How to assist your child’s love for learning by responding to their sparks

by Mary Ann on October 12, 2010

To assist your child’s learning interest you should watch them and listen to them. Watching and listening will help you to capture their sparks, and by responding, increase their love for learning. Through sparks they show where their interest lies. Here is a parents response to one of my classes.

children playing with rocks

Miles and Payton Spencer

Sometimes I get the BEST letters!! They really make my day. I got one of those little gifts today. The original article about this family was written on August 6, 2010. Here it is October 12, 2010 and this spark which brought so much joy to Leah’s family is still going strong!

“I cannot tell you what a fan of yours I am!  Thank you for all of your hard work and inspiration.  You are truly opening my eyes and helping to transform my family.

kid studying crystal

Miles, age 8

I nearly forgot that I needed to send you a picture of my son Miles with some of his rocks from the “big spark” I was able to nurture and understand a little more during your first webinar… Actually this has sparked a love [for rocks and minerals] in all three of my boys – so I have attached a picture of each of them with their rocks.  Leah Spencer

You just have to read the article about Leah’s “big spark”. It will enlighten you as nothing else will. It is the perfect example of seeing with new eyes, of helping a child walk through a door to a love of learning; of trusting that children want to learn and will learn if we just pay attention to what they are saying, sometimes without uttering a word! Here is an except from that article.

“Last week’s comment about “changing your attitude about kids” really hit me.  Mary said to look at them in a different light; like they aren’t just “work” or a “huge responsibility”, rather they are fun and have so much to offer…. I realize as I tried desperately to begin to change my attitude, that their ideas and play really are “sparks” and not just another big mess I have to clean up!

I should have seen this particular spark coming for a while with my oldest son

child studying crystal

Payton, age 5

Miles (age 8).  He loves rocks.  He loves gemstones. He loves crystals…you name it.  Rather than being a nag all the time and telling him to pick up his rock collection, I realized this is what

2 year old boy observing and learning

Owen, age 2

Mary is talking about – it is a spark!  And geez – I can’t believe I didn’t realize it before – but these sparks really can turn into big burning flames and that is what I want for my kids, right?”

In this wonderful article about the joy of leading a child through a door of learning and watching them LOVE it, Leah details all the wonderful ways that she found to respond to this silent conversation that her son was trying to have with her about his love for the earth.

She ends with this – “Miles isn’t a very animated kid, so sometimes it is hard to know if we are even on the right track with him.  But all of this was reaffirmed last night at dinner.  We each go around the table and say one thing we are grateful for.  His cousins (who live with us right now) said little things like being grateful for the earth and for nature (so it seemed that they may have been picking up on some sparks too).  The big clincher was when Miles said he was grateful to have a neighbor who is a geologist who he can learn from!  Yea hoo!  We are on the right path – and it was all because of sparks!”

Learning, real learning is like magic. The best way to teach your child effectively is through inspired learning. Inspired learning happens when a child decides to learn because of their interest in the subject and not because of any compulsion. We enable children to do this when we respond to the sparks they give us and when we hear the silent conversations they are trying to have with us through their actions.

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