How to Help Your Child Become a Self-Learner

how to become a self learner at a young age

Each year during this time, your child starts a new school year full of learning. Although traditional classroom teaching is a familiar structure, those who develop self-directed learning skills gain an invaluable tool that will stay with them throughout their lifetime. Courses and programs, such as those offered by Ivy Camps USA, will help children become independent students.

Traditional classroom learning is often categorized as passive learning, a method of learning where students receive information from the teacher to internalize. Adding self-directed learning into your student’s repertoire builds on their existing academic strengths. It challenges them to use what they know to learn something new independently. When a child is a self-learner, they become active, involved, and engaged in their educational path.

A self-learning approach can help your child succeed in several areas:

  • Effective communication
  • Higher education preparation
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Retention
  • Self-confidence
  • Technological skills
  • And more!

So, how can you help your child become a self-learner? Check out these four tips below

1. Start with what your child is already passionate about

Chances are there are subject areas that foster and pique your child’s curiosity and interest. Encourage them to dive deeper into a topic they enjoy. For example, your eight-year-old has a fondness for music, especially a particular song. Advocate that they explore the history of a specific musical instrument, how it’s made, etc. From there, your child may decide that they would like to begin taking lessons and begins to research further.

2. Do activities together

Activities such as reading aloud, creating a home library, playing math bingo, or putting together an interactive science kit foster positive associations for self-learning and self-guided exploration. Plus, when children observe parents’ enthusiasm for a subject, they are more likely to develop a natural curiosity and love for the same topics, and encourages them to investigate.

3. Help fill in any gaps

At first, you may discover gaps that the traditional classroom model creates in its one-size-fits-all method. It might be difficult for your child to select, explore and stick with a topic at first, especially if the foundation for self-learning hasn’t previously been present. However, providing encouragement and helping students achieve that feeling of accomplishment is key to unlocking the door to self-discovery and ambition. 

4. Consider an after-school learning program

Supplemental educational programs, such as Ivy Camps USA, offer interactive online or in-person courses for ages 6-18, including after-school and pre-university workshops. Programs like those often offer a free sample class, so you and your student can get a feel for how the programs are structured.

Once a child begins to practice and develop self-guided learning, the options are limitless. Self-learning opens the door to building lifelong skills: cognitive skills to stay focused, retention on what has been learned and applying that knowledge in new ways, open communication, sound reasoning, and innovative problem-solving skills. Self-learners are well-rounded, caring individuals with a passion and zeal for life that passive learning cannot teach. It is a gift that allows children to be the facilitator of their dreams.

Ivy Camps USA develops self-learning and independent thinking skills through courses and programs in a hands-on environment taught by top Ivy League students. And, because we offer programs in over 40 countries, your students will have the opportunity to learn from their global peers. Discover more at

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