One of the ways that we create a love of learning in our kids is to feed them one spoonful at a time. When we spoon feed our kids we tempt them with morsels, exposing them to aspects of the world that they may otherwise not have considered. We do this by
- Reading a variety of books
- Talking to a variety of people
- Watching a variety of dvds/documentaries
- Working on a variety of projects
When it comes to our daily food intake, we spoon feed our kids when they are little because they can’t do it themselves; the same goes with creating a love of learning. We introduce topics, or expose our kids to ideas that they haven’t considered. There comes a time though where they pick up the spoon themselves, where you need to stop and let them do it on their own. But until that happens – and who knows when it will happen – until it does, expose your children to the world and all its wonders. History, science, geography, technology, business, math, language, life…
Your enthusiasm helps. Remember telling your kids how yummy spinach was as it was pureed with pear (or some other weird combination we give our babies!) Our enthusiasm convinced them to give it a try. To their uninformed palette it was delicious. To some degree this is the case with our kids too – except they are old enough to discern when you are lying/faking it!! So your enthusiasm has to be based on a real interest in the world around you.
It takes time. Remember giving your baby pumpkin for a week (or at least for a few days in a row). This not only helped eliminate any reactions but it also developed a taste for something. Once again we can draw an analogy – it takes time to develop a taste for the information you are presenting. Don’t give up at the first spoonful.
And just as my kids have developed a particular like for particular foods, so too have they developed a love for a particular knowledge. They have their own appetites, preferences and foods that they love. This is the same in their quest for knowledge – it differs – they have their own appetites, preferences and loves. They study some subjects because they know it is good for them and they study some subjects because they are hooked, it is their favourite, they can’t get to it enough. This topic is their passion.
One of our goals for our children is that they have a love for learning – spoonfeeding our kids (as it were) until that ability and passion takes hold of them, is one of the mainstays of our homeschooling.