The Benefits of Self-Study Skills

By Carean Oh

How you considered teaching your child how to self-study? It’s an important skill that cultivates a deeper love of learning. Self-studying is a learning method where students direct their own studying—outside the classroom and without direct supervision.

One of the major advantages of self-study is that students can take control over their own learning. Self-studiers are able to think about topics more deeply and make connections between what they are learning. And when students are engaged (and excited) about what they are learning, they’re able to remember it better.

As students do more self-study, many become more confident learners. They are able to see themselves as an independent person who is able to learn new things without anyone helping them. This can be a major motivation boost for students.When students aren’t engaged with what they are learning, they absorb less of the information. They study to memorize rather than understand.

Useful self-study tips:

Tip 1: Achievable Milestones make Learning Meaningful when Goals are Possible

Encourage your child to go into any learning experience with clear, manageable goals. Setting unambiguous milestones at the outset to allows the child to easily track their progress and identify areas for improvement. It also lets the child celebrate small accomplishments, even the small ones, which is central to the objectives of self-study. Imagine breaking down the entire goal into smaller, bite-size ones. Not only does this make it less daunting, the children will gain confidence in learning. Education is not about broad, major goals of attaining the ultimate score. True education lies in getting the child motivated in achieving smaller goals, findings ways to celebrate small successes and navigating their way to achieve their eventual targets.

Tip 2 Motivate Self-Studiers by including Small Challenges

Make learning a little harder by not only giving the child questions that will boost confidence when they can solve them, but also adding lots of quizzes or just even including those challenging ones once in a while to pique their minds. I enjoy teaching students creative writing by requesting for a couple of interesting plot twists. By doing so, they will learn that it is fine to throw some unpredictability into their creative writing plots, making it fun and rewarding. Do not over-criticise the child on their plots as this will limit creativity. Instead, ask open-ended questions by allowing the child to think of the answers from the viewpoint of a reader. They will then identify plot gaps by themselves. Teaching self-analytical methods enable the child to conduct self-checks and be more discerning towards their plots.

Tip 3

Self study requires guidance. Sitting with the child and showing them the way will help instil confidence. Anyone needs a small boost once in a while, and our children are no different. By sitting with the child, any small doubts can be erased by giving them a nudge, or an advice their methods are working. When the child loses concentration, don’t fret. Simply explore ways to realign their focus. Over time, you will be able to multi-tasking the sitting with your own work, while slowly removing the cushion of support from the child. The teaching of how to learn is quite a team-building process which goes a long way in benefiting the child.

Tip 4

Watch educational videos to keep your child actively engaged in a concept. There are many Youtube videos that are intended for teaching a child new skills, or educational videos aimed at complementing what students learn in school. Whether your home learner is trying to learn to do a piece of creative writing, or figuring out how to understand a grammar rule, he or she can greatly benefit from the audio and visual walkthrough.

Remember: By complementing formal education with home study, your child can see a drastic improvement to grades, material understanding, and most importantly, confidence.


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