Kids love to play follow the leader whether or not a game is actually in progress. I regularly find my now five year old following me around walking like I walk or fluffing pillows behind me right after I finish fluffing them. He’s mimicking me as a way of learning to do things that adults do. My other kids will repeat phrases I say and use words I use [therefore bajillion is a number in our house] for the same reason. We all – but especially kids – learn from those around them.
So what are your children learning about the age for learning, place for learning and importance of learning from you?
Do they think that they can quit learning new things when they get out of high school? College? Trade school? Or do they see that you are continuing to learn new things whether that is part of a class you are taking [a grad school class here . . . a new certification class there . . . ], an app you are using [anyone else picking up Latin in five minutes a day?], a seminar at the library, a how to book [crochet newbie here], or even through YouTube videos [maybe we can fix that dryer ourselves]. You are sending a message with your attitude towards continuing to learn. Do you seek out information or do you relegate it to the “experts” of a field. Do you take the time to try new things or do your children see your knowledge as stagnate?
When you learn something new is it always outside the house or do you work on learning new things at home? As a homeschooling family it is extra important that your children see your home as a place for learning. It’s great for them to also see the library, parks and other places as places of learning but most importantly they need to know that learning is something to be done in your home. A good way to set up your homes as a location of learning is to provide different ways to learn through your home. This can mean opening up space for you and your kids to learn something together in the kitchen or having a pile of books in the family room. Maybe there is a pile of tools that everyone has access to or searching on YouTube is a family affair. Another important step is for your children to see you using time at home to learn. There is no reason to wait and do all your learning when the children are asleep or busy elsewhere in the house. My boys regularly will catch me learning a new cooking technique, reading some non-fiction or struggling through a crochet stitch while they are working on schoolwork or playing nearby.
Is learning something you do because you want to or is it something that you do because you have to [repairs are expensive – am I right?!?] The joy of learning is most often something that is caught. I know that not everyone loves to learn. I’m well aware that I’m a bit of a geek in that matter. But you can still model a lack of annoyance at needing to learn. Love and joy are different. Let them be that way. Even if the process isn’t your favorite, find joy in the acquisition of new knowledge.
What are your kids learning from you? What could you set out to learn?
Keep things smart. Keep things simple.