“What inspires you to learn?”
Here’s how we inspire our children to learn.
As we all know, children are born wanting to learn. They love to learn. We cannot stop a baby from learning to talk, or a toddler from asking, “Why?” But we can discourage their love of learning until a child no longer wants to learn.
When we began homeschooling nine years ago, I was on a sure course to discourage our four children from loving to learn. I ordered full textbook curriculum based on price and ease, not on content. I sent them to classes for subjects I thought were too hard to teach. Our children were bored, wiggly, and grumbled about doing schoolwork. My attitude about learning changed when I realized we cannot make anyone learn anything. We need to inspire them to want to learn.
Now, in our homeschool, we (hubby & I) first consider why we want our children to learn a certain subject. We don’t teach simply to pass a grade or earn a credit, so we ask, “Why does he or she need to know this?”
After we figure out our end goal, we search for the masters. The “master” might be a famous speech writer, a biography author, a seminar teacher, or Mr. Jones across town. We’ll try to find a way to connect our child with the “master,” by enrolling her in a sewing course with the heirloom seamstress, by signing him up to listen to the WWII veteran speak on Tuesday night, or by checking a biography out of the library.
Then, we think of hands-on activities for the child. As much as possible, we place the child in touch with the subject. We will flip over a log to look for the spiders we are reading about in a famous naturalist’s journal; we’ll visit an old fort where Geronimo was held captive; we’ll play an interactive online game on the subject; or we’ll drive across down to talk to Mr. Jones whom we’ve noticed is smart with his money.
So, how do we inspire our children to learn? We follow their example: We love to learn.