Updated: Jun 4, 2019
I’m sure that I had the same learning experience growing up as most people had. Learning was primarily about performance and results, rather than the journey. We studied to ace a test, we made good grades to get into college and we worked hard in college to earn a degree and get a good job. Most adults look back on their time in school as a “period” of life, rather than a way of life that forged a life-long love of learning. This is something I’ve wanted to change for my children and hopefully grandchildren! Learning is not a period of life that’s over once you graduate high school or college, rather a way of life that brings joy and encouragement to others. I read an alarming statistic recently- over 42% of people that graduate from high school or college will never read a complete book for the rest of their lives. HOLY COW! That’s crazy to me.
Proverbs 15:2 says, The wise person makes learning a joy.
So then, how can we forge this path for our children? How can we foster a love for learning (whether you homeschool or not!) that lays the foundation for them to be a life-long learner?
I have learned since becoming a homeschool mom that this is hard to do if I’m not allowing my child the space to enjoy learning. I’ve had to let go of my performance driven personality and release check-lists and schedules. Sure, I plan and prepare but very loosely, creating margin for real-life to happen and for service and community. A friend once gave me this analogy and it has always stuck with me: Imagine that you have an 8 ounce glass and you want to fill it with all of your favorite drinks. You do just that and when it’s time to take your glass and enjoy your drink, there’s no room for any movement without the drink spilling over because you’ve gotten it so full. I’ve found myself in this place more times than I’d like to admit and the people that suffer the most are usually my family!
So, create margin in your days so that you and your children can enjoy life and enjoy learning! That may mean saying “no” to an extracurricular activity this season, or not volunteering for something this year, or not signing up for one more thing that can rob you of creating the time and space for enjoying learning and enjoying Christ together as a family.
We try not to commit to anything that requires us to be anywhere early in the morning, with the exception of our community day through our homeschooling group. Baby brother still takes a morning nap and this allows me the opportunity to spend some quality one on one devotional time with my 2 older children. This time is treasured and really seems to set all of us up for a positive attitude for the day. So, I’m careful to protect this margin for us.
So many families are completely overloaded with responsibilities and the pressure of saying “yes” to all the things (mostly out of a desire to want to give their children everything! But sometimes in trying to do everything we neglect the very best things!) So, yes… it makes sense why more and more families are unable to help their children connect learning with enjoyment. There’s simply no margin to do so.
May we always create space for our souls to breathe and enjoy a life of learning in Christ!
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90:12
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is. ~Psalm 39:4
I'm learning so many great truths on topics like this one from Sally & Clay Clarkson's new book,
The Life-giving Parent. I highly recommend!