One of the benefits of homeschooling is that it can be done whenever and wherever you like. You don't need to schedule your school day to begin at 7am and end exactly at 3pm.
You don't need a 5 days a week schedule (you could even do school on Saturdays if you wanted to!).
Homeschooling really can become a lifestyle for your family that isn't controlled by a clock or a calendar.
There are 4 things I've learned in our homeschooling years that have helped create a lifestyle of learning.
Encouraging life-long learners
Education doesn't stop when you put on that cap and gown.
If you've ever started a new job, created a business for yourself, or tried a DIY project, you've probably discovered that there are things you still need to learn.
And when you begin homeschooling your children, you probably realize that there are MANY things you haven't learned!
One of the blessings of homeschooling is that we can continue to learn and grow while raising our own children to be life-long learners as well.
4 ways to foster life-long learning
These four things have helped us create a lifestyle that's centered around learning. Of course, I know we could improve on this in our home even more, but isn't that part of the adventure? We're always growing and changing and our home and family will do the same. But these four simple things can help encourage the learner in your kids (and in yourself).
Limit screen time
I'm sure you've heard this one before, but it bears repeating. Limiting screen time can go a long way in fostering creativity and curiosity in your kids. I remember hearing once that it takes more brain power to stare at a blank wall than it does a television screen (and I believe it!). Passively watching something on a screen doesn't do much to engage your child's mind. While they might cry 'I'm bored' at first, eventually, they'll adjust to the new routine.
Along with limiting their screen time, creating time for them to develop their creativity and interests doesn't come easily today. With our busy schedules and multiple activities, it's easy to have plans every night of the week along with a full homeschool day. But it's really important to let them have free time. You might need to reduce your homeschool work load and cut back on some activities, but free time for exploration and learning is so beneficial for young minds and bodies.
Fill your home (and car... and handheld devices...) with good books
Books open doors to the imagination. It's just a fact. Whether your kids prefer fantasy, animal stories, or mysteries (or even nonfiction!), books are essential to creating a lifestyle of learning. And you don't have to spend tons of money on them. Use the library, shop yard sales and consignment shops, give them as Christmas and birthday gifts. Fill your home with books (and don't forget audio books!).
Let your kids catch you learning
If you want your kids to be life-long learners, you need to model that for them. Of course, you could tell them until you are blue in the face, but they will really understand when they see it day-in and day-out. Pursue subjects that interest you. Read books. Listen to books. Learn a foreign language. Never stop learning - it will be good for you and a great example for your children.
How do you create a learning lifestyle in your home?
Do you have any tips or advice to offer? I'd love to talk about how you create a lifestyle of learning in your home.
Want to read more about how homeschooling is a lifestyle? Check out this series of posts from the iHomeschool Network bloggers.