Instill A Love of Learning

What’s my secret?

Talk, talk and talk some more. Isn’t that what we humans do – COMMUNICATE? I am always so sad to see a family of 4 sitting, and each one of them are face down, iphone in hand and texting frantically to update their “friends” and business associates of their “latest news”. Tweet this, check in a foursquare, buzz about it – as if their online presence and identity is more important than their real relationship… you know, the one being ignored that is right in front of them.

All parents want the best for their child, especially when it comes to learning and education. But education starts long before kindergarten. It starts in the HOME – where the heart is. Parents do a great service to humanity as a whole when they are conscious to instill a love of learning in children by fostering healthy curiosity about the world around them and encouraging exploration and discovery. When this happens, some divine alchemy is formed and all of a sudden, children see learning come alive in their eyes. When this occurs, they have a natural reverence and mindfulness of the world around them. It’s much easier then to enjoy school and create habits of learning – and these are habits that they’ll carry with them throughout their entire lives.

Talking with your child about life’s everyday experiences will help each of you understand the others’ viewpoints, values, dreams, and interests. Parents need not only talk, but also listen to their children. Answering questions, or helping children find the answers, will help your child develop a sense of value and self-respect.

Many parents think activities such as going to the zoo, museums, or shows make up for lost time with their children. But, there can be just as much educational value in everyday activities, such as going to the bank, going grocery shopping, or doing a project at home. Parents just need to plan ahead a little to help their child discover the world.

Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, emphasized the importance of achieving balance in the three different means by which a person relates to the world through the realm of thinking, through the life of feelings, and through physical activity. In Waldorf circles – this is known as head, heart, and hands – and this synergy nurtures the child’s self-reliance, while building personal integrity and a sense of social responsibility. Children’s days should have a balance of practical activities to prepare him as thoroughly as possible for the flexibility needed to meet all life experiences, while at the same time instilling a life-long love of learning. The best way to do this is to include him or her. It sounds so simple, and yet just look around and see how disconnected people (families) have become.

The important thing for parents to remember is that they are the most important teachers in their child’s life.

Children are born eager to learn, but parents need to help them channel that learning. Talk with children before, during, and after any activity. The more you talk with each other, the more rewarding your conversations will be, and the better you will get to know your child…. ♥

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