Lifelong learning is a goal of ours and something we try to teach to our children. We are a homeschooling family, but lifelong learning should apply and be adopted by all families: homeschoolers, public schoolers, and private schoolers.
The purpose of learning is to gain knowledge, develop skills, and be able to apply them in our lives. When reminded of that, it becomes easier to embrace lifelong learning. It may not make it easy, because learning will stretch and challenge us, but enjoyable.
Why so much homework?
When our daughter was in public school she used to have tons of homework. Many times 2-3 hours of homework. I could not understand why she went to school for 6 hours, came home and had an additional 2-3 hours.
I can remember the push to get her homework done, so we could get on with our family time, and evening activities like Bible Study, sports, choir, dance, etc. I think we all began to detest it after a while.
Right perspective about homework
Since we began to homeschool, my perspective on homework and schoolwork changed. I valued learning even before we began, but even more when we assumed the responsibility for our kids learning. I began to see all schoolwork and work in general as a chance to learn and grow.
Now, a majority of our kids’ schoolwork is done at home, so technically all of it is homework. However, we do take advantage of learning opportunities outside of the home. When we do, we do not view it in a negative way, but fun, and a way to view things in a different perspective. A baseball game can be a lesson on physics. A grocery store visit (with 3 kids) a lesson in economics.
Lifelong learning removes the work
Our human nature is to learn through observation and doing. A newborn baby is naturally curious, naturally experiments, and naturally learns through the entire process. It is not “work” that the baby detests. Actually, it is probably fun and enjoyable.
We do it as adults as well. Reading this post is an example. You observed something (the post title), you became curious about what I was going to say (you clicked to see some subheadings), you began to read (or scan to the most interesting subheadings), and during the process you learned something (at a minimum you learned my perspective on lifelong learning and homework).
I don’t think you would have done any of that if you didn’t enjoy some of it.
Take action on what you’ve learned
As stated in the previous paragraph, at a minimum you learned my perspective on learning. You now have the choice to agree, disagree, or even disregard what you learned. However, if you shift your thinking in the way you view homework and/or teach your kids to view homework, schoolwork, and lifework as a learning process in life, then homework can be enjoyable as it should be.
Maybe not easy, but enjoyable
Whether you are a homeschool, public school, or private school family I encourage you to shift your perspective on schoolwork. Realize that we are always learning, the schoolwork is an intentional form of learning.
Embrace lifelong learning and begin to seek more ways to go through the process intentionally, while you appreciate the “unintentional” learning process.
Question: How can you help your kids view schoolwork, homework, and work in general as a learning process and something to be enjoyed? Please share in the comment section below.