Lifelong Learning

In sorting through many of my grandparents’ belongings (they passed away in the last 2 years at 94 and 97 years old), I found receipts from 1937 that showed my Grandfather had “attended” a correspondence school. 

Due to the need to support his family during the Great Depression, he was not able to go to college. Then, WWII started and his dream of college forever remained just a dream.  But he didn’t let that stop his desire to learn.

Knowing there was much that he didn’t know, he undertook a course of study via correspondence to gain knowledge that he would never had otherwise been able to have. It helped him go from an assistant payroll clerk at the Mobil refinery in town to the Supervisor of the lab.

In the early 1940’s he and my grandmother moved to the farm where my children and I now live.  When asked by my grandmother’s father “why in the world would you move out there, you don’t know anything about farming?”, my Grandfather replied that he would learn.

An so he and Grandma did. Over the next 50 years, they learned and farmed and raised a family. His education was a lifelong example for anyone willing to look at it.

An example of learning is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children.  With homeschooling, we have an opportunity to teach our children early on that learning never ends.  Depending upon your school schedule, your family may have a start and end time for “school”.  Others may use the entire day and every event throughout it to teach and learn. Then, there are variances in between the two.

Regardless of how you homeschool, an example of parents – particularly fathers – continuing to learn is critical to the lifelong success of your children. Below are some ideas to consider to help instill this perspective in your family:

Talk about it – at the dinner table don’t just ask the kids what they learned in school today.  Tell them something that you learned today as well.

Demonstrate it – take a class at the local community college or your Church. Tell your kids what you are doing and why.

Support it – Scouts, sports, music lessons and other activities all can serve as a foundation for teaching kids. Remind your children that they didn’t just go camping, but they learned skills that teach leadership and self-motivation.

I was blessed in having examples of continued learning in my family and am working to pass that along to my children.  I hope you will do the same.


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