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Raising Lifelong Learners

Raising Lifelong Learners

As a child, I remember marveling over how much the world had changed since my grandparents were born. I thought the change was all done with – I could not have been more wrong! I have seen people transition from typewriters to smartphone over the past three decades, and I know this is only the beginning. I have always wanted my children to be lifelong learners, but the rapid transformations created by technology and the internet mean raising lifelong learners is more important than ever before!

Raising children who love to learn, and who want to keep learning throughout their lives is a great way to help guarantee your child’s future employment. More importantly, it is one of the best things we can do to help our children become happy, healthy, productive, and caring adults. Here are a few things I am doing to raise children who love to learn:

Be a Lifetime Learner

Kids learn by watching their parents. My siblings are always teaching me new things that they discovered, and I think that our family’s love of lifetime learning is easily traced to our parents. My father taught learned to speak five languages fluently – as and adult. He reads history books for fun. My mother watches and listens to math and physics lectures – also for fun.

Lifetime learning does not have to involve textbooks or lectures. You are teaching your children to be lifelong learners when you decide to take up running for the first time, when you decide to learn how to crochet, and when you learn to use your camera in manual mode. Find something that interests you, and make it your new home study course!

Embrace Mistakes

Lifelong learning is about the journey, not mastery. One of my sisters once told me about a music teacher who taught their students to say, “How fascinating!” whenever they made mistakes. What a wonderful way to look at a misstep – as something to examine and learn from rather than as a crushing flaw.

We learn from our mistakes – but only if we take that opportunity.

Make Time for Learning

Learning takes time – sometimes time that doesn’t look like much. I have written before about children needing free time – adults do as well, and free time that is spent unplugged. If you find yourself running low on inspiration, try taking a walk, going on a run, or simply sitting and watching the sun set.

How do you encourage lifelong learning in your home?

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

16 thoughts on “Raising Lifelong Learners”

  1. “Lifelong learning is about the journey, not mastery.” So true! I try to embrace that and help my kids to embrace it as well.

  2. Enjoyed your post about lifelong learning. I especially liked the comment “lifelong learning is about the journey, not mastery…” Life is a journey (even the ups and downs) and one that should be seen with wonder and joy. If only we can communicate that to children by our action. Thank you for stopping by my blog — it led me to yours! Patricia Tilton

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    And I want to add my first thought, how gorgeous your daughters are together in that picture!!

  4. Elisa | blissfulE

    Your parents (and you) are such inspiring examples! I’m excited to get my crochet hooks out when I get a chance…

  5. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    What a good point about modeling learning for your children. We all have to be lifelong learners in our ever changing world.

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