When a child loves learning, the child can overcome many obstacles. When a child has developed a hate of learning, they tend to put up barriers, both intellectually and emotionally. Learning does not have to be a battle.
It is said that one can lead horses to water, but one cannot make them drink. The answer is to salt their oats and make them thirsty. Well, we are talking about humans, not horses. When working with children, youth or adults there are at least ten things one can do to help them love learning and want more.
10 Ways of Inspiring Children to Love Learning:
Gaining a vision of who your children really are and what they have the potential to become, can dramatically impact how you see, respond, and interact with your child. They will, in turn, respond differently to you and the world around them. Do you see your children as empty vessels to fill? Are they children of God "born for such a time as this," needing your guidance?
Pray for guidance in evaluating needs, resources, and opportunities, and this will help you with timing and balance. Our vision is very limited. Sometimes we want things to look a certain way and that way may not be right for children. When we seek the Lord's guidance we cannot go wrong!
Developing a Master Actualization Plan (MAP) helps you chart out what ideas, resources, opportunities, and experiences you want to expose your children to, while in your home.
4. Great Ideas
Expose your children to great ideas. Repeated encounters and opportunities to experience, experiment with, or associate with a subject develops familiarity and connections with a subject. Familiarity with the subject can remove the obstacle of fear.
When my older children were elementary age, the Ramses II exhibit came to Denver, where we lived at the time. The archeologist that helped bring the exhibit to the US came to Denver to speak. He suggested if we were taking children that we should get the museum guide with pictures and go through the pictures with the children before going to the museum exhibit. Then he presented a slide show of the exhibit, telling us about each piece. I took copious notes. I bought the pictorial guide and went through the book and taught them about each piece. At the museum my children were attentive and then my eight year old blurted out, "Look mom, my favorite, Mer-yet-amun!" Boy did heads snap of the adults who heard it. But on a deeper note, I realized my child had been prepped for the exhibit and had made connections. I continued similar preparations for other exhibits over the years.
Children need heroes– people of noble character, worthy of emulation. Heroes provide a pattern of what it means to be an adult, a role model. Your example and the exposure to the greatness in others, both living and from the past can inspire children with possibilities of patterns worth emulating. Watching you struggle and develop new understanding, talents, or skills, creates a safe environment for them to expand their abilities. Inviting interesting and noble people to your table can inspire and expand a child’s experience.
Abundant variety of quality resources, coupled with the opportunity to choose from those resources and experiences can empower a child in their own educational path. This can be even more powerful if children see parents using the resources, learning, overcoming difficulties of learning and mastering new skills.
When adults are responsible, children feel more secure. When children feel secure they are free to thrive. However, when the adults around them do not model responsibility, a child's development can be distracted and delayed. Too often adults demand responsibility from children and do not realize that their example has become a stumbling block. Children learn to be responsible, when the adults in their lives are responsible. Regularly check in on each child and see how they are doing. This supervision shows the children that you are interested in what they are doing, and what they are doing is important and valued. This is checking that those things that they had planned to do are happening and that they have available the needed resources.
Mentoring through casual tutorial or dialogue (discussion) is one of the most important forms of responsibility. Discussions are two-way conversations. If you are doing all the talking it is a lecture. Discussion includes listening with our heart and ears. When we listen, we validate the other person. Children need the lighthouse of responsible adults in their lives, to show them he way. Too often parents give themselves a pass, because they know their intentions. Yet, they demand responsibility from their children. Be careful what you promise. Do not make promises in the heat of emotion. Lead the way with responsibility.
Dependability is a relationship built upon trust. Children learn to be dependable through your example. When children feel your love, they know that they can trust you. Trust is strengthened when you live in integrity. You live in integrity by keeping your part of agreements with your children and when your actions are in alignment to provide the needed resources and opportunities. This trust is based on dependability! Children need their parents to be dependable; it brings trust and peace in this chaotic world.
The atmosphere of the home and different settings can encourage learning. Atmosphere in the home can include a workshop, crafts room, family library, an art drawer, a spark station, or as simple as a bookshelf and the kitchen table. Different settings can include organizations, clubs, simulations, summer camp, spelling bees, geography bees, science fairs, art competitions, scholar groups, travel, classes, concerts, exhibits, balls, etc. The key here is to not over schedule and to allow for exploration.
Too often, if a child or youth shows the slightest curiosity a parent jumps the gun and over commits the child before the child can explore and develop their interest. Then, instead of cultivating new interests the child may shut down. Start simply and be careful to not over schedule.
A portfolio is their personalized record of their educational journey. This can be as simple as a composition book educational victory journal.
A Portfolio can Include:
– A well organized, labeled, and displayed collections.
– Commonplace books
– Nature notebooks
– Book of Centuries
– Book of Nations
– Family Scholar Portfolios, Aspiring Scholar Portfolios, Personal Scholar Portfolios, etc.
If you want to learn more about the Book of Centuries, Book of Nations, Family Scholar Portfolio, Aspiring Scholar Portfolio, and Personal Scholar Portfolio, you will find more information in my product catalog here. Scroll down passed the specials to the catalog and click on the record keeping and booklists tab. The system can be used with any method or curriculum. It can even become a spine for a customized curriculum. Grab the Universal Homeschool Record Keeping System on special right now for $65. SAVE $19 when purchasing the Universal Homeschool Record Keeping System today.
These ingredients can bring life back into your homeschool.
Enjoy the journey!