their classroom.

  2. Development of creative abilities that will eventually assist them in reaching professional and personal success

Most parents often get confused as to how they can make their children develop independent learning skills. What independent activities and work can your children do or perform? Here are some activities that you teach your child to develop independent learning and thinking:

Allowing them free hand: You may wish to allow your child to spend some time in your absence. This simple trick will help your child to learn that he or she can do work even in your absence. In addition, this method helps your child gain immense confidence in his or her innate abilities.

Allow them to read and memorize quietly to themselves: This technique will allow your child to comprehend and master the core of the subject. Increased comprehension is an extended version of independent learning and this skill is very important for professional success.

Allow your child to read and listen to stories by themselves: Experts believe that listening to thematic stories can help children develop logical and predictive skills. When you allow your child to recite stories and anecdotes, you are encouraging him or her to develop analytical and evaluation skills as well.

Allow your child to work in team environments: Another important life skill that will enable and empower your child to develop an ability to live among individuals with different minds and logic. Your child must learn to live in peace among different people in the society.

Allow your child to participate in debates and discussions: Classroom debates and discussions are very critical for your child because they can help him or her develop courage, self-belief, self-image and self-analysis.

Allow them to develop their own ideas and expressions: When you help your child to think and act on his or her own ideas, the first immediate benefit is the acquisition of focus and concentration. These two noble characters are very critical for reaching professional success.

Allow your child to learn drawing and painting: Experts also believe that drawing and painting can help children develop imagination, logic and artistic skills. Experts also believe that one must be emotionally strong enough to face all unforeseen circumstances in life. Extended and independent learning must also focus on these positive characters.

Allow them to differentiate good from the bad: You may wish to teach your children to know and understand good from the bad, average from the best and ordinary from great. These simple skills will also help your child go for an unqualified degree of success in whatever they do or achieve in their life.

Allow them to acquire the basic skills of accumulating knowledge: Every person must possess the ability to research and gather information from different resources. This special skill will empower us to apply the gathered information to a myriad of scenarios. Help your child to accumulate and gather information from a local library. Provide them enough clues and exercises to collect information about a particular topic. Make library time a mandatory time and visit the local library at least once or twice in a month.

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Promoting Independent Learning in the Primary Classroom
By Jill Williams

From birth, human beings are striving to make sense of the world. They learn through interaction, modeling first hand experience and independent action. Most children arrive at school with the notion that being independent and having the desire to take responsibility has been seen, in their homes, as a good thing. What often happens is that responsibility may be denied them in school and that any further bid for independence is viewed as negative behavior.

Independence in the classroom should be seen as beneficial for learners and also for teachers. The argument presented by the author is that a climate in which decision-making is valued, where children are enabled to solve problems and where children and adults respect each others point of view will be a climate in which independence flourishes

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Child Development

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