How I taught my sons to self study

By Madhurie Singh, September 02, 2016

How to inculcate the habit of self study in children!

A note by a mum – Many of you want to know how my boys study on their own. So here is a bit though not everything in detail.

1. I had to make up my mind to let go. Since I am a control freak I love to be aware of everything they did. I had to tell myself to let go. Letting go early is v important for their development.
So you need to let go the need to hover in your child’s head all the time.

2. My mom was v happy when she saw my sons studying, eating, playing and fighting on their own. She said a v important thing. “When you were all young, I had no time nor did I know what to teach you all. So I would sit with you all. But that worked well with you as you learnt to study on your own. I see parents who sit and teach 2 to 3 hours daily but the kids are not at all serious.”

So the message is to let your kids study on their own. They will make mistakes and they will falter. It’s ok. Let them do these mistakes when young. The stakes are low. The loss is small. So what they get less marks in class 2 or 5 or 7! Let them realize what is failure early on. They will understand how to do self study. And trust me, in this age of internet, the only reason I am sending my kids to school is because I want them to mingle around with 20 other kids and teachers. Socialize with them . Of course I need peace too. 😉.

3. I do not ever ask them what marks they have got. All I ask before assessment is a quick answer to my questions on how will you use this concept in real life. If they know great. Else I give them a bit of Gyan that is enough.

After they come back from tests I don’t ask how much will they get. I ask them this ” So were the questions easy or tough?” If they say it was easy, I know they have understood everything v clearly. If they say it was tough, I know I need to explain it to them as they still have not understood the usage of what ever they learnt and hence it seemed tough to them. It also tells me that I did not explain to them good enough for their smarty heads. So I have to simplify the explanations.

4. I stopped packing their bags when they were in class 3. Their diary notes from teachers would be some thing like this “Mrs Madhurie Singh, your son did not bring his homework book today. Kindly ensure it is there.”

My reply would be this ” Dear teacher, I am teaching him to be responsible. So it is his responsibility to pack all books not mine. Kindly scold him for not getting the book from next time.”
Most teachers have written back this ” Dear Mrs Singh, I appreciate your way of inculcating responsibilities in your son. I will not bother you again for this. Hope more mothers are like you.” And this message is universal!

5. Project work and home assignments are all done by my sons on their own. Initially they would argue with me. ” All my classmates moms help them in their project s and homework. They are neater and look so good. But mine is dirtiest.”
I would tell them the same thing repeatedly till they stopped asking me. “The homework and project work is a way to make you learn and practice what you did in class today. If you do it yourself, you will know how much you understood. If I do it then how will you practice. Do you want to keep on studying the same thing again after today and waste your time? Because if you don’t do your home work and project yourself, you will forget it after today. Then one more day you will have to sit to do it again afresh. That will reduce your playtime.” And I mean what I say.

6.I allow them to mess, waste materials as that is how they learn to use their brains and be creative. I try to teach them in simple conversation about risks, money value, business and importance of being best in whatever they do in life.
Like ask them questions that has nothing to do with their school. E.g. ” I want to hire a Sw Engg, what should I look into that person when I interview him or her?”
Or ” We want to buy a new car, what car should we buy.” The first thing they ask is ” what is your budget?”
My dad wanted to buy toys for them last yr. We all went to Hamleys. My dad asked them ” Boys, what do you want to buy?”
Both asked him ” What is your budget nanaji?” My dad said ” No budget”.
He ended up paying close to 20 thousand for cars, bikes and stationary!
I told my dad. They asked you about the budget, you should have told them the upper limit. And they are v fair.

You can copy and paste this article. Love, Madhurie Singh

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