6 Tips to Encourage Independence in Your Kindergartener

5 min to read
Kindergardener learning at a laptop computer

How many times have you seen or heard a preschooler try to take charge and do something all on their own to show that they are a big kid? Actions like these are their way of asserting their independence, even at a young age.  

When it comes to learning, you want them to have this type of independence because fostering independence in kindergarten can be the golden ticket to opening so many doors.  

So how do you do it? 

As your student’s Learning Coach, there are several things you can do to encourage independence in your kindergartner. As we explore these six tips, we’ll also share why independent learning is so beneficial. 

6 Ways Learning Coaches Can Promote Learning Independence in Kindergarteners

By this age, kids have reached many developmental milestones that make independent learning possible. As your student’s Learning Coach, you have the responsibility of helping them become independent thinkers. 

Fostering independence in kindergarten means giving your student enough room to grow, but also not so much that they feel like they’re all alone and can’t ask questions or for help. How much independence a kindergartner should have will depend on the child. You’ll need to gauge your student to see just how much independence they can handle.

Here are six ways you can help your student become an independent learner at a young age.

1. Have a Learning Corner

This little learning corner will have fun kindergarten independent activities that children can go to when they want. The space can include things like building blocks, crafts, counting tools and toys, technology, and more. 

It’s also important to include books for kindergartners to read independently. The point here is that these activities and tools will be things that your student will want to interact with, not things that are forced upon them. This will not only help them to become more independent but also keep them engaged because they are doing things they like.

2. Let Your Student Fail and Give Them Space

Fostering independence in kindergarten means letting your student fail at times and giving them space to figure things out themselves. We know it’s hard to see a child fail and not try to fix it. But allowing your student to work more independently means accepting that they are going to fail sometimes. 

By allowing them to fail, you’re helping them build the self-confidence that is needed to succeed in life. When you give children space, you’re showing them the importance of self-motivation and what can happen when you do things on your own. This can be gratifying, even for a kindergartner.

3. Give Your Student Time

Give your kindergartner the time they need to work through their activities and discover all the possibilities. Allow them to determine how much time they want to spend on an activity. By stopping the activity too early, you’re interrupting their learning time and not fully allowing them to explore on their own. They could be on the verge of some pretty amazing stuff, but you won’t get to see what they can do if they aren’t given enough time.

4. Recognize Strengths

Compliments and recognizing when your student has done something well on their own will encourage them to continue on their path. Who doesn’t want to keep getting praise? By celebrating their strengths, kids also see what areas they need to work more on. If you’re complimenting their knowledge of the alphabet, but not saying much about their number skills, they may realize that they need to spend more time in that area if they want to get the same recognition.  

5. Don’t Discourage Questions

One of the most important ways of fostering independence in kindergarten comes with allowing your student to ask questions—and lots of them. Kids are inquisitive by nature, so don’t squash that bug. Let them ask all types of questions and better yet, allow them to find the answers rather than giving them up easily. That’s an excellent way to encourage independent learning in kindergartners. They not only get the answer they’re looking for but get the self-confidence boost from figuring it out themselves. It’s a big win all around!

6. Teach Them to Set Goals

It’s never too early to teach your student how to set goals. These can be little things such as learning two new sight words a week or working on counting up by 5 or 10 more. The idea here is that they are doing this on their own. Start with small-term goals and work up to the big stuff, like learning to read a book that’s a level up from where they are.

A kindergartener becoming more independent learner in online school.

Why Independent Learning is Beneficial for Kindergarteners

By fostering independence in kindergarten, you are setting your student up for success for years to come. Independent learners don’t depend on others or any external sources to get them moving. They do it on their own. While kindergartners are going to start off small in this department, they will quickly learn how to stay on their path.

Children who have taken part in independent learning tend to be more motivated and confident and perform better academically. Children can also learn how to recognize their own limitations and how to manage them. These are all life-long skills that they can use as they get into college and the workforce. Employers love independent workers who can get the job done with minimal supervision.   

By giving your student the proper tools, encouragement, and space to grow, fail, and solve their own problems, you are encouraging them to become independent learners. The independent learners of today become the self-motivated workers of tomorrow. So, what better time to encourage independent learning than now?

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