Parents are often curious on how to motivate children to take the initiative when it comes to homework assignments and academic responsibilities. Here’s how to guide students to self-regulated learning!
Before discussing self-regulated learning, it’s important to define what the term actually means. According to the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS), self-regulated learning can be broken down into four categories: goal setting, self-monitoring, self-instruction, and self-reinforcement. Let’s break down each of them!
Goal Setting: An important part of attending school is time management – keeping track of due dates and allowing ample time to complete larger projects. When it comes to self-regulated learning, students should be able to budget their time more effectively if they have a clear understanding of which assignments should take priority. At Tutor Doctor, we often recommend students categorize their responsibilities into alpha (primary) and beta (secondary) tasks to assist in planning a schedule. Color coding is also an excellent tool to stay organized. Check out our guide on creating a planner that works for you!
Self-Monitoring: This component of self-regulated learning relates to gauging one’s own progress and level of attention. Students should “check in” with themselves every so often for a mental review of what they just absorbed. To help with focus and attention problems, we recommend setting up a quiet environment designated for homework that is free of background noise and electronic distractions. It’s also important for students not to binge study – cramming is never a good idea! When students self-monitor effectively, they should be able to allow for short breaks in order to stretch or grab a healthy snack to refuel.
Self-Instruction: This category involves a student’s ability to teach themselves new material, but also recognize when their understanding is lacking. Self-directed learning is the best way to practice self-instruction – homework assignments and independent projects are great examples. If your child is having difficulty with a concept, encourage them to do some sleuthing and see if they can find the answer themselves. Self-instruction is very much related to self-awareness – we want students to try their best to show confidence and teach themselves while also not being afraid to ask for assistance when something isn’t making sense.
Self-Reinforcement: Our final component relates to rewarding oneself for a job well done (a pat on the back!). This can be done in several different ways – from an academic standpoint, a student should congratulate themselves for their successes. Parents can help by providing additional praise when their child receives positive results. However, self-reinforcement also relates to resilience and a student’s ability to “bounce back” after a disappointing grade. Check out our blog on how to see failure in a positive light for more info on this topic! Finally, self-reinforcement also includes tangible rewards – giving yourself a well-deserved break after completing assignments is an excellent motivator! If you have an activity you particularly enjoy, use it as an incentive to finish your assignments on time.