Independent learning is a method students use to get information outside of the traditional classroom. When students are forced to be in authority of their learning, they take that with them throughout high school, college, and beyond. Independence is truly one of life’s greatest gifts. Yet, most people never take the time to learn to be self-goals. There are many reasons why this should be done, but perhaps the most obvious reason is that people who are not self-goals often become very good learners.
Students who love to learn are independent thinkers. This does not mean they don’t follow rules or do things in the right way, but they are able to think for themselves and learn from their own experience. If a child has strong independent learning skills, he/she will most likely excel in all areas of life.
Independent Learning Skills
One way to help encourage independence in your students is to give them options. This means you need to have a few different independent learning programs to suit the interests of each particular student. For instance, some students may be naturally more comfortable working with materials on their own, so you may wish to include worksheets and tests that require the use of materials.
On the other hand, some students may prefer language learning that involves more group activities. Group activities such as storytime, group projects, or even going on field trips can help students develop strong independent skills. While independent learning skills are the ideal skills for many students, there are some areas of learning where using materials outside of the traditional classroom is helpful. When students have options as to how they will learn, they are more likely to pick an activity that fits their learning style.
If you feel you need to give independent learning more props, there are a few things you can do. The first is to offer your learners textbooks or websites that are relevant to the material to read. If you have some interesting, engaging independent learning programs to share, you can even give your readers the resources they need to engage with it. You can also add a text to your website that offers something new that you’ve learned; that way, people can enjoy a surprise each time they visit. It’s also good to give your learners choices in how they will receive your material-whether they will receive it in print or learn it online.
A Much Ado
At the high school and middle school level, your goals for independent study are quite different than those for college. When you start out at the middle school and high school level, you want to begin to develop independent study skills. Most of all, you want your independent study skills to be able to stand on their own. After all, if you spend a whole semester or a year developing independent study skills that only work when you’re in a class, you might as well get a Master’s degree because you’re wasting your time! As you complete your independent studies, you will have developed strong independent study skills that will serve you well throughout college and beyond.
There are many ways you can develop strong independent study skills. One way that many students gravitate toward is independent reading. If you prefer reading as a class activity, you can use your notes and notebooks to write independent research papers, poems, essays, and other reading materials. You can then turn these materials into references you can show to your professors or others when you need references. Because you spent a lot of time researching and writing the independent papers, your research and written work will look better because of this extra work.
Of course, working independently doesn’t always mean you are writing an essay or doing research. Many independent learners take control of projects like computer-aided design (CAD) designs, 3D visualization, or architectural drawings. These skills can be used for business projects, art projects, or even just for fun around the house! In fact, many independent learners get jobs by using their skills for fun and for profit. Learn more today by exploring the skills you can use for self-directed learning.