How to Show Your Kids the Importance of Lifelong Learning


It's long been said that we 'learn something new every day', but how can we show our kids why it's so important? In this post, we'll explore some ways to encourage and show your kids the importance of lifelong learning.

Lifelong Learning

According to a 2017 Harvard Business Review article, lifelong learning has several benefits, including ones that are economic, emotional, physical, and social in nature. Because of this, it's a good idea to teach the importance of continuous learning to your kids so that they can grow up to be lifelong learners.

But what's the best way to inspire lifelong learning? Continue reading for some ideas.

happy kid and mother learning

Start Early

Even though your kids probably attend (or will attend) school, it's no substitute for learning at home from a very early age, given your encouragement. As soon as your kids begin showing an interest in, and the ability to focus on, books, building, science, and simple math-related activities, which could easily be as early as the toddler years (or before!), you can foster lifelong learning and demonstrate its importance by:

  • Encouraging curiosity, exploration, and problem solving
  • Reading to them on a regular basis
  • Focusing on experiences rather than material items

Kids are naturally curious creatures, and although this can be trying at times, curiosity is how they learn! Do your best to encourage your kids to ask lots of questions and explore their interests. Explain the importance of working through problems without giving up, even if it means using trial and error, which may take a while.

Reading, as you probably know, is also an effective way to promote learning from a young age. Additionally, and as difficult as this might be sometimes, try to focus on giving your child interesting, new experiences rather than lots of material items. These experiences could range from a hike in the woods to a trip to the zoo—anything that can provide an opportunity to discover and learn something new!

learning at home

Set a Good Example

While it's important to be an advocate for continuous learning, modeling lifelong learning behavior is crucial if you really want your kid to grasp its importance. After all, kids tend to mimic what their parents do, so why not set a positive example? Below are some ways to show your kids that learning really can take place at all ages.

  • Read - Whether it's a book, newspaper, or online article, reading shows your kids that you're hungry for knowledge and want to stay informed.

  • Use educational online resources - From engaging online courses to learning games and apps to Google, there are many resources available right at your fingertips that make it easy and fun to learn at any age. Plus, your kids will enjoy using them to learn with you!

  • Go back to school - Whether you want to finish that degree program you started back in the day or take a continuing education course to learn a new skill, going back to school as an adult shows your kids that no one is ever too old to learn—and may encourage them to do the same someday.

  • Watch educational movies and shows - Never underestimate the power of Discovery Channel or even a game show like Jeopardy!

cheerful woman reading

Teach Your Kids Something New Every Day

When we think of learning, we typically envision math problems, spelling words, and science experiments. And while these activities are important, there's much more to learning.

For example, consider showing your kids how to care for the family dog, grow a garden, or help with that yummy-looking dinner recipe you've been wanting to try. Involving your kids with these types of experiences teaches them practical skills they can use throughout their lives. Alternatively, you could choose a fun, interesting fact to share with your kids before bed at night. Or, you could incorporate several ideas into your daily routine to encourage lifelong learning and show your kids how easy it is to accomplish if they put forth the effort.

mother and child gardening

Never Stop Learning

Going forward, we hope we've given you some idea of how to show your kids the importance of lifelong learning. By maintaining a ''never stop learning'' attitude in your household, you can raise your kids to be the lifelong learners of which the world needs more.

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By Erin Riskey
December 2018
k-12 parent tips

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