Curiosity is a foundational aspect to learning – for anyone. We want our children to be curious about the world, but they will only follow our lead. Are you a curious mum?
Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures – Lovelle Drachman
When it comes to educating my children – to teaching and training their intellectual/mental capacity – one of my foundational goals is that I want them to be life long learners. I don’t want them to see their ‘schooling’ as their learning years, and I certainly don’t want the pressure of teaching them ‘everything’ before they are 18. And as parents, we know that our kids are watching us and copying us – so it only goes to say, that we too should be life long learners.
The quality that builds learning more than any other trait is a sense of curiosity. Are you curious?
Curiosity is the art of asking questions. Little children are full of curiosity – we all know those days of endless ‘but why?’ questions. It is sad, that by the time kids are in middle school a lot of this curiosity isn’t there anymore – our kids stop asking questions. Not only do we not want that to happen to our kids – but we may find ourselves in a situation where we ourselves have stopped asking questions.
What? Why? When? Where? How? These are the most basic of questions – so they are a good start.
Another trait of life long learners is that they aren’t afraid to not know the answer. If we hide behind our supposed authority and wisdom of being a parent, and never acknowledge that we don’t know something – then we fail at being curious, we fail at showing our kids what it means to keep on learning.
Stemming from this is the third aspect of being curious – not being afraid of being wrong. If you don’t know something, and you start asking questions, and thinking and exploring there is every chance you’ll come up with the wrong answer. That’s okay.
I’m sure we are all familiar with the story that says – Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times when trying to create the light bulb. When asked about it, Edison said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb.”
If we come up with the wrong answer that is okay – we’ve learnt something!
So three attitudes that will help us live with curiosity:
- Asking questions
- Don’t be afraid of not knowing
- Don’t be afraid of being wrong
As a parent we think that acknowledging these things will diminish our standing with our kids. But we miss the point here – when we are curious and we get down and start learning with our kids – we not only feed that sense of curiosity in our own life, we model to them what learning is all about. We model not knowing something, we model not being afraid of failing, we model asking questions, we model delight in learning!
Curiosity doesn’t always have to be about the kids. For you to be a true life long learner you need to pursue your passions as well as knowledge to support your kids’ learning. It is hard to have passions and interests when we are young mums – I get that – it’s hard, but it is doable. As I look back over 28 years of being married, 26 years of being a mum I can see different seasons of life where different passions were my focus. Homemaking, hospitality, creative crafts, parenting, homeschooling, website building, quilting, scrapbooking, social media marketing, writing, digital photography, gardening. These are the things that I have pursued because I am Belinda. My house is full of books – and they aren’t all for the kids – I want to be a person who has interests, and who is learning and growing in those interests.
So are you curious? Do you ask questions? Do you wonder about things? Do you probe deeper for a better understanding of the world around you? Your kids need to see you pursuing knowledge; they need to see you learning. And it all starts with curiosity.
This was originally written as a part of a series of Encouragement for Homeschool Mums on Belinda’s blog
We encourage mums in a geographical area to gather together and build relationship and support with each other. If you meet monthly you may find these reflective questions helpful to guide your discussion.
Feel free to share your thoughts here in the comment section
Belinda is married to Peter and they live in the far north of Western Australia. Their four children (Joshua, Jessica, Naomi, Daniel) are all adults now so life looks different as Peter and Belinda move towards a new season of life. Belinda homeschooled for 20 years – taking each of their children from prep to year 12. They have all undertaken some form of adult learning since homeschooling and are moving into finding passions and interests of their own. Belinda’s heart is to encourage mums and dads to build strong families by being intentional and relational in all parts of family life.