Cultivating Self-Learning At Home

Friday April 24, 2020
By Kumon Canada
Study Skills

One of the greatest benefits of Kumon study is “self-learning.” But it can’t always be easily identified and knowing how to cultivate it takes practice. Self-learning means that instead of having the problem explained to them, the child has the ability and perseverance to learn on their own using the worksheets while relying on their previous knowledge. The child’s learning and ability will be stronger because of the critical thinking they are practicing. 

A child who is strong in their ability to self-learn will: 

  • be willing to try new problems on their own 
  • be more resilient on challenging material 
  • learn the concept better on the first try 
  • make deeper connections between exercises, topics, and even other subjects 
  • be unafraid of making mistakes and understand that they will learn from the attempt 

Kumon Instructors receive specialized trained to teach their students to self-learn, but self-learning is a skill that can also be learned and reinforced at home. Here are a few guidelines that you can use to cultivate self-learning in your child at home

 1. Draw your child’s attention to examples, 2. •	Ask, “What’s new or different from what you were just learning?” , 3. •	Ask your child to explain the problem to you so they can find their error.

Even if this guidance doesn‘t help them answer a specific question, there is still the opportunity for your child to learn from later exercises, or while correcting their mistakes after grading. Explaining the solution should be a last resort if they can’t find the answer from repeated attempts and they won’t be able to proceed without that understanding. Explaining the solution too quickly can reduce the opportunity for self-learning to occur and it may undermine their knowledge of the subject. 

Above all else, when your child demonstrates even a little self-learning or perseverance, praise them to acknowledge their hard work! 

Self-learning can take months or even years to develop fully and your child’s enjoyment of learning shouldn’t be compromised by too much pressure to self-learn. It’s a balance that takes practice. When your child is able to use what they have learned to sit with a new or difficult problem until they can resolve it, they will be prepared for many of the obstacles life will throw at them. 

To learn more about self-learning and the Kumon Method, visit our pages on How Kumon Works.