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Monday, April 12, 2010

Top Ten Ways to Raise Super Learners

BlogCruiseButtonThis week’s question on the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog Cruise: How do you instill a love of learning in your child?

I’m definitely not an expert on this topic, but here are some things I’ve learned, some the hard way.

  1. Listen to your children. Find out what their dreams are. Find out what they want to learn more about. Help them form goals. And help them make a plan to realize those goals.
  2. Make it their idea. Human beings are stubborn and hate to be made to do anything (you can’t make them, even if you try). Try giving your children choices. It might be as simple as deciding to do math or handwriting next. Or allowing them to organize their day.
  3. Create an environment full of learning possibilities. In an ideal world, I would have science kits and books scattered all over the house, open and inviting my children in. (Ok, I do have books and other objects scattered all over my house…trouble is they aren’t inviting, just obstacles to get past without falling.)
    • Create a reading nook with lots of interesting books ( a window seat, or a comfy chair).
    • Have a designated area for science experiments, with books and materials for projects---it can be a real pain to be right in the middle of a project and have to pack it up because the family needs the dinner table back.
  4. Use your wall space. Fill it with interesting art, timelines, and diagrams. We’ve been living with the human body on our kitchen wall all year, and I know the kiddos remember the organs much better than they would have if we read it in a book and then put the book away.
  5. Don’t equate learning with filling a portfolio or answering test questions. Facts and dates will be forgotten, that doesn’t mean an impression hasn’t been made, a lesson learned. Learning is not about filling a filing cabinet with facts…it is about giving your children a broad range of experience and knowledge.
  6. Remember that everything is a learning experience…but you don’t have to actually tell the children that! It is OK to go to national monuments without pounding home the history… or enjoy the flowers in the garden without dissecting them.
  7. Discuss things with your children. Don’t tell them everything. Talk it over with them. Ask them thought provoking questions and really listen to the answers. You’ll be surprised by their wise (and often humorous) insights.
  8. Make every day an opportunity for discoveries. Don’t try to connect all the dots for them. The human mind is an amazing creation (it should be, it has an amazing Creator), and can make its own connections. Even babies can discover gravity.
  9. Admit it when you don’t know the answers. And help your children to find them.
  10. Enjoy each other and have fun!

4 comments:

  1. Great post, Susan! I appreciate your thoughts on this. :)

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  2. Isn't it amazing how much more they'll learn when THEY pick the topic and you just help them navigate along? Thanks for the well organized post.

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  3. I appreciate this post a lot! WOW!

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  4. Really good job with this post, Susan. You've given me some ideas to ponder. :)

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