5 Characteristics of an Independent Learner

Updated: Jul 17

An independent learner teaches herself the Python coding language.

It is important to teach our children to become independent learners. Becoming an independent learner will not only help them in their academic career, but also in their adult life. But what habits can turn a child into an independent learner, and what are the benefits?

An Independent Learner Asks Questions

Asking questions improves a child’s understanding of a topic. No question is “right” or “wrong.” All questions give the child more information about a topic than they had before.

You can encourage children who are afraid to ask questions by making a fun activity out of it. One such activity involves popsicle sticks and a cup. First, you offer the child a popsicle stick. Then, the child writes their name down on the stick and places it in a cup. Finally, you draw the stick from the cup, call out the child’s name, and have them ask a question.

They Collaborate with Others

Teamwork makes the dream work. Having your child work with other children, or even one of our private tutors, will boost their leadership skills and communication skills. It will also build their ability to trust others, encourage healthy risk-taking, and lower their stress levels. Together, all of these habits will ultimately allow your child to become a more independent learner.

An Independent Learner is Creative

Creativity increases your child’s productivity. Challenge your child to create something that they have always wanted to build, or take them for a walk to help them clear their heads for brainstorming.

They Also Take Risks

Failure is the greatest teacher. Unfortunately, our society stigmatizes risk-taking. As a result, too many people never experience failure, and are paralyzed by the unknown. Having your child take risks will help them build their confidence. It will also help their decision-making skills, which is an important part of becoming an independent learner. Being able to make decisions confidently will improve your child’s problem-solving skills in the long run.

And They Persevere Even When the Going Gets Tough

It is important to encourage children to persevere. Teach your child how good it feels when they save up for a video game console and finally own it. Give them small goals that they can easily accomplish. Help them create a plan if they’re willing to work towards a big goal.

For example, maybe your child would like to be first chair in their band class. You can help your child reach this goal by creating a calendar that shows which dates and times they should be practicing. Review your child’s routine from time to time. If their routine is not working, help them understand why and share your child’s frustration. If their routine is working, celebrate their wins as they achieve their goals!

Benefits of Being an Independent Learner

Your child will benefit from becoming an independent learner because they will:

  1. Have more passion for life

  2. Be more curious

  3. Learn how to learn

  4. Be able to manage their time

  5. Be able to focus on processes, not just goals

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