Be An Example of Love of Learning

by Mary Ann on May 21, 2010

I just talked with a mom who attended a class that I taught. She had never heard of The Spark Station before and hadn’t read any of the classic leadership education books. So I asked her what made her take a class on a subject that she knew nothing about. She replied that when she read the class description she said to herself “That is a good idea.” So what did she see in that description that she thought was a good idea?

Here is the class description.  “Do you want to nurture your child’s feelings of “love of learning?” Do you want to give your children an environment in which to engage in their love of learning? Are you tired of asking the unproductive question of, “What do you want to do/learn today?”  Would you like to create a system in which your core and love of learning phase children can watch older siblings experimenting, learning, exploring, etc. while engaging themselves in the same system? Would you like to have a system in which you can more effectively structure productive time, not content? Then this class is perfect for you. Don’t have a closet? Come and learn how to overcome the common barriers of no space, no money and no ideas.”

The key sentence for her was “Would you like to have a system in which you can more effectively structure time, not content?” That one sentence answers a score of difficulties parents face when trying to inspire their children to love learning. They just need a workable system that helps get them get off and keeps them off the “conveyor belt”.

When I work with parents one of the tough things they deal with is how to inspire a child without requiring them to do specific learning at a specified time. After all that is how we were all taught.

Cedar and Tannin Jones

The Spark Station is a tool that facilitates inspire not require. It is used within a system that helps families create a culture of learning and takes the pressure off of parents and puts it where it does the most good, on the child. Parents model love of learning and young children follow that model.

There are some keys that make the system and the closet work. The job of the parent is to master these keys and the job of the child is to observe, copy and self educate. I have talked about these keys before but it bears repeating because even parents who attend a class or workshop seem to miss one or more keys. Robert Collier said “Constant repetition carries conviction”.   I want you to have the conviction that you can and should inspire your children. You can create an amazing culture of leadership and education. You can trust the process of learning that your children are in.

To begin you need to remember that you should model what you want your children to do. If you want them to learn you have to be learning. If you want them to read you have to read. If you want them to be interested in math and science then you need to be reading the math and science classics and sharing your aha’s with them. If you want them to enjoy history you enjoy history. If you and a child are on a plane which is going down it is wisest to put on your oxygen mask first. Then you will be able to help them put on theirs. Once you get clear about this, that you have to model what you want, then following the Five Rules of Engagement will assist you to make The Spark Station more successful and your family life more successful.

  1. Structure time for family learning and then be consistent. Consider it important time, even sacred time.
  2. Be present with your child. This is not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. You can’t watch TV, talk on the phone, cook dinner or clean house and be present.
  3. Make it special. The Spark Station is used only during your structured family learning time.
  4. Keep it simple. When The Spark Station and life are full, if you put something new in, take something else out.
  5. Plan weekly

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

louis vuitton June 10, 2010 at 4:19 am

Hi, I love your blog. This is a good site and I wanted to post a note to let you know, great job! Thanks Amy


Shiniga June 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm

It is so clearly written. Still, it makes me a bit nervous to tread in this new system and follow the new principles. This is not to educate any kid, though. I am my own child and this is to teach myself some new things everyday on a consistent basis.


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