Teaching vs. Learning

Earlier this week, I mentioned how alot of students think that being taught to in a classroom means that they’re learning.

I noted this isn’t true and got some questions. 

So I want to expand, because you and your teen understanding the difference between being taught to (easy) vs. learning (challenging) makes a huge difference in their confidence and abilities to do and feel their very best not just in school, but in life. 

The crux of it: listening to content delivery is easy. Actively participating in learning something feels hard.

When kids are taught to in the classroom, learning on their own can be hard, frustrating and often demoralizing.

When students are used to being taught to by someone, they’re at a loss with how to self-direct their own learning. A lot of students shy away from learning – from engaging in their schoolwork outside the classroom – because it feels ‘hard’ and they don’t have the learning skills to navigate challenging material. 

What’s more – not knowing how to learn independently crushes any potential for self-motivation and breeds apathy instead (honestly, a lot of kids don’t even realize that they can learn on their own).

If your teen is like most students I work with, they do homework based on what their teachers tell them they have to do, and the thought of doing anything else – of autonomously learning more deeply, more meaningfully, than what they were taught in school – doesn’t even cross their mind. At one point or another, almost every single student I’ve worked with has said something along the lines of:

“I have no homework today, so I guess there’s no point in meeting until I get some stuff assigned.”

At the outset, they’re (unsurprisingly) not happy to learn that no homework does NOT equal no learning. But, after seeing how much ‘easier’ school work gets when they adopt this thinking, they change their tune:

“OK, so I don’t have any homework today, let’s review History and then plan out my study sessions for that Calc exam.”

‘Easier’ is in quotes because obviously school doesn’t get easier – they become more skilled at learning and achieving. This doesn’t happen accidentally though; learning how to learn is a deliberate process. Learning how to learn through schoolwork is a process my team and I have perfected. For us, this process starts with a 1:1 call with you and your teen – a skills audit to get clear on their current situation, and how exactly they can evolve from where they’re at now to where they wish they could be. This call is completely free and has been life-changing for hundreds of families. Book in here.

To your family’s success,


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The Komo Difference

We teach your child how to learn so that they can hit their academic goals while building the skills they need to thrive in school and as self-motivated, resourceful young adults in college and their career.

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