6 Ways to Help Your Child Take Control of Their Own Learning
By Enid Camacho, Middle School Principal
Parents play an essential component in their children’s learning process. Supporting your child through reflective questioning helps them organize their thoughts and subsequently their materials and performance. Each of Robinson’s International Baccalaureate components: Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and Diploma Programme (DP), not only emphasize academic rigor to prepare our students with a rounded education, but they also focus in developing in students their approaches to learning to develop a toolbox for future academic endeavors.
As the first days of Back to School begin to boil down and students settle into more formal routines, they soon realize the number of skills they need to acquire. Being mindful of their learning is a common strategy used in education today. In other words, it is helping students to be conscious of how they learn through reflection in order to improve their practice. These strategies and skills known as formative assessments performed in varied scenarios help students practice communication, collaboration and self-management in early stages, as they develop skills that are more challenging such as research and critical thinking. In the process of developing the ability to recognize their talents and limitations as opportunities for growth, students begin to internalize how learning becomes a self-driven task.
Parents can help in scaffolding the process of transition to higher demands as they develop more independence.
- Agenda– Check your child’s agenda daily to track assignments. Use the colors assigned to each subject.
- Preparation– creating a checklist with the needed materials for the next school day helps them begin the day smoothly and ready to learn.
- Books and Materials– Make sure your child has all the school supplies available for the school day. This will avoid missing important information and interruption of classes.
- Technology – Make sure students create a system of folders for class and follow the same organization as their paper components on their digital devices. In addition, having devices charged and ready to go will help them transition to the activity with ease.
- Study Area – Separate a study area at home away from distraction and add a monthly calendar to help students plan ahead for assignments and extracurricular activities. Planning ahead of time will avoid last minute stress and overlapping of assignments.
- Homework– have your child revise their work every day to be ready to ask questions the next day if necessary and avoid accumulating material.
21st Century Research Skills, Information and Media Literacy as well as Advisory are some additions we have created this year to continue helping students to develop the skills to reach today’s higher demands. Together, along with continuous faculty professional development and collaborative planning we are providing students with the best opportunities in an environment that values their individuality and promotes a successful Middle School experience.