Our kids know that their education must be important to us–that’s why we’ve chosen to homeschool.
But can they tell that our own education is also important to us? Are we modeling the characteristics of lifelong learning we hope to instill in them?
This topic always brings to mind the leadership education principle of “Inspire, Not Require.” Through a few simple actions, we can convey to our kids that learning never stops–that it’s part of this great adventure called life.
Here are three ways to show that you’re still learning.
1. Read–and leave your books out.
Reading alone isn’t the goal. Our children need to see us reading and see what we’re reading. So make a point to read occasionally in front of your children, and leave your current books and magazines out where they’ll discover them.
Some of our family’s most educational conversations began because a child asked a question about my books, which were strategically placed in the living room.
I recently had the opportunity to give my 5-year-old son a brief synopsis of The Lord of the Rings when he found me reading it during rest time. He was engrossed by the concept of a “magic ring,” and I could only get him back to his room by promising that he’d get to read it as well when he’s a bit older.
2. Talk to your kids about what you’re learning.
When you see an interesting (and age appropriate) headline on the news, share it with your children. Do the same with other information that comes your way throughout the day.
Be interested in life, not just your child’s grades or test scores. If you believe the world is a fascinating place, then tell them–model a keen interest and discuss what you hope to learn more about in the future.
Photo by Andy
3. Challenge yourself.
Never be content to just maintain the status quo, even in your homeschool. It speaks volumes to our children when we challenge ourselves.
What dream lies dormant in your heart–how can you begin, even with the tiniest baby steps, to nurture it right now?
Whether it’s writing a book, getting a degree, reading a classic, or signing up for a pottery class–even spending an hour (or 15 minutes!) a week in research shows our children that we really believe in the importance of learning.
Through furthering our own education we invest in ourselves and our family.
Homeschooling is about so much more than getting your child’s “work” done for the day–it is a precious lifestyle and a valuable opportunity. So take a moment today to show your kids that you’re still learning.
How do you model the importance of lifelong learning for your children?
Excellent post. I think that my husband’s and my studying a new language has been a great example to our daughter of lifelong learning. And my daughter and I are enjoying an art class together!
It is quite obvious that children will learn from our example. Our true values are shown in our ACTIONS much more than our words.
(The first pic up there made me laugh. I thought it was a bunch of adults lined up on their laptops, goofing off. Maybe they are reading? Or learning?)
.-= Jimmie’s last blog: Polliwogs =-.
I consider this to be one of my main responsibilities as a homeschooling parent–modeling life learning as something that feels good, necessary and is fun!
Great post Jamie!
Angela @ Homegrown Mom
I truly love to learn and sometimes I think I drive my family crazy with all the sharing I do. This makes me feel much better 🙂
.-= Angela @ Homegrown Mom’s last blog: Giveaway Week: Garnish =-.
Heidi @ Mt Hope
Excellent point. So many times it is ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ If we truly value education, we will model that in our own lives.
No problems leaving books around. Got that one down pat. 🙂
.-= Heidi @ Mt Hope’s last blog: Luke’s Drama =-.
I just started taking classes for my Master’s degree (and to finish my Bachelor’s). My daughter has been learning that Mommy has to “do school” sometimes, so while I’m “doing school”, she grabs a book and “does school” too. She thinks it’s great!
.-= Ashley’s last blog: When you pray… Part Two!! =-.
I am always reading, learning and looking for willing ears to share my excitement with! Since much of my learning is really internal – figuring things out in my head and heart – my kids probably don’t recognize just how much growth I have experienced throughout parenthood and homeschooling. I am not great at modeling hands-on skills learning; my middle daughter wonders why the pj bottoms I started sewing months ago are still hanging in the sewing room (I don’t prioritize creative time for myself) or why I never actually use my serger (b/c I don’t know how to thread it and the task feels daunting to me)… so there are many practical skills I want to learn or improve upon (ex. gardening, sewing, soap & candle making) and would like to be a better role model in this area for my children.
Reading, for sure — I make sure to let them see me do it. Also, I write a monthly column on local travel for a magazine, and I take them along with me to help me do “research.” I always ask them what they think of the place, and they love it when they sometimes see photos of themselves in the magazine. I hope it inspires them to see me doing something that’s not just homekeeping, mothering and homeschooling — as important as those things are.
.-= Hannah’s last blog: Snippets for Your Amusement =-.
I once read, when I was just teaching one kid, that if you are trying to teach your kids absolutely everything in sight then take a course… Oh I needed to hear that and now at the start of each new school year I make sure I am trying to master something new myself!!! It’s great they learn their things and I learn mine and we are all discovering that learning is fun!!!
This is so encouraging and also such a challenge! I was just writing today about the reality of how hard math has been to overcome for me…but I am becoming blessed learning alongside my children and seeing their diligence and wonder in their work. I love that opportunities are never lost, its never too late to learn new things. I also think I need to do a better job of talking to my children about what I am reading and taking in, definately more important than a nap 🙂
Great post. My experience with my older children is that at some point learning, though fun, is tough. They really take notice when I stumble across something in my own studies that is difficult. When I stick with it and work it out, they are learning that sticking with the tough stuff is worth it. It’s too easy to say something is hard and not try. They can celebrate with us when we have a success (even if it’s just a math problem 🙂 and be encouraged to follow our example.
.-= Deon’s last blog: Weekly Wrap-Up, March 26, 2010 =-.
Thanks for this. I certainly need the occasional reminder that pursuing our own personal interests has value for our children. Prioritizing anything other than the practical demands of home and children often seems impossible, or at least not worth the struggle. At least I’m already adept at leaving my books lying around the house, even if I never find time to read them . . . .
Plenty of books lying around here! =)
Love the exhortation to challenge ourselves. Between my husband and I, we’ve got a lifetime of dreams to fulfill.
This is a fantastic post. How often as adults do we forget that we’re still learning? It is absolutely essential that we instill in our children that in every experience is a lesson and in every moment an opportunity for learning and growth.
Laura @ Getting There
I pretty much always have a few books going, both fiction and non fiction, as does my husband. And our children see us researching things we’re interested in all the time. So, I guess we’re doing pretty well in that respect. 🙂
.-= Laura @ Getting There’s last blog: Specialization is for insects. =-.
Jamie this is a great post.
I spend so much time “wondering” about things I think my kids might “wonder” if I know anything at all. LOL.
It is so great to learn together and share with them our love of learning.
.-= Dawn Suzette’s last blog: Mother Nature’s Toybox: Beach Edition =-.