Being an independent thinker is an extremely important quality that contributes toward success. If you’d like to raise an independent child who can make decisions on his or her own, regardless of what peers think, continue reading for two tips that will help you reach your goal.

1. Scaffold your child’s learning at home.

Much like a scaffolding structure keeps workers safe in places that they would not normally be able to reach, scaffolded learning helps children develop new skills under the appropriate amount of guidance. That guidance offers just enough support so that students don’t fail in a new situation, yet it also allows them to practice new skills on their own and tackle challenging problems without assistance. In other words, parents should avoid hovering, as this either pushes the child away from the parent or creates an unhealthy dependence on the parent.

Scaffolded learning is not limited to academic skills, though it is extremely helpful in that realm. Scaffolding can occur whenever a child is learning a new skill. For example, teaching a child to ride a bike requires imparting basic knowledge of how to pedal, steer, and brake, but at a certain point the parent has to let go and allow a child to try his or her skills independently. Without a parent letting go, a child would never learn to ride and instead would likely avoid bikes altogether. This is unfortunate because giving up is never a goal when trying something new.

2. Choose an educational setting with small class sizes.

While you want your child to thrive no matter the size of the group that they’re in, the reality is that this skill takes time to foster. In fact, the best way to encourage independence is to set children up for success in the classroom, and this is often accomplished better in classrooms with fewer students. Smaller class sizes are associated with improved student achievement, as these more intimate environments allow children to develop stronger relationships with peers and teachers, think independently, ask questions, and focus on academic tasks.

Many public schools have struggled to reduce class sizes due to public budget constraints, so private schools offer the best environment in terms of small class sizes. In private schools, the budget and class size is determined on a more individual basis, and school administrators can quickly make decisions that ensure that the student-to-teacher ratio favors students. For more information, contact Brampton Christian Schools or a similar organization.

To help your child develop into an independent thinker and problem solver, it’s important that you make positive choices regarding learning opportunities at home and at school. At home, you should continually scaffold learning to encourage development, and at school, it’s important that you make sure that your child is set up to succeed in a classroom with fewer students.