You model lifelong learning through your words and actions. Your attitude helps shape your children’s feelings about education. If you are excited to learn about this fascinating world, your kids will notice that.
You probably love it when your children really get into something they’re learning. I’m sure you encourage them to pursue their interests:
- check out more books about a topic
- watch videos online
- get their hands dirty to master a newfound skill
Do you do the same for yourself?
What if you pursued your own interests in whatever ways your life allows right now? I imagine it would enrich your own life and help show your children what it’s like to be a self-motivated learner.
Model lifelong learning by pursuing your own interests
So here’s the big question to encourage you: What do you want to learn about? If you take a deep breath and ask yourself what you’re interested in, what comes up? It might not be what you expect. It might not seem very practical. But that doesn’t mean you have to ignore it.
Here’s an example: I have always loved birds. I think they’re beautiful, and I smile to see them fly by. So I bought a bird feeder, and I keep it stocked. I have a few bird identification books to peruse as I see birds at the feeder. And you might laugh, but it is such a thrill for me to be able to identify unusual birds that sometimes stop by.
Now, no one relies on my bird expertise. I don’t get an award for it. But it brings me joy and helps me appreciate God’s handiwork. Great!
Is there something that would bring you joy, refresh your spirit, and help show your children how to follow their own passions?
- Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to knit, or bake, or read Biblical Hebrew.
- Maybe you’ve longed to pick up your high school oboe and take lessons just for the thrill of it.
- Maybe you feel a vocational tug and want to learn about it.
- Perhaps you want to start learning about the causes of world poverty and what works to address it.
Whatever it is, pay attention to it.
Different passions for different seasons of life
When my children were at home, I challenged myself to try one new recipe a week. I didn’t have time then to read serious Bible commentaries, but now I’m enjoying the chance to read some of John’s old seminary books. I’m also in the middle of the thought-provoking work How God Became King by N.T. Wright. And in recent years, I have taken up gardening and discovered a deep love for getting my hands dirty and changing my small part of the world.
I’ve discovered the world of podcasts, and enjoy listening to Radiolab and TED talks when I do work that doesn’t require much brain power.
In short, I think the world is indeed a fascinating place, and I want to learn about it!
So what do you think? Do you want to give yourself permission to learn about something that interests you this year? Do you want to explore new books, podcasts, or sections of the craft store?
Feel free to show your children what it looks like to be a self-motivated, lifelong learner. That’s a lesson that will serve them well.
If this all sounds overwhelming and you are in a season of simply trying to get through each day, know that that’s fine, too. Eventually this season will pass, and you’ll find yourself ready to expand your horizons again. And in the meantime, remember that you are already learning boatloads in your daily life just by homeschooling with Sonlight!