Develop the Love of Learning In Your Child: Building the Foundations

Posted on January 09 2013

Malcolm Forbes, publisher of Forbes Magazine, once said, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.

Aside from the value of a high school diploma, the value of education is in producing a mind that is constantly searching for growth and discovery, a mind that refuses to stay stagnant. This is not just so you can help your child advance career-wise, but to help him see the world – enjoy it more by discovering more. An online high school education helps to flex the mental muscles and set the foundation for a love for learning (whether it be through the Internet or out of it).

Here are some ways for you to help cultivate the lifelong learner in your child:

  • Help him discover his talents and gifts. What are the things that he’s good at and that he enjoys? And no, this is not a limited list. Sometimes you have to encourage (or even gently push) a child towards trying something new. His own natural gifts can be a great starting point towards his journey of discovery about himself and the world around him.
  • Use object lessons and hands-on projects. Online high school courses will set the groundwork for your child. You can extend this learning with field trips and hands-on exercises. Make lessons more concrete. For instance, a lesson on accounting and budgeting can be made all the more concrete with a trip to the grocery store.
  • Cultivate a love for reading. When your child becomes lifelong avid readers, you give them one important key that they can use to unlock many doors by themselves. Start by reading to them. Studies show that reading to your children aloud at a regular schedule (like a nightly bedtime story) helps develop the thirst for learning in your child. Make books accessible to him. Take him to the library.
  • Find opportunities for new experiences. Help your child widen his scope of interest. There are plenty of opportunities to go on “field trips”. The park, the local market, the organic farm, the flea market and art galleries are not just places to play but outdoor classrooms. You can also take your child to go and see plays and movies. Of course, there is also the zoo, the botanical gardens and ancestral or historic homes. Take him to a restaurant that serves food from other cultures.
  • Don’t brush off their questions, instead, encourage them. Children (even a high school student) are curious. Welcome their questions, encourage them to ask their questions and ask “why” questions for them to ponder upon.
  • Help them with their lessons. They may need more help in their online high school courses. Be there to give them your support and presence. If he has trouble with his online high school math subject, help him go over the problems. Resist the temptation of solving the problems for him. Rather, let him discover the path towards the solution himself.
  • Allow them to “color outside the lines”. When they color the sky purple, avoid saying, “No honey, the sky is blue!” Rather ask, why did you color the sky purple? Help them to “think outside the box” and allow them to use their imagination in doing things that may be different than the usual.
  • Provide the example that shows that learning is not just about lessons. Your child’s online high school program will provide a solid foundation that will help develop a critical and examining mind. However, learning is not limited to his online lessons. Make it a habit to share anything new that you learned this day and ask him about what new thing he learned for the day.

Learning is from the heart. The thirst to discover new things and to rediscover things your child thought he already knew will develop a strong mind that can provide great dividends for his future.