Is It Possible to Inspire a Love for Learning?

Can parents inspire their children to love learning? If anyone can… parents can! Learning begins as soon as a child is born and fostering and encouraging their natural curiosity and inquisitiveness is fundamental to raising lifelong learners. Parents play THE vital role in developing this love of learning. As we start back to school, I am greatly concerned that my children develop a love of learning. There are a few simple guidelines that I use to “inspire” them to love learning:

1) Never discourage questions!

Your child learns by asking questions. Yes, I know sometimes we get continuous questions from morning till night and it gets old. Just remember, each time you answer your child’s questions they are LEARNING!

2)Be an example.

The saying, “More is caught than taught” is so applicable here. If your children see you studying, reading, and learning they will “see” that seeking knowledge is normal behavior. Children are naturally prone to imitate the adults in their life. Go to the library, let the children check out books and check a few out for yourself. Read to yourself, read to your children, and read silently together.

3) Give them the tools they need to learn.

Yes, I know so many of us are on very tight budgets, but with the advent of Google a wealth of information, learning games, online lesson plans, and even books are at our fingertips. But, don’t forget your local library. I still remember the “awe” I felt every time I walked into our public library. It was an assault on my senses – the almost sacred “hush”, the “smell” of accumulated knowledge, and the nonending “sight” of books from wall to wall and ceiling to floor… amazed me!

4) Let them experience.

Introduce your children to science museums, natural history museums, zoos, historical sites, national parks, and even forests. Much of learning is achieved through experiencing.

5) Talk with your child.

Your child will obviously have many teachers in life. Even the home schooled child will learn at the feet of many instructors throughout their life. Yet, the parent is by far the most important teacher a child will have. Children value their parent’s input and approval. Keep the lines of communication open. Praise your child when you see them reading or studying. Let them know they are doing a great thing!

This is obviously not an all inclusive list, yet it is a starting place. It may be difficult to break bad habits and to begin to make these new habits. Just try one a day, before you know it… you’ll be thinking up your own ways to inspire your children in their pursuit of knowledge!