Prepare Children to Educate Themselves

I have often said that one of the greatest, if not the greatest, benefits I have from my college education is that I really learned how to think and how to learn while there. I think if a person can teach themselves and be a lifelong learner, he or she is set for life. Possibilities are endless for those people, especially in our modern day. With technology, we have the capability to “google,” “youtube,” or “pinterest” something and learn how to do it.


With that in mind, I love this quote:


“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” -Robert M. Hutchins


This quote can be applied to any form of education a child recieves–which is basically every realm of life. Teach your children how to improve themselves in their cooking skills, cleaning skills, gardening skills, mechanic skills, and other skills that come in handy in the home. Teach your children that no matter the age or life experience, they can learn something new. They can learn how to sew. They can learn how to bake a pie crust. They can learn how to change their own oil. Lead by example and explain with words that it is possible. 


Teach your children that new talents can be worked on and developed throughout their lives. When I graduated high school, I didn’t know how to do many of the things I now do. I hadn’t ever grown a garden. I hadn’t cooked anything to be impressed with. I had barely learned how to sew during my senior year. I didn’t do crafts at all. These are all things I taught myself to do during my 20s. I still have things I want to learn. 


My husband has always wanted to play the guitar. He has talked about it for years. This year for his birthday, I gave him guitar lessons.


Brains that continue to learn thrive and stay sharp throughout a lifetime. Our lives are so much longer than our first 18-22 years. There is no reason to think that once we graduate high school or college that we are done learning and have reached the peak of our abilities. 


Remember as you are teaching your children, you wan to teach them to be able to figure things out and take the necessary steps to learn something if they don’t know. If your child asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to, say, “I am not sure! Let’s look that up and find out.” Then show your child how you research something to find an answer. 


Always keep this goal of teaching your child how to learn as you parent. This means allowing your child to struggle to figure something out. This means requiring your child practice. This means allowing your child to do chores you set before them (even if their work is not as perfect as yours). This means teaching them to love to read. This means teaching them to research.


This is all taught a little here and a little there over the years. If you keep it in mind as you parent, you will succeed!

3 thoughts on “Prepare Children to Educate Themselves”

  1. Hi Val, I just wanted to say thanks… this is that morning for me that I woke up at 7 am and realized… my 10-week-old just slept through the night for the first time! I told my husband – Babywise has done it again! 🙂 But I feel like this time (it's my second time around) things have gone much smoother than the first time. And I know it's because I now know your blog as well as the BW books. Your blog fills a MUCH needed gap between the ideal (as laid out in the books) and real life. Thanks again! And a side-note for the despairing parents out there – up till a week ago my baby still woke every 3 hours in the night. All of a sudden she started doing longer stretches and last night did 8 hours. So don't give up 🙂


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