The Women's Journal

Teaching Children to Manage Their Own Learning

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pip_nc_Jim_Powers_amj16Presented By Jim Power 

Article By Dr. Raymond J Huntington, Co-Founder of Huntington Learning Center

There comes a certain time when students are expected to question and problem solve rather than simply absorb what teachers teach. Jim Power of the Huntington Learning Center in Newark, DE says that this evolution doesn’t happen overnight, and there are things parents can do to foster it. “Parents often hear that it is important to raise children who are critical thinkers, but we feel that the broader goal is to inspire children to self-manage their learning experience,” says Mr. Power. “Parents should teach children to be aware of their academic progress and seek knowledge that fuels even further learning.”

Tips for parents to help their children manage and take ownership of their learning include:

Encourage comprehension monitoring.    

One of the keys to becoming a more self-managed learner is the ability to recognize when something does or doesn’t make sense.
When doing homework of any kind, students should ask themselves if they understand the homework. If there is confusion, they should note the specific areas that are unclear and develop an action plan to gain clarity. “It seems simple, but the
act of ‘assessing’ ones understanding is essential as students move
toward greater independence,”
says Mr. Power.

Refer to rubrics to work toward learning milestones.     

When children are reading a textbook, parents can encourage them to refer to any rubrics that summarize what they are expected to understand by the end of each section or chapter. The same goes for assignments: if teachers provide checklists with learning goals or main points, children should keep them on hand so they can assess their learning and performance as they work.

Ask the right questions.   

Asking questions in class sounds like an obvious way to manage one’s own learning, but Mr. Power explains that students frequently don’t ask the right ones. “Students should ask questions that increase their understanding of a topic or course material,” he says. “More specifically, questions should be used as a tool to connect ideas, understand how something applies in a real-world setting, and confirm that an example they have in mind is correct. This not only helps them master material more quickly, it builds their confidence knowing they are on the right track in their thinking.”

Help them see the relevance.    
Whenever possible, parents should help their children understand why their classroom matters and how it relates to other areas of their lives. “If children are learning about a historical event, discuss how its outcome impacts people today,” says Mr. Power. “If an assigned project requires them to choose a topic, discuss some possibilities based on knowledge they have acquired in their lives.”

Mr. Power advises parents to empower their children to engage in what they learn. “An important milestone in a child’s educational experience is when they begin to think of learning as an interactive, two-way process,” he says. “The more parents can foster their child’s belief that they have control of their education, the more they will see their young learners flourish in school and beyond.”

About Huntington 

Huntington is the leader in tutoring and test prep. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.

Learn how Huntington can help at

Dr. Raymond J. Huntington is the co-founder of Huntington Learning Center, which has helped children achieve success in school for over 35 years.For more information about how Huntington can help your child, call 1-800-CAN-LEARN.

Jim Power is the Executive Director of the Huntington Learning Center in Newark, 34 Liberty Plaza, Kirkwood Highway, Newark, DE  19711. For more information or to schedule a consultation
at the Newark location call 302-737-1150 or visit

©2017 Huntington Mark, LLC. Huntington Learning Center®, the three-leaf logo, and 1 800 CAN LEARN® are registered trademarks of Huntington Mark, LLC. Each franchised Huntington Learning Center is operated under a franchise agreement with Huntington Learning Centers, Inc.

Headshot by Shannon Adelson of Adelson Media, Inc.