Teach By Example:  Model Self Directed Learning For Your Child

Posted by Kate Myers on August 18, 2016
Kate Myers

Learn Something New Self Directed Learning 

As our children get older, more of their education falls into the category of “you get out what you put in,” but many students who have been led by the hand through best private elementary school in california and middle school years struggle with this transition. There are many ways to ease this transition, but one of the simplest (and, of course, most difficult) ways to help your student is to teach by example. 

Self directed learning will reap dividends in your life, help you build the skills to live according to your calling, and encourage your child to do the same. The hardest part is developing discipline and modeling it for them in spite of the hurdles you must overcome to do so. 

Step 1: Try Something New

When we get older, it becomes easier to stop trying new things. We have spent so long making excuses about what we can and can’t do or do and do not have time for that we don’t stretch ourselves. Doing new things is difficult and a skill the young have to master out of lack of experience, but mature adults often fabricate comfort zones that don’t require stretching. 

Build your curiosity. Don’t go for difficulty or impressiveness. Start with something you need or are interested in. It can be anything, home management systems, cooking classes, or building engines.

Step 2: Set Your Goal

Tell your family about what you want to learn and how you are going to learn it. The best way to achieve your goals is to make them SMART:

Specific  - be clear

Measurable - set milestones

Achievable - able to be done

Realistic - know your limits and stretch them steadily

Timely - give yourself a deadline

Step 3: Read, Think, Apply

Do research and learn what you need to learn. Find the direction you need to take in your new adventure and don’t get stuck in one area.  Read up on your subject, think about it, and then do something about it. Contracting researcher’s disease is a threat. Researching for the sake of the research can impede your progress in learning because it can prevent trying of something new. As adults we need to remember we can’t learn everything about something before we try it and as G.K. Chesterton said, "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” 

So, read a bit, think about it, and apply the knowledge. Milk is only nourishing if you drink it or cook with it. If you milk the cow and then observe it until the flies gather, it won’t be beneficial. 

Step 4: Ask Questions; Get Answers

Doing new things makes us think in new ways resulting in questions. Find the best answers you can in skilled, knowledgable teachers. There are dozens of resources for continuing education from auditing college classes, listening to lectures on iTunes, specialized stores, and dedicated blogs and forums. Once you have an answer, use it and move on to the next task. 

Step 5: The Best Way to Learn is to Teach

Once you have learned something new, teach those around you. Share the skills and knowledge you have garnered and reinforce your knowledge by teaching it. Many students struggle with different subjects because they don’t know why they should bother. As you share your newfound skill, remind them of the value of learning things, why what you chose matters to you, and that they should share what they learn too. 

Bonus Step: Be Consistent

Keep it up, no matter how difficult it might seem. Don’t get stuck on any step, but press on for the benefit of your entire family. Be sure to make time for your students to share what they learn and value the time investment they have put into their first job, learning.  

It is more important to do something everyday than once in a great while. Enjoy what you learn.Struggle through the hard parts. Be thankful for your ability to continue to grow and share that with others.  

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Topics: Learning