When did you last learn something? You don’t stop learning when you leave school, you have to learn new skills when you enter the workplace and when you leave home you learn to do household tasks that you’ve managed to avoid until then.
Learning is essential to surviving in life, but how do you instil a lifelong love of learning in your kids?
The obvious thing is if they see you actively learning. You don’t have to embark on a post-graduate degree, but learning a new skill, doing a course online, attending training programmes at work and talking about them at home, are all ways to show that learning goes on beyond school.
Your attitude to learning makes a difference. If you’re keen to look things up and explore information online or in books, it will be natural for your kids to follow suit.
The internet may be somewhere your children disappear for hours on various social platforms, but it’s also a great source of information. You can learn almost anything online from Aeronautics to Zoology!
We know people who have learned to make clothes, to cut hair, to build a house – all by using the resources available to them online – and, of course, their own attention to detail and willingness to hone their new skill.
When you learn something new, talk about it. Even if it’s something small – it might be discovering how to make American pancakes or build a fence – everyone has to learn their skills somehow.
Of course, the internet is not the only source of learning, there are clubs and classes in all kinds of places – and there’s nothing like learning from someone else who knows how.
One advantage that today’s kids have is that they have grown up with natural networking skills. That’s one advantage of having hundreds of online ‘friends’. There’s probably someone in their network of friends who can help them.
It’s noticeable that today’s youngsters have a more ‘sharing’ approach to life than the pre-social media generations. They’re willing to share their knowledge with their friends and most are willing to help, rather than protect their work from others’ eyes.
This isn’t about copying homework, but helping their friends to catch up and understand concepts that they’ve either missed or found difficult.
Employers need eager learners and good networkers to develop into the leaders of the next generation. People who show they’re willing and able to learn new things are a real asset.
Teach your children that learning is fun, interesting and exciting and you’ll be building a positive future career path for them.