Encouraging the Art of Self-Directed Learning in Kids

“I never teach my pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn”

The aforementioned quote by Sir Albert Einstein is one of my favorites!

As a learning evangelist, I always aspire to cultivate curiosity and independence in children because I firmly believe that it’s the first step for them to be self-directed learners. Children, during their early years of education, must be introduced to situations where they explore how to use resources to find answers to questions or to learn skills to solve problems.

Self-directed learners are not dependent on adults to help them complete tasks or projects. However, the assistance at certain levels is necessary.

Self-directed learning is not a trait that some children are born with and others aren’t; it is a skill that can be taught and nurtured in all children from a young age.

To experiment the same, we conducted an activity- SWAYAM at Sri Ram Foundation School in East Delhi.

We asked the students to create a room for themselves out of waste material- an effort they must consider being their dream project with a realistic deadline. From planning, delegating, basic structures, innovations to any kind of initiative, we gave children absolute independence to be able to curate their imaginations!

The best part of the activity was that it was completely taken up by the little ones, with assistance from our team only when requested.

The results have been astounding! It was an absolute delight to watch children exploring their potentials, putting in efforts to solve problems, creating opportunities for innovation and learning meaningfully with no stress through play.

Here’s why self-directed learning should be encouraged across the entire education sector, especially during the pre-school era-

IT IGNITES SELF-CONFIDENCE, INITIATIVE, PERSEVERANCE, AND SATISFACTION

When children are given control of a situation, they are likely to take up charge and create their own paths, thus inculcating leadership qualities and willingness to work in a team in them.

Self-directed learning evidently enhances a child’s ability to make self-affirming choices. The more we allow children to make their own decisions–with analyzing their own ideas, feelings, wants and needs and weighing them against available options, the more likely they are to grow into mature, sensible, productive and compassionate adults.

NO COMPETITION, BUT COLLABORATION

Children who are taught in their early years through self-directed learning are happier and more successful as they are not bound to be intellectually superior to others and negatively competitive. Their ability to grab hold of their ideas is mutually respected.

They are also better listeners and learners as they understand the concepts of cooperation and adorning other’s ideas at a tender age. Self- directed learning also helps the mind to be open and inquisitive.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IS ALWAYS MORE MEANINGFUL

A pre-defined curriculum, a standard set of rules, fixed timetables and the inability to consider individual interest can never allow an individual to be able to move towards self-directed learning.

It is always better to actually build and sail a boat rather than merely read about how others have done so, or by surveying a plot of the ground rather than simply calculating the area of a polygon presented on a worksheet. During practical application of these concepts, a child is likely to make mistakes and learn from them!

HAPPINESS BREEDS MORE HAPPINESS

With no impositions, children become free to create, discuss, negotiate, design, and explore to serve their goals and values.

People who pursued self-directed learning in their early years of education are likely to work collaboratively and empower others rather than seek power over others. People who understand the relevance of making thoughtful choices are more likely to support self-direction in others too.

I, therefore, wish to encourage all the parents, teachers and children to take up charge of their situations and promote self-directed learning in every possible way!

Advertisements

Learning How to Learn

learning how to learn (3)

From where does education begin for a child?

As per my understanding as an educator and as a parent, real education begins before a person learns to speak and continues throughout their entire life.

Children learn through their surroundings and all their future success, happiness and forthcomings depend on their ability to learn from these surroundings.

We all have significantly observed that this ability is stronger in infants than adults. As we grow up and start dwelling ourselves into the prevailing education system, we start adopting clichéd methods of learning and ultimately what we gain is not wisdom but just information- an information that doesn’t stay with us and withers away in no time.

It’s crucial to understand that learning is the key to a child’s future. But did you know there are tricks to learn?

Have you ever thought of teaching them those tricks, those simple methods that can make learning a joyful experience for your child?

House of Learning has exclusively designed programs that make children and adults undergo the process of learning in the most systematic and organized manner.

Listed are a few pointers that we work on-

MAKING YOUR CHILD WANT TO LEARN

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Most of the times, the concepts, and learning structures are designed in a way that the learner starts finding ways to escape studying. The idea is to create the want in a learner to know and to gain knowledge.

If your child would want to learn something, they’ll do it in every possible way. We must make them believe that there’s no end to the plethora of knowledge in this world and thinking you know it all wouldn’t work.

The idea is to drive the urge for knowledge in them- learning will become fun in itself!

THE ART OF QUESTIONING

Learning is not only reading about anything and grabbing information. It is actually about studying and asking a lot of questions.

We must liberate the child to be open to clearing all their doubts while they learn- this will help them explore and discover more and more.

The problem that prevails is that people are not aware of the right way to study and therefore learning becomes difficult for them.

IT’S NOT ABOUT PASSING EXAMS

Are you telling your child to learn from a textbook because he/she has a test to pass?

The race to finish curriculums, score exceptionally great and be the topper of the class leads to practices like rot learning and muddling information.

Every child has a pace with which he/she learns- but the whole rat race finishes their thirst for knowledge and leaves them helpless.

HOW IS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY LEARNING?

Someone has rightly said, if you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.

It’s imperative to acknowledge that how we learn is a much more important question than why we learn.

There are some tricks and techniques that educators have to make learning an interesting endeavor for a child. Overcoming barriers that disrupt the learning process is an extremely important step.

The solution is to identify them. We have to follow the right process to learn anything.

House of Learning aspires to bestow the students and educators (be it parents or teachers) the gift of learning, the gift of wisdom!

Are You Teaching Your Child the Right Set of Values?

Punctuality, respecting others, obeying authorities, following orderly routines, honesty, orientation, curiosity, persistence, rigor of thinking- all parents and teachers spend their entire lives imbibing good values into children.

But don’t you think, when with changing times, we have evolved ourselves in all other aspects of life, we need to broaden our perspectives when it comes to teaching children the right set of values too, the ones that are the need of the hour?

I say so because as a human being, I’ve witnessed the changing times and as a learning evangelist and trainer, I have also seen how these times have significantly affected the entire arena of child development.

Times in which the parents and teachers of today have grown up are entirely different from those in which our children are growing up! Our everyday challenges, chores, tasks are not similar to the ones our children undertake now.

Therefore, when it comes to imbibing values in them, we need to work on the level of intentions rather than instructions.

As per my experience of years of interaction with children, parents, and teachers from all walks of lives, these are a few of the CORE VALUES that we must inculcate in our child’s life-

  1. THE VALUE OF EXPERIMENTATION (OR TRYING)

All children are born experimenters. It’s amazing how they keep experimenting with everything that comes in their way without any hesitation or fear.

But what happens to this fearlessness as they grow up? Are we putting too much pressure on them to follow the mainstream?

You must remember that the more the child tries, the more the child explores. The more the child explores that more the child learns. The more the child learns, the more the child gathers raw material and tools for life!

Therefore, teach your child to value experiment. Even if they fail, they’ll definitely learn.

  1. THE VALUE OF CONSCIOUSNESS (OR FEELINGS)

Is your child able to judge his/her own conscience or simply acts without thinking? That’s where feelings come into the picture!

You must teach your child to be conscious of his or her feelings. Let their awareness of their feelings be a guide to what they should do and what they should not do.

Once this awareness comes, their behavior automatically becomes more regulated and their days become more rewarding and joyous.

  1. THE VALUE OF REFLECTION (OR THOUGHT)

As a child learns to experiment and be conscious of those, it is equally important to imbibe the value of reflection in them.

Once they’re in a situation, teach them the value of reflecting on their actions and introspecting their decisions. This will help them be thoughtful, make better decisions and progress in life.

  1. THE VALUE OF OPENNESS (OR BEING NON-JUDGMENTAL)

Living in a world where a major chunk of people are following a standard set of rules and running in the rat race, we too limit ourselves, form opinions, create assumptions, jump to conclusions, develop preconceived notions and mentally block ourselves about things, people, and situations.

We open multiple pathways of growth and happiness when we move away from judgmental about what’s good or bad, right or wrong.

We must teach our children from the beginning the value of being effective and constantly improve themselves through being flexible and open.

  1. THE VALUE OF STRENGTH (OR PASSION)

We can’t possibly cut effectively from the blunt side of a knife and there’s no point sharpening it too.

You should rather further sharpen the sharp edge and to make it more incisive. Then with minimum effort, you will be able to create maximum effect.

Therefore, teach your child to be confident about their strength and passion. Valuing their strength will further boost their confidence to do exceptionally well.

More than teaching about honesty, responsibility, loyalty, humility, justice, respect etc., you should rather teach children these and let them experience, understand and choose whichever values they want to use to lead their own life with honor and happiness.