How can we encourage and teach our children to be independent, confident learners in the classroom? At Basis Independent Brooklyn, a PreK-grade 12 private school rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, students learn how to proactively take ownership of their education.
Read through the following tips on motivating your children to grow their self-advocacy in the classroom so they can approach the outside world with confidence!
Teach students to be self-aware of their learning needs
When students know how, when, where, and why they learn best, they can better become self-directed learners. Help them figure out what creates a positive learning space at school: is background music comforting or distracting? Are there too many items on their desk to play with? Are other students being too noisy? What can help limit distractions or help maintain focus during studying and homework?
Making these observations allows students to learn how to assess what their needs are, how they work most effectively, and how to maintain better learning habits.
Encourage students to become proactive problem solvers
We can often be too quick to solve problems for our children. By providing solutions for them, we deprive them of the chance to learn how to cope with certain situations or think critically about how to resolve something. In order to teach children to advocate for themselves in school, we must encourage them to seek their own answers starting in the home.
If your child brings up an issue or a question, ask the following in return: "What are your options on how to solve this?" "What steps did you learn in class on how to figure this out?" Or, "Why do you think this was the outcome and how can you change things next time?" This puts the heavy thinking and responsibility back on the child.
Help students utilize support avenues at school
It is important that students know who they can go to at school for support and guidance, and that they feel confident asking for help. It could be a school dean who will be there if a student is having personal concerns or feeling anxious about a certain class, or maybe a peer mentor group that offers leadership and academic support. Learning to ask for help builds children's autonomy; it opens up the lines of communication and support, so they feel confident to tackle whatever comes their way.
Empower students with accountability
Accountability inspires children to do more, try harder, and learn from mistakes. When students are accountable for their learning in the classroom (are they paying attention, are they asking questions, are the collaborating with others, are they seeking direction, etc.), they become active participants in their education. Students who learn to own their education become their own self-advocates, poised to pursue their greatest ambitions, passions, and dreams.
If you're curious to learn more about how BASIS Independent Manhattan helps students gain the independence, confidence, and grit necessary to excel inside and outside the classroom, join us at one of our upcoming events. You can also check out our website for details about our nationally acclaimed curriculum and the expert teachers who bring it to life every day.
Accepting applications for Fall 2018. Learn more.
BASIS Independent Brooklyn