Self-Directed Education: Children Can Teach Themselves Too

If you homeschool, no need to be an expert! Your child can still achieve success and master self-discipline. Children don’t need to be constantly overseen or criticized; they actually can self-teach rather instinctively. You can rest easy knowing this fact. As humans, we have an innate ability to self-educate, allowing us to thrive with little to no direction as we master essential skills and abilities in our day-to-day lives.

It is normal as children get older and experience their environment more, that they will want to absorb as much as they can as often as they can. Children are extremely observant, and they are constantly watching the actions of their parents, siblings, and other people around them. This intrigues them, and it is also how skills are learned. Babies observe how we walk and eventually attempt to do so on their own. The same concept applies to education, and young people will naturally want to mimic the examples that they see.

Parents shouldn’t be afraid to encourage, self-directed education. This is not to say that young people don’t need supervision. However, when it comes to every single aspect of their daily lives, especially learning, children can direct themselves just fine on their own accord. It is very common for children to be constantly nitpicked and corrected, and this can be counterproductive since they can often learn more on their own than with someone over their shoulder at every moment.

Parents should still be involved in their child’s education. Finding a healthy balance between supervised and self-directed learning is key. Parents should create an environment that is conducive to healthy learning and loaded with educational tools. They can select certain times to distance themselves and allow their kids to learn at their pace and in their own way. Children thrive best when given the space to discover and interact with their environment.

Social play is how kids learn to self-educate. They will practice copying what they observe from those around them and if they have any issues, the child will seek out help. They know the parent will be there when support is needed. Children will continuously challenge themselves to practice what they see since that is how they learn to function in society as adults do. Self-directed learning can allow kids to teach themselves a variety of skills such as reading, writing, drawing, and talking even without much adult assistance.

Self-directed learning leads to self-discipline and social play also helps kids learn people skills such as social etiquette and moral values. As well-meaning as parents are, an excess of supervision or hovering can negatively affect a child’s education. Social play encourages independence, self-motivation, and productivity. Children instinctively teach themselves and discover and master new and useful skills, often without any prompting. Restricting or eliminating social play would be doing children a disservice when it comes to their educational development.

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