Promoting Independent Learning in Children – Tips and Suggestions
By Andrew Loh
Independent Learning focuses specially on creation and formation of
the various opportunities and experiences so necessary for your
children to become intelligent, self-sufficient, self-confident,
capable, self-reliant, self-motivated and life-long learners of
several real-time and life-like scenarios. What are desired and
expected here, are, your children, valuing learning as empowering
and progressive activity of immense personal and social worth.
In this important process, independent and focused learners develop
the attitude, required knowledge and important skills required to
make right and critical decisions and take necessary actions to deal
with their own, self-initiated learning. You can foster independent
learning by creating the opportunities and experiences, which
initiate your children, develop motivation, initiation curiosity,
self-reliance and positive attitude.
You can use a number of techniques and methods to develop
independent learning in your children. However, most of these
techniques belong to two main spheres of activities such as:
Nurturing meaningful learning activities and
Enabling your children to take responsibility for their own learning
Nurturing meaningful learning activities are important aspects that
can help children develop independent learning and thinking.
Meaningful learning activities combine a number of different
activities ranging from reading, writing, reciting, debating and
participating in a number of group related activities. Here are some
Extend reading activities beyond the classroom textbooks:
Most of our children are adept and experienced in reading and
understanding their class textbooks. However, children who read
beyond their classroom textbooks tend to be more informative and
descriptive in their nature. Available research suggests us those
children who read schematic and picture storybooks are more
imaginative and knowledgeable than those children who do not develop
the habit of reading such books.
Suggestion: Take your children to a local library and ask
them to search for books of their choice. Let them select their
books of choice. However, ask them what they are reading for the
evening. Once they finish reading those books, ask them to recite
the theme and story of the book. The most possible outcome of this
exercise is development of language, reading skills and nurturing of
Develop their predictive and analytical skills by telling their
own stories: Available research study reports suggest us those
children who make up their own stories or anecdotes are extremely
sharp in their both analytical power as well as spoken language.
These skills also help your children apply them to their life in
their adulthood. Spoken language could be an important independent
skill that can help anyone to live anywhere in the world.
Suggestion: Assign an evening in a week for your children
to recite their own stories and anecdotes. Let them tell their own
stories and in their own language. Do not interrupt them! You will
be surprised with the remarkable improvement in their language and
diction! In the initial stages, your children may look very poor in
their language, but extended independent learning will help them to
acquire much needed skills of language and communication.
Hold a small group discussion among your children: Group
discussions will help your children to be expressive and descriptive
in their personality. Group discussions will help bring the best of
your child's mind and it can be like a tonic to their developing
Suggestion: Give a topic or two for your children to
initiate discussions. Let the topic be very simple and easy. For
example, suggest topics like “how a plant looks in summer” or “how
your family dog behaves”.
Other learning activities that you can introduce are:
Encourage drawing and painting.
Assign separate time for your children to be alone on their own for
their preferred activities.
Ask them to create a work dairy and enter their ideas in it.
Ask them do their own personal and sundry errands like arranging
their rooms and study desks.
Ask them to do homework on their own and with least interference
from your side.
Ask probing questions about different topics and issues.
Once you introduce various learning activities, your next goal
should focus at enabling your children to take responsibility for
their own learning and actions. All of us are humans and we make
mistakes. Your children are no different from you. They will make
many mistakes and commit a number of blunders. To buttress the
process of learning, you may need to encourage your child to analyze
the progress achieved, as well as the results acquired because of
all learning activities. This could be a tedious task for your young
and immature children. However, you can help them to note down
mistakes and errors committed during the learning process. This
activity will help them learn the basic skills of evaluation and
This is a difficult task and you should not expect too much from
your child at this delicate stage. Nevertheless, you can provide a
stable launch pad for your children to learn the most basic aspects
of independent learning as well as thinking.
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