One of my primary homeschool and parenting goals is to encourage a lifelong love of learning. Nurturing that spark of curiosity is something that will help your child from kindergarten through college and beyond. It is important to realize that we really never stop learning — at least we shouldn’t — so kindling the flame of inquisitive minds is essential. Here are a few tips to get you started with fostering a love of learning in your child.
How to Foster a Lifelong Love of Learning in Your Child
#1. Start while they are young.
One of the most vital points to know is start teaching your child from the very beginning. When your child is still a baby, start reading books to him/her. Teach your child through music and language. When your baby is born their brain is developing at astonishing rates. If you want your child to love learning, start teaching from the beginning and don’t stop.
Don’t be intimidated if this doesn’t seem realistic in your current situation. We all know that this is generally easier to do with your first child when you have more time to focus just one on one together. Remember that most concepts are “caught” rather than taught (especially language) at early ages, so just having your child in the midst of family activities or homeschooling with your older children will help. As Charlotte Mason said:
Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.
Creating an atmosphere of learning in your home will have lifelong positive effects for your children.
#2. Make learning enjoyable.
Everyone learns differently and at varying rates. If you make learning fun and a natural part of life, your child will enjoy learning. It has been proven that children learn through play so learning is supposed to be fun and pleasant. You don’t have to stick with the traditional textbook approach to writing and arithmetic to teach your child. You can teach them every day by playing games, making puzzles, reading books they enjoy, and exploring their world.
We continue that type of delight-directed learning as our children have grown. We allow them to explore particular topics of interest and focus on gaining skills that will serve them in future pursuits.
#3. Show your own love for learning.
Children tend to follow a parent’s example more than anything else. It is so important to show how much you love learning. Make learning a part of the family together time and show them the value of learning. Take your child to museums, zoos, and the library; your child will learn to love learning as much as you do. Show them through your life that learning is a lifelong endeavor and part of the reason it is exciting to be alive. I truly enjoy learning alongside my daughters and sharing favorite books with them. It helps to keep that joy of discovery alive in our homeschool lessons.
Just remember, it’s never too late to start fostering a love of learning in your child. It is true that it is easier to start when your child is still a baby, but you can always start teaching your child important habits at any time. Your child will enjoy spending time with you, and you can use this time to start teaching your child to love learning. Teach them the excitement of learning something new, the fun of exploring new environments, and the joy of being alive.
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