- organisation of multiple tasks
- impulse inhibition
- setting goals and priorities
- empathising with others
- initiating appropriate behaviour
- making sound judgments
- forming strategies
- planning ahead
- adjusting behaviour when situation changes
- stopping an activity upon completion
- Reflecting on their learning
- Being aware that their brain is changing and that they can learn from mistakes
- Being aware of study techniques they can use
- Being aware of distractions and influences that may lead to less effective learning
- Linking new knowledge to existing knowledge
- Establishing what is true and accurate
- Thinking critically about claims that may not be true or accurate (‘claim testing’)
Furthermore, we can demonstrate and scaffold these skills for them until they are able to use them for themselves.
For example, if we expect that a project will take 10 hours of classroom time plus 6 hours of homework time, we can take them through the process of organising their studies. This may include:
- writing a timetable for themselves and noting when they are already busy;
- deciding how to split up the six hours depending on their availability and preferred way of working (4 hours plus 2 hours, three sessions of 2 hours, six sessions of 1 hours?);
- making sure they are studying in a suitable environment (organised desk, right temperature, quiet music or ear protectors to block out outside noise etc.);
- identifying where they might find help or information;
- identifying if there is preparatory work they need to do before even starting the project;
- reviewing the task criteria several times to make sure they have actually addressed the requirements.
We can also help them review their project when they have received the marks. I know that my own children have displayed a tendency to think that something is ‘done’ when they have the marks back. I am sure they are not alone in this. We want students to see each assessment or project not as a self-contained unit but as part of a lifelong approach to learning and growing.
This information is partly from a FutureLearn course, Supporting Adolescent Learners, which I am studying under recommendation from another home educating parent. I’ve also found some useful information in this 2006 article by Nancy Joseph at Oakland University, Michigan and a blog post on Psychology Today.