The Love of Learning
by Beverley Paine
"If you had always been free to learn, you would follow your natural tendency to find out as fully as possible about the things that interest you, cars or stars. We are born with what they call "love of learning". Grace Llewellyn
Most of us go yeah, that's true, thinking about our children's love of shells, horses, trucks or dinosaurs, but don't extend that thought to reading, writing and arithmetic, cleaning teeth or tidying rooms. We automatically assume children need to learn how to clean their teeth by being taught or shown the proper technique; or coaxed, bribed or coerced into cleaning their room; and the same goes for reading, writing and arithmetic. Some stuff just isn't learned naturally - or is it?
I was lucky in that I had three stubborn children who resisted my attempts to teach them. It took me a long time to step back and pay attention to their determined lessons: I was strong-willed, confident I was right and knew more than they did about what was important, what and when they should know, understand and be able to do things. After all, what would my kids know about how they learn or what they wanted or needed to learn? Looking back I can see that of course they didn't consciously know these things, they were being guided by instinct and nature and without their stubbornness and stalwart independent spirits could easily have had the love of learning bludgeoned and battered by my enthusiasm to educate them to be the people I thought they should be.
I love learning. My youngest, in his teens once sighed, "Mum, not every moment has to be a learning moment."
It's my passion to make my every moment a learning moment, to joyfully discover the learning happening on different levels for different reasons. Insights, reasons, information, aha! discoveries pop into my mind unbidden because my life is obsessed by learning. I notice it. And that excites me. I used to think the kids should be like me, excited in the same way by things that excite me, such as learning. But then it stands to reason I'd have to be excited about as shells, horses, trucks and dinosaurs, or reading that bedtime story for the tenth time when all I really want is a hot shower and to go to bed too!
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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