Sailing – for the Homeschool Mum (part 4)
Curiosity is a foundational aspect to learning – for anyone. We want our children to be curious about the world, but they will only follow our lead. Are you a curious mum?
Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures – Lovelle Drachman
When it comes to educating my children – to teaching and training their intellectual/mental capacity – one of my foundational goals is that I want them to be life long learners. I don’t want them to see their ‘schooling’ as their learning years, and I certainly don’t want the pressure of teaching them ‘everything’ before they are 18. If you take this goal, and then add that with the parenting truth that our kids are watching us and copying us – it only goes to say that we too should be life long learners.
The quality that builds learning more than any other trait is a sense of curiosity. Are you curious?
Curiosity is the art of asking questions. Little children are full of curiosity – we all know those days of endless ‘but why?’ questions. It is sad, that by the time kids are in middle school a lot of this curiosity isn’t there anymore – our kids stop asking questions. Not only do we not want that to happen to our kids – but we may find ourselves in a situation where we have to start asking questions.
What? Why? When? Where? How? These are the most basic of questions – so they are a good start.
Another trait of life long learners is that they aren’t afraid to not know the answer. If we hide behind our supposed authority and wisdom of being a parent, and never acknowledge that we don’t know something – then we fail at being curious, we fail at showing our kids what it means to keep on learning.
Stemming from this aspect is the third aspect of being curious – not being afraid of being wrong. If you don’t know something, so you start asking questions, and thinking and exploring there is every chance you’ll come up with the wrong answer. That’s okay.
I’m sure we are all familiar with the story that says – Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times when trying to create the light bulb. When asked about it, Edison said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb.”
If we come up with the wrong answer that is okay – we’ve learnt something!
So three attitudes that will help us live with curiosity:
- Asking questions
- Don’t be afraid of not knowing
- Don’t be afraid of being wrong
As a parent we think that acknowledging these things will diminish our standing with our kids. But we miss the point here – when we are curious and we get down and start learning with our kids – we not only feed that sense of curiosity in our own life, we model to them what learning is all about. We model not knowing something, we model not being afraid of failing, we model asking questions, we model delight in learning!
Curiosity doesn’t always have to be about the kids. For you to be a true life long learner you need to pursue your passions as well as knowledge to support your kids’ learning. It is hard to have passions and interests when we are young mums – I get that – it’s hard, but it is doable. As I look back over 25 years of being married, 23 years of being a mum I can see different seasons of life where different passions were my focus. Homemaking, Hospitality, Creative crafts, Parenting, Homeschooling, Blogging, Quilting, Scrapbooking. These are the things that I have pursued because I am Belinda. My house is full of books – and they aren’t all for the kids – I want to be a person who has interests, and who is learning and growing in those interests.
So are you curious? Do you ask questions? Do you wonder about things? Do you probe deeper for a better understanding? Your kids need to see you pursing knowledge; they need to see you learning. And it all starts with curiosity.
PS – yes, I must add a note here, because I can hear mums saying “When do I ever get time to be curious for my own interests?” Instead of pushing away the truth behind the idea that we must be curious by saying that we don’t have time – ask a different question. Ask: Where can I find the time to be curious? How can I make time to read, explore, discover the things I’m interested in?
Asking the right questions – will help us find solutions.
When my kids were young – all through early childhood, primary school and at least the first few years of highschool I had one hour to myself every day. As soon as I could I aligned my kids nap, rest, or quiet time to the same time slot. For us, this worked after lunch. Our routine was a quick tidy up, lunch, and then 1 hour rest time. I used this time to pursue my interests. I rarely cleaned or dealt with any responsibilities at this time. It was my creative time where I sewed, crafted, scrapped or it was my learning time where I read. Sometimes it was my rest time, where I simply put my feet up and watched a movie (and yes, sometimes I extended the kids rest time to a little bit longer so I could finish watching my movie! LOL).
There is a way for you to pursue interests – maybe not in big blocks of time – but a little bit every day soons builds something substantial.
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Throughout the week I share with one, or more of these blogs:
Monday: (Australian) Australian Mums encouraging Mums (Rest of the World) Mom’s the Word, Monday’s Musings, Thoughtful Spot, Meetup Mondays Tuesday: (Australian) IBOT @ Essentially Jess, (Rest of the World) Hip Homeschool Moms Blog Hop, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Tuesday @10, Intentional Tuesdays, Tuesday Talk Wednesday: Coffee and Conversation, Finishing Strong (Middle & Highschool years), Women with Intention, Whole Hearted Home, Coffee for your Heart, A Little R & R, Sitting among Friends Thursday: Hearts for Home / Embracing Destiny, Shine Blog Hop, From House to Home, Grace at Home, After my Coffee Friday: Grace and Truth Christian linkup, Faith-filled Friday, Faith and Fellowship, Learning from Each Other, Faith-filled Parenting Saturday/Sunday: Weekend Roundup Monthly: HSBA Post Blog & Tell