I firmly believe that kids learn best by doing.
This belief has been the foundation of my educational philosophy, my parenting, and makes up the core of my writing. Now that I homeschool my little ones… it shows through in just about everything we do around here.
When we involve kids in their world, they appreciate it more, care for it better, and have a vested interest in learning how to live best in it.
To me, raising a lifelong learner means bringing up my kids to be active participants in their education. Whether that education is “school” learning or “life” learning, they need to actively engage in it.
That means that when Trevor asks me a question, I don’t give him the answer. I show him how to find the answer. If we can get to it right away, or it’s a pressing issue, we might sit down at the computer for a quick “Google tutorial.” Or, if I’m in the middle of a million things (that never happens, right?), I might point him to the four hundred thousand (give or take) nonfiction books I have in the house and tell him to start reading.
When Molly helps in the kitchen, I let her crack the eggs. Then, I show her how to scoop the shell out of the bowl. But, I don’t do it for her.
If Logan needs a diaper change (now that she’s 2.5 and must. get. on. the. potty. soon. before. I. lose. my. mind.) I tell her to get the diaper, wipes, and to lay down. She does, and then we laugh and tickle before getting to the icky stuff.
All three kids have chores. Trevor regularly cooks breakfast. Logan sets the table and Molly clears it. They all know that they need to be participants in the things we do so that our family runs smoothly, and I know they are learning to appreciate all that goes into it. I also know that they are learning valuable skills.
You know the saying, “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime?” (paraphrased, I’m sure) It’s true. When our aim is to raise lifelong learners, we need to teach them to fish.
We need to…
- help them follow their passions.
- surround them with things to spark curiosity.
- read to them.
- give them a strong faith foundation.
- expose them to a variety of sports, arts, and subjects.
- engage them in imaginary play.
- enjoy them.
How to you teach your kids to fish? I’d love to know…