5 Ways to Nurture Your Child's LearningDaniele
We all desire to foster a love of learning in our children. Ask any homeschool Mom or Dad and surely, we echo similar thoughts — maybe it’s even why we have them home.
Today I offer ideas on nurturing this learning lifestyle. Not at all an exhaustive list or even a partial one, you’re welcome to add suggestions to the conversation.
Just for fun, let’s count backwards….
5. Expose them to a variety of options
I think of this especially for families who are prone to ‘get in a rut’ with activities or pursuits. For example, in my family growing up, we all played musical instruments, taking extensive lessons and even playing competitively for years.
What’s wrong with this picture, you might ask? Maybe nothing. My children are all in some stage of learning music and the heritage I’ve received is well-appreciated. However, this hyper focus left little room to explore other options. As parents, we can encourage our children to master a particular skill, yes…but to also explore others as hobbies. There’s a difference.
Summertime offers great opportunity for week long (or more) camps to try options. Our children may not pursue those long-term, but the exposure is an invitation to experience something different.
4. Offer a variety of outlets
Some children are content with learning without lots of recognition…other kiddos need more. Whatever your child is pursuing, allow for a variety of ways to share what they’ve learned.
Visit a local nursing home to sing, play an instrument or share poetry — our family has done this, it’s a welcomed idea by most facilities! Form your own recital, art show or learning fair of sorts, maybe as part of your end-of-year celebration? Seek outlets for healthy competition or ways for your children to express to others what they are learning or pursuing.
The preparation time and positive feedback received will grow them as a learner.
3. Model Learning Yourself.
This seems obvious, and most likely it’s a natural part of our days. Just a tip to allow our children to see us enthusiastic about the new information we’re taking in.
Share your growing pains and also the joy of learning something new or of sharpening your skills. Children pick up quickly on attitudes and hopefully see that while learning may have difficult seasons, perseverance pays off and the results are exciting!
2. Allow them to make mistakes.
In efforts to help our children succeed, we often spare them one of life’s greatest teachers — failure. I’m in no way suggesting we allow for dangerous or unsafe practices or to ignore our children’s cry for true help.
As they age however, within the safety of parental support, there is value in realizing all of our ideas are not good ones, all pursuits not worthy of time-investment. We need wisdom and discernment to know just how to navigate this path, but life without failing isn’t real.
Our children will mature and grow as a learner when they can safely make and process their mistakes.
1. Believe that they can.
Rather, believe in the God who gifted them in the first place. Yes, I know it’s hard to envision greatness in the two-year-old who’s running around waving his brother’s undies (why yes, I’m using real life examples!).
But there is greatness there. For my son, your child, has been gifted by an incredibly creative God and is destined for greatness. Not as the world judges, but in God’s standards, in His ways and timing…there is purpose waiting to be released.
Speak it, Act upon it. Believe it.
Any other suggestions or thoughts?