Raising Motivated Learners: Space Exploration

Raising Motivated Learners SeriesOur goal as parents and educators is to work ourselves out of a job; to raise our children to become responsible adults.

Join us as we share tips on how to raise motivated learners and equip them with the skills to pursue the path the Lord lays before them.

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Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Wait… nope; that wasn’t where I was going with this. Sorry about that. I’m sure we’re all massive Star Wars fans, but outer space isn’t the only space worth exploring.

Sometimes you just need the world to take a step back and give you some room; an opportunity to think, explore, and create without people looking over your shoulder every second of the day. As parents we tend to hover. Let’s be honest, we do. We peer over our children’s shoulders while they are doing school, we structure their crafting projects, follow-up while they are doing chores, and manage their field trips. To raise motivated learners, we also need to take a step back and give them space.

Make Some Room – Once formal studies are finished for the day, our children like to have the freedom to be creative. The kids breathe easier, and mommy doesn’t worry about the status of the house, because we’ve made room for them. Our kids know where they can color and where they can’t. There are designated areas for computer usage (open rooms where we can walk by and see exactly what they are working on at any time), instrument playing, sports, and playing with toys. When everything has an assigned place, I am not pestering the kids with constant reminders of where they can do what and the kids don’t feel as if I am watching their every move waiting for mishaps.

Let Me Breathe – We spend a lot of time together as a family. I think this tends to be true of most homeschooling families. While we love being together, let’s face it, we all need a little breathing room at times. Kids need space, too! Not just space to do something creative with you, but space to be creative on their own. If we are constantly watching over our children, when will they learn to do things for themselves? If we hover incessantly, how will we discover what they are capable of? By continually providing all our children’s entertainment and learning venues, we are creating dependent learners who will always need someone by their side. In order for our children to be motivated learners, they need opportunities to explore on their own and be given the freedom to tackle their own projects. This doesn’t mean every endeavor will be a success, but that is a learning experience in-and-of itself!

Note: We are not advocating a ‘hands-off’ approach to parenting, where children have total freedom. Our children have specific guidelines as to what is appropriate and what is acceptable in our home. However, once guidelines are given, children should be allowed to explore creative endeavors within the given parameters.

Space is essential for the motivated learner, both physical and mental. The space to imagine, create, explore, dream and make those ideas become reality is an important step in the learning process. You’ve laid down the groundwork, now give that learner a little room and just see what they can do!

Time to Chime In: Speaking of space… The new Star Wars movie is currently being filmed. Are your kids excited to see it?

“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
– Proverbs 22:6

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3 thoughts on “Raising Motivated Learners: Space Exploration

  1. Rita, I’d go even further: if you are trying to raise self starting, motivated people, you need to give them lots of time to “do their own thing”. They will be bored occasionally which is pretty normal. Being bored, or unscheduled, or at loose ends is when a child can get on with the job of self directed activity. Anything from picking up a book to walking to the store to going fishing (if you are lucky enough to have a fishing spot nearby). It is all learning and it is all important.

    The Proverb quoted in the main post is a pretty good way of understanding the way adults can teach their children. “In the way he should go.” is about direction. Parents can set direction and encourage their children towards that direction. But the children have to get there on their own or it will be a wasted effort.

    Liked by 1 person

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