What are some good learning skills? A crucial thing to learn is simply how to learn. 

The environment has become more dynamic, inventions are born every day, and the need to adapt is essential. When the now-students join the workforce, it would be a different experience. To learn new skills on their own efficiently, Uniform Junctions helps them learn ‘how to learn’, allowing a smooth transition into the world post-graduation, navigating through higher education, and even their professional lives. 

With their ‘Question Hour’, they hold sessions where the experts and the host share their expertise and all questions the parents may have. The hosts are well-established experts in their fields related to personality development, academics, life skills and child psychology. 

The host for ‘How to cultivate good learning skills’ was Aparna Athreya, an award-winning storyteller, educator, children’s author and life coach. A computer science engineer who worked in the software industry for 15 years and later moved to the field of training and development. She is a TedX speaker on storytelling and multiple intelligence and has authored 2 Mathematics stories published by a national publisher. Ms Athreya has also presented workshops around Storytelling and Play-based Learning practices at various conferences. At Uniform Junction’s Question Hour, she answered the several common questions most parents have.

What do children need from their parents?

Follow the COPE framework, i.e., Cognitive, Organisational, Physical, and Emotional needs. If parents are providing all these four, they are doing good. Children are different, but these four needs are universal to all preteens. 

What physical environment is study-conducive?

One must provide a distraction-free zone along with a dedicated place to study. Because if this place changes, the mental makeup changes, especially when they are learning about the world as children. They need to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep, along with a proper nutritional diet consisting of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins.

What kind of organisation do students require?

Students need to approach studying as a project and understand the importance of doing things systematically and phase-wise. They will not inherently know goal setting and will need help understanding how studying can be a planned fun activity. Differentiate between important lessons to learn and urgent tasks to do. Focusing on just the immediate needs and side-lining the crucial concepts will end up with ‘studying’ synonymous with a panic-induced flurry of homework. They should try to sit straight; their back and shoulders shouldn’t slouch, as postural propriety is important for concentration. A structured timetable, setting small and achievable goals will produce better results than cramming in homework.

What are their cognitive needs?

Children are not machines where one can simply enter information. They need their studies to relate to themselves and their world. Studying needs to be an active learning project where they learn concepts and understand the real world. Different children have different learning styles; finding out what suits them best and breaking down the lessons into small segments is ideal for easier digestion and maintaining interest.

How can children be emotionally supported?

No matter what, if a parent stresses out their child, it will be harmful lifelong. They need to feel a sense of love and belonging, and never a sense of inadequacy, especially from their parents. If they need to be corrected, it ought to be in a gentle manner. When mistakes occur, a child’s first thoughts should not be fear of reprimand; in fact, they should be able to approach their parents freely for help. Parents are their safety net, and they have to let children see it in their actions and feel it through their words.  

“You cannot build the road for your child, but you can build your child for the road.” Aparna Athreya accurately states you need to remember they are humans, not robots. Invest time in your child, let them have patience and agency, give them breaks, show them trust and love, set positive expectations, and your child will have improved self-esteem, motivating them to learn. 

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