How can parents inspire a passion for lifelong learning in their children? This is a question I get often, so I invited education specialist Kelsey Komorowski to discuss this very topic. She has been an education professional for 16 years and specializes in helping parents build their kids’ confidence when it comes to school, which ultimately sets them up for success into adulthood.
Kelsey has spent her career as a traditional tutor, a residential tutor for ultra high net-worth families, a student success analyst with the government, and now an advocate for students who struggle in the classroom and need help. She and her team made it a priority to find out the root cause of why students stress and struggle so much, and they have found that if a student doesn’t have the skills to manage and engage in their work, they won’t learn how to achieve their highest potential.
While schooling is only a short part of an individual’s life, learning lasts forever—and experiencing the joy of learning is an important part of life Aside from that, finding success in academics can encourage students to develop better habits into adulthood. As parents, it’s our responsibility to help our kids develop these five skills to encourage learning in the home environment.
Here are the skills kids need to have and tips on helping develop them:
As a parent, you can help your child develop critical thinking skills by encouraging them to ask questions and think about the answers. When reading stories together, stop and ask your child questions about what is happening and why the characters are doing what they are doing. For older children, encourage them to read books that will make them think about different points of view and how to see both sides of an issue. You can also help your child develop critical thinking skills by teaching them how to research and find reliable sources of information.
It’s also important to discuss topics with your children that encourage critical thinking skills. Having stimulating, important discussions with your kids can not only instill the importance of critical thinking, but it can lead to valuable family time you will cherish forever.
You can also encourage your child to come up with solutions to problems they encounter in their daily lives. As they get older, you can challenge them to explain their reasoning behind their opinions and decisions. Helping your child to develop strong critical thinking skills will benefit them throughout their academic career and beyond.
Parents can help their children develop communication skills by modeling clear and effective communication themselves. When talking with your child, be sure to use words that they will understand and be patient if they need clarification. As your child grows, continue to encourage open communication by asking them about their day, their thoughts on current events, or anything else that is on their mind. In addition, teach your child active listening skills by modeling proper eye contact and body language and repeating back what the other person has said.
It is also important to provide opportunities for your child to practice their communication skills. This can be done through joining a sports team, playing music together, or taking part in drama or other performing arts activities. Helping your child to develop strong communication skills will help them flourish in school as well as adulthood.
Parents can help their children develop time management skills by teaching them how to make a schedule and stick to it. Start with simple things like making a daily list of tasks to be completed and then help your child break down those tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. As your child gets older, you can teach them how to prioritize their tasks and how to use time-saving strategies such as batch cooking or setting a daily routine.
It is also important to provide opportunities for your child to practice time management skills. This can be done by setting a regular bedtime and wake-up time, having them help with meal planning and preparation, or involving them in after-school activities such as clubs or sports. Helping your child develop strong time management skills will help them in their life as well as in school. If your child has struggled or does struggle keeping up with homework or completing tasks, this is an especially important skill that could change their lives.
According to an article published by Harvard University, “Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.” Children are bombarded with information and tasks every day, especially at school. As a parent, you can help your kids with their executive functioning by encouraging them to keep a planner, help them organize their thoughts, and practice self-control and discipline.
You can also provide opportunities for your child to practice their executive functioning skills. This can be done by having them help with household chores, such as making their bed or setting the table. As they get older, you can involve them in other activities that require organization and planning. Helping your child develop strong executive functioning skills will benefit them greatly in school as well as in their future career.
Metacognition is the awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes. It is the ability to think about thinking. Parents can help their children develop metacognitive skills by teaching them how to be aware of their own thoughts and emotions and how they can impact their behavior.
You can also provide opportunities for your child to practice metacognition. This can be done through activities such as journaling, discussing current events, or reading together. This not only helps them regulate their thoughts, but it promotes a level of emotional maturity when they are able to work through their thoughts and feelings.
The bottom line is that it’s important for parents to instill confidence in their children from a young age. When a child is confident in themselves, they will ultimately be able to find greater success in school as well as in life. If you want to hear more about this topic, you can listen to the Not by Chance Podcast episode “How Parents Can Inspire a Passion for Lifelong Learning in a Burned Out Teen” found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.