Are you like many other parents who are scared that giving your children more freedom to learn that your kids will not actually be learning. Freedom can be scary, but the truth is that choosing to give your child freedom to take control of their education (or ownership or leadership in their education) is a great way to build the leaders of tomorrow. Educational methods like child led learning are an amazing tool to help your child become a leader in all aspects of life.
What is child-led learning and how can it help build leadership skills?
Child-led learning is an educational method that allows your child to take a leadership role in their education. I love to encourage parents to hand over the reins to older children encouraging them to follow their passions. This is a huge focus of Christian leadership education.
When you give your older child the freedom to choose what they want to learn, you’ll see your kids seeking out the information they need to take charge of their own education. To lead and take ownership in their education, preparing them for adult life.
When you encourage your child to take charge of their own education you are teaching them that taking the lead is a good thing which will help them grow confidence in their ability to make choices. To make wise decisions as an adult. Child-led learning leadership skills are essential to the process. Your child can not take charge of their education without gaining some basic leadership skills.
Tips for using Child Led Learning to Raise Leaders.
Start out slow.
If your child never has a say in their education they may have no idea where to start. This is where starting out slow comes in. Start by giving your child a few choices on things to learn about and allow them to choose from those. As they get more confident with this they will go from responding “I don’t know” when you ask what they want to learn about to stepping up and giving you direct answers.
Our Grace Week was a great way to start slowly with child led learning. Using Grace Week once a month encouraged our children to love learning.
Encourage your child to set priorities.
If your child is struggling with choosing what they want to work on and freezing up you can help them feel more comfortable making these choices by reminding there is plenty of time to learn about multiple things.
You can ask them to prioritize what they want to learn and then work down the list. This teaches your child the important leadership skill of recognizing priorities.
Playing is one of the best ways kids learn, so use this to your advantage as a great way to raise a leader. Encourage your younger child to play teacher and teach you things that interest them. This encourages them to go seek out new things to teach you on their own while allowing them to practice a leadership role as the teacher.
When you role play with your child you are will begin the life skills to teach so they are ready for adulthood.
Build communication skills
To be a strong leader your child needs to learn how to effectively communicate. While giving your child freedom to take the lead in their education and encouraging them to spend a lot of time working on an independent study of their choice, you encourage them to communicate with you about what they are learning.
This helps to build up communication skills they will need in the future. And communication skills are absolutely necessary life skills for kids to be prepared for adult life.
Set an example
When it comes to child-led learning one of the best things you can do is to set an example and ensure that your child sees you learning and growing right alongside them. Let your child see you learning and talk to them about the things you are learning each day. This sets a quality example for them. In turn, you should set an example of leadership skills you want your child to learn like communication, taking initiative, and making choices.
Teach your child to take initiative
When your child comes to you unsure of what they should be working on, talk to them about finding something on your own. Teach your child to start working on the next thing that gets their interest without waiting for you.
Encourage them to make the choice to move on to the next thing. This will help them in the future when they know how to take initiative and jump into things that need to be done without instruction. Leaders are the ones that get everyone going, not the ones that wait for someone to tell them what to do.
Help your child learn to be organized
Organization skills are essential to learning and being a leader. Take the time to help your child learn how to organize their educational materials. Don’t do the organizing for them but simply help them try different systems to see what works best for them. This will help them learn to stay organized on their own long before they need this skill in a leadership role.
Teach your child how to adapt when things do not go as planned
Sometimes when your child is taking control over their education they will discover that what they wanted to do doesn’t always work. This is a great opportunity to teach your child to adapt when things do not go as planned so in the future when others are relying on them they know how to turn around and keep going when something doesn’t work.
What about Raising Leaders, Not Followers?
All of these 7 tips are included in our Raising Leaders, Not Followers Course, which is open for enrollment on Tuesday, May 23. If you think this would be a good fit for your family, take a look right here to discover how the course can simplify your life and your homeschool. It’s not adding more to your already full plate. It’s giving an intentional process to improve what you’re already doing.
Click here and find out more about Raising Leaders, Not Followers.
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