As you embark on your journey of home schooling, it is easy to get caught up in logistics and curriculum concerns. However, if you would step back and take the time to spark your child's love of learning, you will give your child a great blessing, they will retain more of what they learn, and homeschool will go smoother for all involved. When children or adults love learning, their interest and need to know can pull them through the difficulties that learning can sometimes bring. Those who love learning often find as much joy in the process of learning as they gain from learning. These are five ways to increase love for learning in the elementary years.
5 Ways to Spark Their Love of Learning...
Children will have more joy in writing if they develop their verbal skills first. Verbal development is tied to the back and forth of conversation in the home. Children need the opportunity to formulate and articulate their ideas. Conversation is very rewarding for children as they see their ideas matter. Recitation can help increase vocabulary and understanding. Narration is the retelling of a story in their words and is a form of oral composition. Picture painting with words or describing a scene is a form of oral composition. As children have rich opportunities to formulate ideas and express themselves, they will lay the foundation of written composition. Many children are not ready to write compositions until they are in their later elementary years. The more time they have to develop oral pre-composition, they will find writing an extension of thinking, and the more joy they will find in their writing.
Parents are a great example to children. We are their main example of what it is to be grown up. Nothing can be more inspiring than a parent engaged in learning and loving learning. We are accountable and model accountability when we set an example of how we want our children to be. We are also accountable when we are available, when we check on how they are doing, when we give them encouragement, and follow through on commitments to them.
Create a home atmosphere that invites learning by providing access, example, resources and time to engage in learning.
When I speak of rotations I am talking about attention span friendly segments of 15-20 minutes each, for learning. I like to rotate through a scripture story, a classic read aloud and daily learning gateways with my children. These rotations teach my children of heroic and valiant people in their scriptures. The classics broaden their vocabulary, their understanding of human nature, and broaden their horizons. During these rotations, all the children are together for each segment.
Then I like to do a second set of rotations -- one-on-one with me to learn skills, time for independent self-selected, interest-led projects to hone skills as they pursue their interests, and time for recess. It is in their self-directed, self-selected independent studies that all their skill learning comes together for real love and joy of learning. During these rotations, the youngest child is with me and everyone else is in independent learning during the first rotation. When we rotate, one child with me, one child in independent study, and another child with the toddler doing recess. So, during these rotations the children revolve through stations. This takes about an hour!
Kid School is a concept of the mom teaching the children what she knows. This is engaging learning, not simply pencil pushing through workbooks. It is a sharing of knowledge. I created Power of an Hour to do with my children for "kid school." Power of an Hour is a grab and go, all in one, teach all your children together, curriculum. Power of an Hour is a rich tapestry of the core basics of Math, Science, History, Literature, Language Arts (Spelling, Grammar, and Roots), Literature, and US/World Geography, as well as, Art, Music, and Poetry. This takes about an hour a day.
As you consider the SPARK of speech, parents, atmosphere, rotations, and kid school, may you SPARK their love for learning.
How do you spark a love for learning?
Enjoy the journey!