Do you want your kids to be life long learners? Start by modeling the love of learning in your home.
The benefits of homeschooling are many. You can tailor lessons to your child’s learning style, follow your child’s interests, and educate around your family’s schedule just to name a few. I was told these benefits at the beginning of our homeschooling by veteran homeschoolers and saw them immediately. As we got deeper into homeschooling, I started to see another huge benefit of homeschooling for the kids and myself.
I Love To Learn
I have always loved to learn new things. I’m the girl who picked up field guides from the local library because she just needed to know what kind of fungus was growing in the yard and what new bird was at the feeder. When other students were taking just the necessary courses to finish college, I took a couple extra just because they intrigued me.
In my professional life, I was a researcher. I loved coming into the lab each day with a new problem to solve and more discoveries to make. Each night, you can still find me curled up in bed reading a good article about gravitational waves or the effects of invasive species on an ecosystem.
From the beginning of our homeschool journey, I loved prepping for lessons. I’m not the open the textbook or follow the scripted lesson plan and go kind of girl. I read the kids textbooks and carefully chose reading material that went along with what we were learning. Even in the early grades, I found information I didn’t know or had forgotten.
Teaching The Love Of Learning
When my daughter was in 4th grade, we studied the American Revolution. We read first hand accounts and studied the places that the events occurred. We even took a trip to Boston and walked the Freedom trail as a wrap up to our study. My daughter loved this experience, but I think I was even more excited about it than she was.
I had a vague recollection about some of the names, places and events, but learning right along side my daughter made history come alive and have new meaning to me. Standing in the Old North Church where the lanterns were hung that warned of the British invasion, “One if by land. Two if by sea”, and staring out the window Robert Newman jumped out of running from the British soldiers made it all very real. What a great learning experience for her and I!
Each year, as we choose new homeschool curriculum and areas of study, I have to admit that I try and steer them toward subjects that interest me. It doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a try, right? When I think back at my educational experiences, my favorite courses were taught by teachers who really enjoyed whatever it was they were teaching. You could tell that they had done their research and were excited about it. They not only loved to teach they loved to learn.
I’ve always kept that in mind while educating my kids. Sometimes I’m passionate about a subject because I have done my research and I know a lot about it. Other times, I’m passionate about the subject because I don’t know a lot about it, but it really interests me and I want to learn more.
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Modeling The Love Of Learning
One of the goals to homeschooling for me is to create life long learners. I want my kids to always be curious and never stop learning. While it is important for me to try and make learning fun and interesting, it is just as important for the kids to see me still learning and being excited about it.
Kids learn from what they are taught. Kids can be taught by curriculum, experiences, or observation. They are constantly observing their parents. They see the way we treat others, the way we handle situations, and our habits. While most of us are aware of this enough to watch what we say and do in front of children, we don’t think about this when it comes to habits.
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When we make learning new things a habit, kids see this. Whether it is reading, visiting museums or art galleries, taking field guides on hikes, or experimenting in the kitchen, it is all learning. These experiences are good for parents, because learning new things is good for the brain and it is just good to know stuff. These experiences are, also, great for kids. When they see their parents learning and enjoying it, they might join in or file it for future reference and become life long learners, as well.
What are you doing to model the love of learning in your kids?