Close
Language?
English
Español
Homework & study skills

At a Glance: 5 Ways to Help Tweens and Teens Be Independent Learners

By Amanda Morin

52Found this helpful

Using rewards and consequences can help kids with learning and attention issues work on challenges. But there are other ways to encourage your child in middle and high school to do more critical thinking on his own.

52Found this helpful
At a Glance: 5 Ways to Help Tweens and Teens Be Independent Learners

As your child gets older, it’s important to motivate him to learn for the sake of learning rather than to earn rewards. Here are some strategies to promote independent learning in middle and high school.

1. Encourage curiosity.
Provide informal opportunities for learning. Keep magazines or travel brochures around the house. Take him to museums or places of historical interest. Independent learners want to learn for the sake of learning rather than to earn rewards or avoid consequences.

2. Challenge your child to question things he reads on social media.
Help your child get into the habit of thinking critically. You might ask him to find out if a quote that’s being passed around on social media is real or fake. You could say, “Can you help me figure out if Mark Twain really said that?”

3. Incorporate storytelling into daily life.
Ask him to tell you about his day, starting from when he got up until the moment he got home. Encourage him to describe what he saw, heard, thought and felt. This can also help him build writing skills.

4. Help your child take control of how he spends his time.
Get your child into the habit of deciding which tasks can be done right now (such as gathering homework supplies), which tasks he wants to accomplish in the short term (such as finishing all of his homework by 5pm) and what he wants to work on long-term (such as training for a marathon).

5. Talk about current events or controversial ideas.
Look for opportunities to engage your child in meaningful conversation. It’s great to get him so interested in a topic that he wants to do his own research so he can come back and discuss the ideas further.
Graphic of How to help your teen or tween become an independent learner
Graphic of How to help your teen or tween become an independent learner

What’s Next

About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin

A parent advocate and former teacher, Amanda Morin is the proud mom of kids with learning and attention issues and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

More by this author

Reviewed by Jenn Osen-Foss, M.A.T. Jun 26, 2014 Jun 26, 2014

Did you find this helpful?

Comments

What’s New on Understood

facebook
twitter
pinterest
googleplus
email