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7 Keys to Independent Learning

January is the perfect time to help your young student resolve to make positive changes that will enhance the rest of his school year. It’s an opportunity to let him assume more responsibility, and to grow and mature as a student. Here are seven lessons to teach your early elementary student that will help her grow into a more independent learner:

  • Clear, concise work leads to fewer errors. Help your child understand that taking the time to print neatly is important.
  • Be mindful of and consistent with routines. For example, homework goes into the backpack when completed. Keep the backpack in the same place, for easy access in the morning.
  • Always go back and check your work. Checking for math errors or misspelled words gives your child the opportunity to self-correct.
  • Just get started. Even when things look new or difficult, help her understand that task avoidance is not a good strategy.
  • Persistence matters. Don’t give up when facing new and challenging work. If one strategy doesn’t work, try another.
  • Ask for help. After trying yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Help her understand that everyone needs help now and then.
  • Discover their best learning style. If she is a visual learner, help her “picture” answers. If she learns best by listening, give her auditory clues to use, such as a “days of the week” or a vowel song. If she’s a hands-on learner, give her opportunities to “spell” words with magnetic letters or Play-Doh.


By helping your child become an independent learner, you increase her self-confidence and motivation to learn—and that leads to school success!

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