5 Ways to Encourage Children to Become Confident Lifelong Learners

We understand that not all children will use the Pythagorean Theorem as an adult, nor will they necessarily have to analyze Shakespearean tragedies. So, why are teachers making children endure these lessons? Why is this information embedded into school curricula? 

Everything children are taught in school should be an opportunity for them to learn how to learn, as the most essential academic lesson is to teach children to become lifelong learners. 

As such, studying geometry is less about memorizing theorems than it is about learning to problem solve. Studying history is less about memorizing facts and dates than it is about teaching children to develop a global understanding of our world. 

Learning how to learn helps children to develop individualized strategies that will enable them to thrive in and out of the classroom. So, while children are mired down by memorizing theorems, dates, and endless facts, how can we teach them to learn? Here are 5 ways to encourage children to become confident, lifelong learners.

  1. Emphasize Aspiration. Willing learners are less resistant to trying new things, which is a critical component of becoming a successful, lifelong learner. Typically, children focus on taking the easy, the quick, way out of a situation so that they do not have to expend extra time and effort. Rather than focusing on the negative or the quick fix, it is important to encourage children to be patient and open to trying new things. Suggest that there are benefits to taking on a more challenging approach. Being open to new ideas, new topics, children develop their ability to be creative and to problem solve. 
  1. Make Problem-Solving Into a Regular Activity. Rather than making problem solving about math homework or science experiments, every routine activity at home can include a problem to solve, a challenge to overcome. Add more questions into your conversations rather than simply giving children directions or answers. Start with something relatively simple. “How do you think we can stack these dishes in the dishwasher so that nothing breaks?” When you’re driving somewhere with your child, take out Waze or Google Maps, and ask your child to determine the most efficient route to your destination. Constantly encouraging and enabling your child to problem solve will facilitate this process for them in the classroom and throughout their lives. 
  1. Emphasize Effort Over Results. Not everything has to be perfect. Emphasize the importance of trying new things and a willingness to take risks rather than getting everything right. Give your children room to make mistakes, and teach them that they can learn from their mistakes. Praise children for their efforts rather than their ability to get something right. So when your children are writing lab reports for a science class, praise them for their hard work rather than their results. In the end, children will work harder and get better results when they feel that those around them value their efforts. 
  1. Encourage Curiosity. This is one of the most important aspects of becoming a lifelong learner. Children have to crave information, desire a greater understanding of the world around them, and look for new discoveries to truly become a lifelong learner. Curiosity is what encourages children to try something until they can find a solution or process by which to understand it. Lifelong learners focus on asking themselves “curious questions” about random topics, as they are keenly aware of and interested in the world around them. 
  1. Encourage Your Child to be Self-Aware. Teach your children to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Teach your children that it is important to ask clarifying questions, and they should not pretend to understand any concepts that they cannot grasp. Encourage your children to read directions and to approach every task using a methodical, step by step mindset. Being aware of expectations, processes, as well as personal strengths and weaknesses will help your children to become more confident learners and to feel more positive about the process of learning. 

GAMECHANGER Tutoring Connection is dedicated to helping children become confident, lifelong learners. Contact GAMECHANGER Tutoring Connection to work with tutors who will foster a love of learning and connect your kids to confidence. 


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