Life Skills for Children A-Z – L is for Learning to Learn

Children’s minds grow at a phenomenal rate. A considerable amount of learning takes place naturally and in keeping with their own strengths and weaknesses but when children start school… bam! We suddenly push them into a world that is completely foreign. They are forced to fit into a standard way of working, sitting, thinking, writing and approaching things that will mirror that of all the other children in their class. Often they begin to face difficulties and insecurities.

While you can’t learn for them, there are a few things you can do as a parent to help them develop life-long learning skills.

Help Them Figure Out What Kind of Learner They Are

Your child will learn a lot more effectively if you can help them figure out what kind of learner they are and how to tailor their learning accordingly.

Organise Their Time

Teach your child how to organise their time. Introduce them to the benefits of to-do lists daily and weekly plans. With these tools they set realistic goals and experience success in achieving.

If there never seems to be enough time, have them keep a time diary and write down all their activities. They, and you, will be surprised at how much time can be wasted so easily. You might even want to do this yourself (you’ll come up with a few surprises I can tell you!).

You will also need to look at times of day. I work great in the morning but I’m totally useless late afternoon and evening. Hubby on the other hand, is the complete opposite – a total night owl. Your children will have their own natural rhythms too. Help them find out what they are and use them to learn effectively.

Organise Their Space

Help them identify a space where they work best. This will differ for different children. Some prefer the solitude of a desk in their room, others the dining room table with you nearby. Talk this through with them, ask questions and help them find out where they work most productively. Use a little trial and error.

Help Them Understand

Bring them up with the knowledge that it’s okay not to know something. Nobody knows everything but the thing that makes achievers stand out is there willingness to ask if they don’t understand. Train your child to ask when they don’t understand.

Instil a Good Work Ethic

The results we get are directly comparable to the effort we put in. Ensure your child learns how to stay with the job and the importance of doing it well. It doesn’t matter if it’s a homework assignment, cleaning their room, making a meal, taking out the rubbish or piano practice. Everyone needs the attitude that if they’re going to do it, they should do it to the best of their ability.

Work ethics are so important I’m planning a future article on how to inspire them so please stay tuned.

Be Honest

We bang on today about how learning should be fun, how dreadful teachers fail to entertain or make the subjects interesting. While all this is very valid, learning also boils down to one key fact: Learning is HARD WORK. Pure and simple. There’s no getting away from it. Learning IS hard work. If you work hard you get positive results. If you don’t – well, you end up with sloppy seconds.

Teach your children from the start that it’s up to them. If they do the work they’ll get the results. They shouldn’t just sit back passively and rely on someone to teach them and then grumble when they don’t learn. Their job is to actively educate themselves by working hard.

Learning to learn is a key life skill for children (and adults). Learning is in their hands. By taking control of their learning, CANDo kids and adults take control of their futures.

What tips and tricks have you used to teach your children work ethics, the importance of learning for themselves and how to improve learning skills? Send us a CANDo email.




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