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“Love of learning” can sound like a vague, mysterious, unattainable concept.
We desperately want our kids to have one, of course, but how do we kindle it in the midst of the busyness, routines, and responsibilities of homeschooling life?
Thankfully, a love of learning isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and we can take practical, small steps to nurture or repair it.
In fact, here are five ways you can increase your child’s love of learning by the end of this very day! (Feel free just to pick one or two and try the others later.)
1. Read a book…together.
See what I mean about it not being complicated?
But here’s the key when choosing a book or story–especially if your child doesn’t already love learning: It has to match their current interests and grip them where they’re starting from.
Have a child who loves fantasy? Try this or this.
A child who prefers non-fiction? This series has really helped my reluctant reader turn into an eager one. Or check out my non-fiction picture book post for younger kids.
A child fascinated by history? These two novels have captivated us recently as our family begins to scratch the surface of World War II study.
As your child falls in love with reading and learning, you can slowly branch out to books and topics that might not appeal to them at first.
Having trouble getting your kids to the table or living room to listen? Light candles and bring good snacks–works every time!
2. Watch a video…together.
Screen time gets a bad rap these days and for good reason. It can be completely out of balance, distracting, and take away from our studies instead of add to them.
The key to using screen time wisely is that final word up above: together.
When chosen wisely and watched together, screen time can beautifully deepen a love of learning.
Here are a few places to get you started today:
- Best Educational YouTube Channels for Homeschoolers
- Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (For Ages 3-6: FREE with Amazon Prime)
- Reading Rainbow (For Ages 5-9: FREE with Amazon Prime)
- Rabbit Ears Productions (For Ages 5-9: FREE with Amazon Prime)
- Little Travelers Series (For Ages 5-10: FREE with Amazon Prime)
3. Cook a meal…together.
Our most recent kitchen project–making maple syrup!
There’s something basic yet empowering about learning to cook or bake. Two of my kids can now (at ages 10 and 11) prepare a full dinner from start to finish–something I honestly had no clue how to do at that age.
It all started from us simply being in the kitchen together. A little bit at a time…for years. Those hours together bond, heal, and nourish.
And if you want to create a formal “class” around it, read my posts on teaching kids to bake, check out the results, and my newest post on our cooking class. (And Katie Kimball’s current FREE video cooking series is also not to be missed!)
4. Delve into one of their interests…together.
Without a doubt, your child has at least one interest or passion. What I’ve found is that sometimes I have a traditional school hangup about what “counts” as school learning.
You know what I mean–something neatly compartmentalized in a subject like math, science, language arts, social studies, and so on.
But real love of learning doesn’t fit into neat little boxes. (Thank goodness!) In real life, one thing naturally leads to another. So take 15 or 30 minutes to join in with your kids’ interests today.
Do some online research together about skateboarding, find out how to build a catapult, search for the best chocolate cake recipe. Or maybe just force yourself to get down on the floor and play My Little Pony for five minutes. 😉 It’s all good.
5. Invest in your own love of learning and then discuss it…together.
Please don’t put your own mind on the shelf in the name of educating your children! That only teaches them that learning is something we “have” to do until a certain age, which couldn’t be further away from the love of learning we hope to inspire.
Read something purely for yourself, even if you can only aim for five minutes today.
All three weave into my conversations and discussions with the kids here and there as I share what I’m learning.
Or maybe there’s a skill you’d like to get better in–one that would help you be a better mama, wife, or educator. Find a book, an online mentor, or an e-course!
This year I’m enrolled in Mentoring in the Classics and Replenish 365 with Lisa Byrne. Both are teaching me a ton–helping me get around to books I’ve never tackled before and teaching me how to care for myself so I can be there for my family.
It’s simple for us to increase our kids’ love of learning by the end of the day, and here’s why:
It all goes back to relationships–just living life side by side. Reading, laughing, exploring, adventuring, crying, hurting, talking, cooking, watching, growing, eating, living, loving.
All beautiful building blocks of a lifestyle of learning…done together.
If you enjoyed this post, check out Jamie’s new book, Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy.
“I never teach my pupils. I only provide the conditions in which they can learn.” ~ Albert Einstein
What will you be doing today to increase your child’s love of learning?
Originally posted on April 21, 2015.