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How Do You Raise An Independent Learner?

By Debra Bell | July 13, 2011 | by Debra Bell, The Science of Learning

a collaborative project…

I’d like to start a discussion about the ways in which we can encourage our kids to learn independently.  But before we jump into making a list, it seems to me a good place to start is to highlight the ways in which our kids are already primed for independent learning.

Your child was born hard-wired to learn. We come preloaded with the gift of curiosity.  This innate interest in the world around us motivates us to explore our environment. The hours babies invest in learning to control their arms, legs and hands is propelled by a desire to grab those delightful objects they see hanging just beyond their reach.  They want to bring those objects closer so they can examine the shape and feel, and figure out what else they can do with those shiny things.  This innate curiosity is why babies eventually crawl, then walk, then run.  It’s a gift from the Creator that causes us to grow.

Without a desire to learn, we would never fully develop.  Not only does curiosity cause us to do the hard work necessary to develop our gross and fine motor skills; but it also causes our brains to develop. Intellectual growth comes from learning. The more we invest in learning, the more our brains develop.

Staying  mentally active is also one way we can delay the effects of aging. God intends that learning be a lifelong endeavor as part of healthy living. (Homeschooling isn’t just beneficial for your children, it is good for us moms, too.)

Here’s another part of the equation: Not only are kids hard-wired to learn, we are also built to be social creatures. In order to reach our full intellectual maturity we  need others to help us. This is primarily facilitated by parents and siblings, but as we grow our social circle should grow and we learn from interacting with others, too. 

Learning is stimulated when we exercising our brains in groups.

How should these two truths —our gift of curiosity and our social nature — influence our homeschooling? What do you think?

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