boys cutting paper shapes in classroom
Cognitive Learning,  Early Learning,  Tips and Advice

Nurturing Self-Directed Learning In Younger Kids

Self-directed learning is an amazing skill to introduce to your kids at an early age. I believe that kids learn through play everyday, and self-directed learning encourages them to pursue their strengths which is golden.

I believe it’s important for us parents and caregivers to constantly nurture it in our children as they grow up into confident and responsible kids. 

Helping our children learn is such an important roll as parents, but it is equally important that they are able to learn on their own, so I thought I would provide some great tips on nurturing self-directed learning in younger kids.

Take a look below!

playdoh self learning
  1. Build Trust With Patience

We’ve all heard it before, patience is a virtue. Well I don’t know about yours, but my kids often require double patience, which in return builds trust and confidence. Having the patience to allow them the space to learn and practice is so important.

For instance, if you’re teaching your child to tie their shoelaces, giving them that time to continue trying on their own allows then to have a victory of their own. A conducive environment that embraces failure as part of life allows them to feel confident during their learning.

Even childcare or daycare centers they attend should have a similarly supportive environment. Some early childhood centers, like A Country Garden and others, have perfected the art of building trust with children, and they’re witnessing incredible results. Such a supportive environment goes a long way to enhancing kids’ learning experiences.

Inventive kids enjoying science lesson at school
  1. Adopt The Right Technology

In the digital era, technology should not be the only source of learning, but it comes in handy. You can find excellent learning techniques if you adopt the right technology. For example, tablet devices can have so many avenues to help your child build skills, but some of these options can also be counterproductive.

My advice is to set time limits for independent learning and look for learning options that limit over-stimulation.Aside from tech, you can take advantage of dozens of awesome learning toys that foster growth. Remember, learning through play is excellent for kids.

  1. Believe In Your Kid’s Abilities

This one goes a long way. When we believe that they can figure things out, we naturally give them more space to learn. This leads to more self-directed learning. Applaud their work and let them know that you knew you could do it! Simple words can boost their confidence and significantly impact their self-esteem. I’m always at the forefront, cheering them on with everything they do. 

  1. Limit Too Much Criticism

It always amazes me how adults seem to expect kids to act like adults. The expectations often create an environment for criticism that can limit independent play and confidence.

Allowing kids to learn from their mistakes, unless it’s dangerous, can have wonderful effects on their ability to handle learning on their own. 

Self-directed learning relies on intrinsic motivation, which often comes from confidence and the desire to explore.

  1. Encourage Curiosity

Children that ask lots of questions can be a lot but it’s sooo worth it! Creating a space that spikes their curiosity helps them learn quickly and effectively. That’s the power of self-directed learning.

Group of happy children of boys and girls run in day care. Kids play in kindergarten
  1. Help Them Overcome Disappointment in Healthy Ways

One of the best ways to become good at self-directed learning is for kids to learn how to navigate small frustrations and continue learning. This of course will not happen overnight, but guiding our children to handle frustrations with helpful solutions will take them a long way in life.

Self-directed learning is vital skill that can start to develop at a young age. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your child grow in their ability to independently play and learn the many life lessons they may encounter.

Please comment below and let me know if you have any additional ways to foster self-directed learning! I would love to see those additional ideas!

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