When I was in school “learning” really bored me. It wasn’t that I didn’t like to learn; on the contrary I loved it. It was just the way it was presented that drove me to tears. I loved History, but when it came to History books they were as dry as dust. I questioned every aspect, wondering exactly when I would use this in life. I still haven’t discovered the answer to that question on many things. Which leads me to wonder…was that just a waste of time?
Actually, in my humble opinion, when we separate learning from actual life it is a waste of time. Honestly, dates stuck in your head don’t do you one bit of good in the long run and unless you’re going into a science field I’d almost bet you can’t tell me how to do a scientific equation (or why you’d want to).
Learning was never meant to be trying to cram thousands of fragmented pieces of knowledge into your head just for the sake of doing it. It was meant to strengthen you as a person and help you in this journey we call life. So, how can we do that with our kids? Here are 5 simple ideas to encourage a love of true learning in your children.
#1. Look for their interests and areas of giftedness. Sure, everyone needs to learn to read, write and do simple arithmetic, but beyond that research your child and see what they want to learn.
#2. Don’t push so hard to fit them into cookie cutter molds. Your child is an individual, don’t treat them like we are all the same. Some children devour books, some build, some paint.
#3. There is not a set standard for what it means to be educated. Oh sure, the government would like you to believe there is, but honestly do you think all people graduating this year know exactly the same things and would it be a good thing if they did?
#4. Raise thinkers & researchers. If you do, it won’t matter what your child wants to do in life, because they will find out the answers to their questions and won’t rest until they’ve solved their problems.
#5. Give them free time to explore and come up with ideas. Don’t try to prevent them from being bored by planning all their activities. Let them build their own jungle gym or boxcar. Let them fail.
I’m sure there are many more ways to promote a love of learning. These are just a few from my limited experience, but I hope it gets you to thinking. Its kind of like the difference in real mashed potatoes versus boxed ones. Which ones do you remember and think “I hope they bring those awesome mashed potatoes to our next get together”? Its the same way with learning. Which methods leave our children hungry for more and actually remembering what they learned 🙂