When my oldest was almost 3 years old, we went out for a walk. It was spring time so the weather was amazing and so many beautiful flowers were in bloom. As we walked and talked about what we loved most about spring time, my son saw this stunning flower.
He was so excited about that particular flower that he looked up and said, “Mama, what is that?” I looked and said, “That’s a yellow flower, Sweetie.” He looked at me and said, “No, no mama…..what is the NAME of that flower?”
Right at that moment, I realized that I would not only be a teacher to my son but also a learner like my son. You see….I didn’t know the name of the flower either. So we decided to go to the library and checked out a book about flowers. We searched through the book together and were able to identify that yellow flower.
I was excited to see my child’s interest went beyond just the basic information. I found myself on a new mission to preserve that love of learning in my son. I researched on how I can continue to encourage that way of learning in my home. Seven years later, I have learned how to foster a love of learning in both my home and in my children. Fostering a love of learning has not only made a huge difference in our homeschool life but in our lives in general.
I would like to share what I have learned with you today in hope that it will inspire you to also encourage the love of learning in your own home. Are you ready?!
Benefits of Encouraging the Love of Learning
The benefits of encouraging a love of learning in your home will be worth the time and effort you put into it.
By encouraging this way of learning you will be helping your child become life-long learner, thinker, self-motivator and problem solver. Let me elaborate some more on each point.
Your child will be a……
Life-long learner– Fostering that love of learning in your child when they are young will help them to become a life-long learner. They will know how to pursue their passions and gather the information they need to further their education in topics that perk their interest. Following the areas where they are passionate and interested leads them into a world of possibilities and opportunities to grow in the calling that the Lord created them for.
Your child will be a……
Thinker– They will be able to think for themselves and not just follow the crowd. They will be able to question things that they are not sure about. They will also learn how to seek out the answers to those pending questions they may have.
Your child will be a……
Self-motivator- They will be motivated by their own passions, gifting, and talents to seek out the things that most interest them.
Your child will be a……
Problem solver– If a problem arises (no matter how big or small) your child will try to figure out a way to find a solution. Even if they don’t solve the problem, at least they went through the thinking process on ways to resolve the issue. This is a wonderful skill to sharpen in your child.
Practical Ways to Encourage the Love of Learning
Here are 4 practical ways on how you can cultivate the love of learning in your own home.
Create a learning environment in your home.
It is important that you provide an environment where your child is free to explore, create and invent so they can discover their passions. We also need to provide them with the tools and supplies they need in order to help them grow in their passions, gifting, and talents.
By giving them access to the tools such as art supplies, science kits, Legos, exploring outside, puzzles and anything else they are interested in you are nurturing their curiosity. In doing this, you are encouraging your children to learn by using all their 5 senses. When anyone uses all their 5 senses to learn about something, they will actually remember what they learned. Remembering what they learn will serve them well in the future especially in choosing a career.
Teach to your child’s gifting.
In order to teach to your child’s gifting, you would need to customize their education. What I mean by that is that you will not necessarily be focusing on the grade level that they would be in but will be focusing on your child’s learning pace. Your child might be on different levels and that’s ok. That is why customizing your child’s lessons to their strength and weakness will better serve them then rather than trying to fit them in a box.
As you work on creating a customized education for your child, watch your child and study them. See what they are interested in. Observe what topics they spend hours exploring on their own. As you study your child, pay attention to your child’s learning style as well. By customizing their education with their style of learning, it would encourage your child to want to learn more and making learning more enjoyable.
Let them chase their questions.
Children by nature ask a lot of questions because they want to understand the world around them. They want to know how things work. They ask why things are done a certain way, and the list can go on. I want to encourage you that if you are in the middle of a lesson and your child is interested in learning more about something in particular, don’t be afraid to go on a rabbit trail.
Last year we went on a rabbit trail. My son wanted to learn about Thomas Jefferson. As we read his biography the Lewis and Clark expedition was mentioned which interested my son. We decided to drive in and learn about Lewis and Clark expedition which lead into a study of Sacagawea. We both learned so much and were glad that we had ventured off the lesson plans to learn what was of interest to my son. So embrace those opportunities that may sneak up on you and don’t be tied down to the plans you have written down.
Let them pursue their passions.
It is important that you provide your children free time during the day to pursue things that interested them. It’s the perfect time to let them explore and discover their gifting and talents. Let them work on projects, start their own business or do volunteer work. Try to provide them with opportunities where they will learn life skills that will benefit them in the future. Let them have fun!
These are just some ways on how you can encourage the love of learning in your homeschool, in your child, and in your home.
What are the creative ways that you encourage the love of learning in your own home?
Jessica Anderson is a follower of Christ, wife, mother of three amazing boys, encourager, and blogger. Her passion is to bring encouragement and inspiration to ALL moms so they feel motivated and empowered to live a more intentional life in Christ by providing them with practical tips, resources, encouragement, and inspiration so they can live out their calling to the fullest one day at a time. You can find her sharing how to live an intentional life over at www.intentionalinlife.com.