Seth and I like to have a lifestyle of learning in our family. This hasn’t happened by accident but because we think it’s important for our children. We don’t want our kids to ever think that learning should only take place during the “school day” or only through textbooks. In fact, one of our first goals when we decided to homeschool was to help our children become lifelong learners by having a lifestyle of learning.
We would like to share lots of our ideas on how to create a lifestyle of learning in your home. I’m sure there are other ideas people have, but over the next weeks, we’ll share things we do. Throughout many of our posts, you’ll see a common theme.
What’s the common theme to all of our lifestyle of learning ideas? Time. No matter what else you do in life, if you want a lifestyle of learning for you and your children, you need to make time. When I say you need time, I don’t mean you should schedule a 1-hour time slot every other Tuesday for a “lifestyle of learning” but that you need to have lots of unplanned time for learning to take place. If I fill every minute of my children’s days, even with good activities, often our learning takes a big hit.
How do we make time?
- We limit trips out of the house. For us, this means we try to have only 1 or 2 things regularly scheduled during school hours. Last year, we had Classical Conversations on one day and piano on another. Those were the only regular outside-of-the-house activities during weekday daytime hours.
- We take advantage of any learning opportunity that presents itself even if it might make us late. This might mean investigating something we see in God’s creation, driving slowly past construction equipment, or letting one of the kids pay at the check-out. This also means I might have to plan on extra time for running errands instead of racing to get in as many as I can in the shortest time possible.
- We weigh each activity carefully for its time commitment and what that’ll do to learning and family time. Time is one of our most valuable commodities, and we don’t want it to be filled with decent things that make us miss out on better things.
- We use our time for learning – in the van, at the table, in line at a store, or while doing chores. It’s amazing how many little moments you can grab.
- We also make sure we don’t over-commit ourselves. If Seth and I are too busy, we aren’t going to take the time to learn or teach the kids throughout our days. Less activity is truly more – for our family and our learning.
We look forward to sharing with you about how you might like to create a lifestyle of learning in your family in the coming weeks. How do you make time in your family?