How to encourage independent learning in your child?
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How to encourage independent learning in your child?

With most classes now conducted in a mix of both in-person and online sessions, students are expected to engage in what is known as independent learning. Independent learning is a mode of learning where students take charge of their learning process through identifying their own learning needs, and the resources they require in order to learn best. 

Learning independently through digital screens can be challenging even for the most motivated individuals. In fact, the shift towards online independent learning has not been an easy adjustment for everyone. As a parent, you may find yourself struggling to cope with the demands between household responsibilities and helping your kid adjust to this fairly new mode of learning. “Am I doing this right?”, “How much should I be intervening with my child’s learning?”, are some questions that can run through your mind. 

Maximising your child’s independent learning with Snapask

As this mode of learning is considered relatively new for your child and yourself, the transition may require some time. There is no easy way to overcome the challenges associated with online independent learning. With over 250,000 top-tier college tutors and 35,000 active users in Singapore, Snapask is well-equipped to support Primary, Secondary and Junior College students in their online learning journey. An all-in-one learning app for 7-18 years, Snapask believes in providing quality education to all. With curated lesson plans in line with the MOE curriculum, tutors include ex-MOE tutors and professional tutors with years of experience. Not only that, there is also an abundance of study resources and targeted practices which sharpen skills in the subject. 

Benefits of independent learning

Independent learning has its fair share of benefits. At best, it transforms students to become self-directed learners and encourages them to explore different ways of learning apart from what they have been instructed by their school teachers. Research has demonstrated that independent learning also enables individuals to improve their learning ability, motivation and life-long learning skills. 

Important considerations for independent learning

Here are a few important considerations to bear in mind when it comes to maximising independent learning for your child:

1. Understand the stages of independent learning

As a parent, you can support your child’s learning by familiarising and involving yourself in each of the four key stages of independent learning:

  • Stage 1: Access readiness to learn 

This stage involves evaluating your child’s current skill sets and attitudes for independent learning. As a parent, you can play a part in increasing your child’s readiness for independent learning by instilling good study attitudes and resourcefulness. When your child comes to you with a problem, as tempting as it may be to solve it for them, you can guide them to find their own answers by using the online platform which is the Instant Homework help and Live Consultation – meant to clarify doubts in real-time by Snapask. Subjects include English, Maths, Science and more for Pri-JC levels. There is also an abundance of exam resources such as exam papers, notes and more to prepare for exams. This empowers your child to make decisions on their own and feel more confident in learning independently.

  • Stage 2: Set learning goals 

In this step, learning goals are communicated between the online teaching instructor and the student. Learning goals can involve the scope of study, learning rules, grading procedures and how feedback is communicated. One of the best things you can do as a parent is to ensure that these learning goals implemented are specific, measurable and are reviewed on a regular basis. Additionally, you can encourage your child to set aside a fixed time window for studying each week. Having a weekly timetable and regular scheduled routines are important elements for a successful independent learning outcome.

  • Stage 3: Engage in the learning process 

As parents, you will also need to understand that every child has a different pace of learning. Try to keep an open dialogue with your child in order to get them to open up their needs to you. For instance, some kids may need more screen breaks in order to focus their attention better. 

In a remote learning setting, timely feedback from tutors is paramount in keeping students engaged. Students can seek step-by-step guidance via the “Instant Homework Help” function featured in Snapask App. A tutor will be matched instantly within three minutes to clarify any homework or academic questions posed. Prompt response from tutors increases engagement, which improves the child’s ability and motivation to learn.

  • Stage 4: Evaluate learning 

This step aims to evaluate learning through your child’s academic progress. Monitor your child’s learning by ensuring that they are keeping track of their learning goals and progress periodically with their online instructors. You can also evaluate your child’s academic progress by using the after-class practice worksheets and mock-exam papers provided by Snapask

Instead of punishing your child when they fall short of their goals, assure them that it is part of the process and encourage them to make adjustments. This helps your child develop a “growth mindset” where they will see challenges as opportunities and hence be more motivated to improve and eventually have a higher chance of meeting their desired outcomes.

2. Make home environment conducive

Home environments are usually filled with many distractions, which can make it harder for children to learn effectively from home. Parents can do what they can to provide a quiet physical space for their kids that is conducive for learning, away from distractions. Learning environment also goes beyond the physical space. Positive involvement from parents in the form of encouragement plays an integral part in making it a safe environment for children to seek help. Showing genuine interest in your child’s learning and offering timely help with their homework can keep them motivated.

3. Take breaks from screens

One of the challenges that come with online learning is also digital eye strain. Too much time with digital devices can cause eye conditions such as myopia and other minor eye irritations such as burning and stinging. Vision care experts recommend these guidelines to help avoid digital eye strain while using digital devices:

  • Take frequent breaks while using digital devices. Use the simple 20-20-20 rule- For every 20 minutes of screen usage, look away for 20 seconds by focusing on something that is 20 feet away.
  • Encourage your child to engage in 2 hours of outdoors daily
  • Keep your child’s eyes an arm’s distance away from the screen

Independent learning strategy

A well-developed independent learning strategy is one where the child feels supported through each of the independent learning stages. Understanding how you can support your children in the different stages of independent learning, creating a conducive home environment, and incorporating frequent screen breaks are essential factors when it comes to optimising online independent learning for your kids! 

The good news is you don’t have to figure all of this out alone! Fortunately, there are resources to help you in supporting your kid’s learning journey at home. If you are a parent or caregiver looking at how to facilitate your child with online independent learning, look no further.  Snapask Regular Class offers personalised lesson plans by incorporating your child’s unique learning needs and interests. Painstakingly developed by Snapask’s in-house team of educators, the lessons have been tailored to mirror the MOE curriculum and subject syllabus. With a fixed affordable rate, you’ll get access to quality features such as:

  • Weekly online class with ex-MOE tutors 
  • Targeted after-class practices, notes, mock exam papers 
  • Live consultation sessions with tutors 
  • Student-centric schedule to learn at your own pace

If this piques your interest, you may enjoy a $40 off with promo code “40PLANO” for all Snapask Regular Class sign-ups. Find out more here.

This article was sponsored by Snapask.

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