How can a child benefit from taking responsibility for their own learning?

Apr 2012
By taking responsibility, your child will be able to get a better idea of what they are best at.

Giving children independence, in whatever form, can be a tough decision for a parent. We want to look after them as much as possible, so giving them some independence can be unnerving.

But, as any parent knows, most children crave some form of independence from a young age. Whether it is being able to walk to school on their own, going out with friends, or even just having some privacy in their room.

Each parent will have their own ways of allowing their child independence, but there's no denying it is a vital part of growing up. The same is true of education.

All parents care about how their child is progressing at school, and take a keen interest in things like homework and learning timetables. But encouraging a child to take responsibility for their own learning schedule can have endless benefits.

Encouraging responsibility
It may seem like a risky move to take a step back from your child's learning schedule, but it doesn't have to be that drastic.

By asking them what work they have to do, rather than telling them, they'll be given a sense of responsibility as a result of some added independence.

You can still monitor their progress from a distance, and step in if help is needed, but giving your child some space will help them develop learning skills on their own.

Teaching problem solving
Homework is a pretty useless exercise if you are always helping your child with it. So instead of sitting down with them each night to go through it, encourage your child to attempt it on their own before asking for help.

By trying to tackle their homework on their own, your child will learn to face challenges head-on, as well as developing problem-solving skills.

Identifying strengths and weaknesses
By taking responsibility for their own learning, your child will be able to get a much better idea of what they are best at – and what they need to work harder at.

Realising strengths and weaknesses of your children, and what they do and don't enjoy, is invaluable to a child's educational development, and will help them throughout their time at school.