How to Cultivate Wonder & Curiosity in your Homeschool

It's the end of the month and time for another look at the principles of Classical Education with my friends Sara at Classically Homeschooling and Chelli at The Planted Trees. Today we're taking a look at Wonder & Curiosity - what it is, why it matters, and how to bring it to life in our homeschools. Let's take a look at how to cultivate wonder & curiosity in your homeschool.

Curiosity & Wonder

Learning how to cultivate wonder & curiosity in your homeschool doesn't have to be difficult. Take time to create moments to explore with these simple tips and ideas.

Children are born with a natural wonder and awe. If you've ever been on a nature walk with a young child, you've probably experienced this for yourself, as you watched them explore the world around them. As they get older that natural wonder and curiosity seems to fade as life becomes work - homework, chores, and adulthood where work continues in an endless loop.

But isn't there a better way? Can we hold on to that sense of wonder and curiosity - for our children and even for ourselves? Is there a way to use these tools in our homeschools? How can we cultivate wonder & curiosity in our homeschools? And why would we want to?

Why should we embrace Wonder & Curiosity?

That natural wonder and curiosity that children have should be something that we continue to cultivate because it leads to an affection for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

In more practical terms, life shouldn't all be spent on work and drudgery or even play. There needs to be time for thought and contemplation - time to be by yourself, read a classic book, enjoy a beautiful poem, sunset, or painting.

Instead, we look at those natural tendencies of wonder and curiosity as a phase that children outgrow. Let's learn to embrace those tendencies!

It's so easy to turn homeschooling into 'work'.

Yes, assignments must be finished and books must be read, but it's important to continue building a love for things that are filled with Truth, Goodness, and Beauty (even in math!).

How can we take these principles and apply them to our homeschool?

It's okay if you don't know what you're doing

If you're anything like me, you face a constant struggle for trying to fit in all the good things you'd like to do in your homeschool. How are you supposed to make time for art study, listening to classical music, reading poetry or Shakespeare?

Even if you had the time, maybe you feel unsure in your abilities to cover these types of subjects well. After all, a math text comes with an answer key and that grammar program includes a teacher's edition so, even if you're not confident in your mastery of the subject, you have your teacher's books to guide you.

But you want to know something?

I think that a lack of confidence in teaching art, music, and poetry isn't a bad thing. It is the perfect time to show our children our own natural wonder and curiosity as we puzzle through a passage from Shakespeare or the beautiful language of a poem. We have an opportunity to show our children that we are still learning and appreciating true, good, and beautiful things.

How to Cultivate Wonder & Curiosity in your Homeschool

Now that I've convinced you (I hope!) to find some time to pursue natural wonder and curiosity, how are you going to fit it in?

There are a few different ways you can make time for Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

  1. Morning Meetings are a great way to start the day - especially if you have a large family and children in different stages of learning. Taking the time to gather all the children and learn together is the perfect time to read Shakespeare or poetry, listen to good music, read aloud from the Bible - so many topics could be covered together as a family. It doesn't even need to be a morning meeting - schedule your meeting during lunch or after, whatever time works best for your family.
  2. Tea Time is one of my daughter's favorite times of the day - when the school day is finished, we get our favorite drinks, a little treat, and talk about our day. Sometimes I read aloud a chapter or two from a good book or we read some poetry. There's no specific schedule or agenda - it's just a time to relax and enjoy something good and beautiful.
  3. Fun Fridays are another family favorite for us - I try to schedule the bulk of our homeschool assignments over four days a week, giving us a day to explore interest-led pursuits, work on art, history, or science projects, or watch a documentary. Every week is different, but taking a whole day to explore is such a great way to find time for all those extras we love to include.

Intentional effort to cultivate wonder & curiosity

Embracing natural wonder and curiosity is an ongoing struggle for me. It's easier to grab my lesson plans and check off assignments instead of taking the time to slow down and embrace the process and these fleeting moments I have to spend with my daughter as she learns and grows.

It's not easy to slow down and 'smell the roses' but it's something that needs to be done with intention - it's definitely worth the effort.

 

For a deeper look at these principles, take some time to watch Dr. Christopher Perrin's presentation (you'll find all his talks in this series here) - it's filled with lots of encouragement for creating a homeschool that moves beyond just getting the work done and shares valuable information about how to cultivate wonder & curiosity in your homeschool.

And, of course, take some time to read Sara's post - How to Keep a Sense of Wonder & Curiosity and Chelli's post - Why the Rabbit Trail is the Right Trail. They both have more good ideas that you can use in your homeschool.

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.