Children often perceive school and learning as a waste of time, boring and unnecessary, something that is a chore and forced on them. If we as parents could surpass this and create a love for learning, we will set our children up for a life filled with a love for learning, not because they are forced to but because they are hungry to learn and to explore this magnificent creation of our Father in heaven. They will become hungry to dig deeper and explore and without realising; learn! Once a love for learning and exploring has been instilled, it will be very diffiult to remove. The more they learn and explore because they enjoy what they do, the more they will thirst and acquire knowledge!
Our children become what they see. We are the first point of learning. Yes, this sometimes is a hard pill to swallow, but we are the window to their world. Have you noticed how your little ones mimic you actions, words and behaviours? Have you sometimes looked at your children and thought, “Oh my word that sounds exactly like me”! We are their gateway! Let’s make this count! We were chosen as their parents for a reason, and even though we think that we are not good enough, we are!!! We were chosen to be their parents for a reason, because no other person or human in this entire human race can teach and love your children they way you do!! We were chosen for a reason. We were chosen because our Father in Heaven trusted us and gave us this miracle to teach, love and care for. No one in this entire world can do for your children what you can do for them and even if you don’t see it, it is true! God chose you! Not anyone else! He chose YOU! You, Mommy and Daddy, do not need a degree. Yeshua did not have a degree, and He was chosen! He was a carpenter! And yet he was chosen to change and lead the human race! We do not need degrees, we ARE the degrees by being chosen as their parents!
Share your interests with them, your passions, what makes you happy, sad, excited, anxious and come alive? What you approve of and what you don’t and the reasons for your decisions. They look at our work ethics! Are we lazying on the couch or are we committed to working through challenges? Do we easily give up or do we endure and finish what we started? Do we say that we are sons and daughters of the highest King but falsely accuse and judge other human beings? We have a huge responsibility bringing up the next and future generation. We can make a difference in teaching our children to create, to love, to live their dreams and passions! After all were we not created to for a bigger purpose? Help your children by leading with examples. Yes, we will fail. Yes, we will make mistakes and yes we will not always be perfect. But one thing is for sure, we will always endure and never give up. The struggles are real but together we will overcome..
The world is their oyster! How often do your hear “Mom, why does an aeroplane stay in the sky”? “Why does a frog croak”? “How do birds fly”?, to mention just a few. Together I think that we as parents can write a book about all the why’s! As I sit here writing this blog, I think about the many times I have said I don’t know or Mommy is busy know; or not now angel…. You see where I am going with this? As I am sitting here writing this, Father is reminding me very clearly, that if we do not make time for them, they will not make time for other people and for Him! We need to become still to be with them and in turn teach them to become still.
We do not need to control this! I am not saying let them go wild. I am saying provide them with a good curriculum and guidance, but give them wings and allow them to explore and find out these answers for themselves! Books are one of the most amazing creations! Google has opened up an entire new world to all of us! I am not the parent that will say it is ok to place your child in front of a television and leave them there, ever! But I am the parent that says (with a massive amount of internet security and with parent the parent choosing the programmes and opening the programmes due to pop-ups!) let them google, let them explore, let them learn, and let them dream! I have a small tutor centre and we take one day a week to be free and spread our wings and learn about absolutely anything that we have interest in. If the children want to learn about being a pilot, we will provide the resources to make it happen. If we know a pilot then we will get the pilot to talk to them or take them to the pilot. Feed their curiosity and create a life long love for learning!
My youngest son has a different interest every month! This month it is fishing, and oh boy, our entire home is filled with fishing equipment. Hooks! beautiful, sharp, nasty hooks that goes in very smoothly but ruins everything moving against the flow of the hook; stuck on the curtains – new curtains, now aged within a month bedazzled with pulled loops and threads; the same goes for the carpets and out feet!). Watching videos on cashing fish, all types of fish, different types of bait, worms, fishing rods and oh my goodness it does not end! Not too mention the trips to Angle world just too look! But oh my goodness the joy it brings, the education that comes with the newly found passion! Nothing in this entire world helps a child to learn more than when they enjoy what they do.
Read, Read, Read! Read some more and then again some more! Google is a last resort when mom is working, but nothing in this new age of social media and the internet or wi-fi can come anywhere close to a book. Paging through the pages, savouring the smell of the new and old pages, crawling into bed or their favourite corner, loosing themselves in a new world of exploring. Read to your children every day, create a love for reading. Find books that they enjoy reading. Ask them what they want to read. Once they have found reading fun, and interesting they will never look back! There is nothing like pre-loved books and returning them for more exploring once you are done!
Reading is not just fun, but teaches them to explore, form a new vocabulary, assists with language, relieves stress, brings joy as well as concentration and long term memory. General knowledge of course is key! The bonding that takes place when you read to them is irreplaceable.
Be their first point of call. You will not always agree with the path your children chooses. You will have different interests and likes due to the fact that we were all created as individuals. We are not meant to think alike. We are all as unique as our finger prints. Not supporting your children will set them back tremendously! You are their hero, the person they look to for love and encouragement and if you do not approve or support them on this journey called life, you will create immense trauma. As long as they are learning, (controlled for security reasons), is not harmful or inappropriate encourage them all the way.
Make sure that your children know that their best is good enough for you. Make sure that you work at their pace and they’re understanding. Whether you think it is not good enough is irrelevant. As a perfectionist, this is a lesson I have learnt and still are learning, on a daily basis, having to remind myself that is ok to fail, that it is ok to make mistakes and that it is ok not to always please people. This has been a very tough learning lesson for me, but I have learnt to be open about my perfection issues and teaching them that we are already perfect is His eyes and that our identity only lies in our Father and not humans. I still work through this on a daily basis as I always felt that I needed to perfect to receive love and I had to be the best at everything I did to receive recognition from my parents. A journey that still takes its toll on me through adult hood. Let’s not make the same mistakes our parents made. Let’s encourage our children to create in love and in turn learn to love unconditionally and openly.
Teaching your child to become independent is one of the greatest gifts you could ever bestow on them!
In my daily interactions with parents of my students as well as parents and tutors in consultations I always encourage them to not simply give their children or students the answers. Often we are distracted and busy and in a hurry or live with the fear of not moving at a fast enough pace and simply guide our them with the answer.
Children will quickly catch onto this method of go free from jail card and realise that this is a quick way out. By giving them the answers they do not learn anything! And will continue to get stuck with the same problems. Our brains grow when we challenge it with new information and when we sit and figure a problem or concept out. By working through a problem and trying to understand it, we will create long term memory once we grasp the concept. By constantly providing the answers we are merely feeding the brain with short term memory which would have to be repeated on a daily basis.
Teaching your children to work through problems before asking for help will greatly assist them in their future endeavours and especially in high school and university. Independence is key for their future success. A child needs to be taught to challenge themselves.
The Cambridge curriculum especially teaches independence from a young age right through to university which creates independent learners for life admired for their tenacity, and problem solving skills.
It is extremely important to teach your children that mistakes are there to create an opportunity for learning. We learn from mistakes and mistakes do not mean that we are a failure but that we could expand our way of thinking and create an opportunity for growth. Mistakes are proof that we are learning and trying!
Once you have noticed that your child or student have really tried to solve a certain problem then you as a parent could take this opportunity to explain the concept again with more examples and practice to make sure that all the links are connecting. Then follow the same procedure until you can see that they understand the concept. I live for the lightbulb moment when they suddenly understand a concept!
Encourage them to persevere and not give up to easily. Do not make it to easy for them.
Perseverance, independency and consistency are some of the greatest skills you can provide and teach your children and students and will set them up great success.