Has your child’s teacher informed you that your child sails through their classwork and extension tasks quite quickly?
Or maybe you find that your child’s homework takes them no time at all to complete.
If so, then it’s likely that your child is particularly clever, and they require an extra challenge to keep them stimulated. If this is the case, then it’s worth knowing a bit about metacognition.
What is Metacognition?
Metacognition is a technique used to describe the process of how we think and identify our learning behaviours. This process enables students to practice their learning, reciting, and examination techniques using two main components: self-regulation and reflection.
- Self-Regulation: This refers to the process that a learner uses to manage their learning processes, specifically in the way that they think. Using self-regulation strengthens their ability to identify strategies that work best for them when learning, and those that don’t.
- Reflection: This refers to the student’s awareness of what they know and their acknowledgement of the limits on what they know.
Implementing Metacognition Practices Into Your Child’s Learning
A great way to do this is to ask questions that prompt your child to think outside the box and consider different perspectives when answering different questions.
Here are a list of questions and journal prompts to get your child started in open-ended thinking:
- How do I live a happy life?
- What do I know about this topic?
- What would I do if I was in control of the country for a day?
- If I could change 3 rules at my school, what would they be and why?
- Why do you think (insert scenario) happened?
- Tell me a bit more about…(insert a topic, subject, or example of something you want their input and opinion on)
- What makes you say that?
- How are (choose two similar or different objects e.g. knives and forks) different?
- What do you think is the best way to…(insert a verb that they can expand on)
- Where do numbers come from?
These are open-ended questions that leave plenty of room for your child’s interpretation. Their interpretation of the questions will inform the answers they give.
Explain How You Think
At school, children are often taught to memorise, copy and imitate in their lessons.
As an adult, you will think quite differently to your child and will have developed your metacognition thinking. Chances are you’ll have a decision-making process you go through to help you produce results. You can use this personal experience of decision making and the steps you use to take your child through your thought processes, discussing why you do or don’t do a particular thing and explaining your reasons.
An example of this could be you explaining why you look left and right before crossing the road. Highlighting the ‘safety first’ rule can teach your child about road safety and why it’s so important.
Alternatively, explaining why you write a shopping list before going to the supermarket can be an example. You can explain the benefits of the list and the drawbacks of not writing up a list. You can also emphasise the importance of knowing what you want to get to save money or stick to your budget.