Foster Lifelong Learning in Your Child: 4 Ways to a Biblical Approach
Renowned author and management expert Peter Drucker once said, “An educated person is someone who has learned how to learn and never stops learning.” Many schools and parents recognize the importance of nurturing the desire to learn and teaching the tools for learning at an early age.
As Christians, learning is at the very heart of our faith. To be a disciple means to be a learner. Throughout the Bible, we are reminded of the importance of learning and wisdom. Proverbs 18:15 reminds us “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” And John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
For Christians, learning goes beyond facts and information. “We are lifelong learners in relationship with Jesus as we hear his voice in his word and have his ear in prayer, and share in community with his body, all through the power of his Spirit,” says David Mathis of Desiring God.
How can parents foster a lifelong love of learning in children, not just from an academic perspective, but from a biblical approach?
The Importance of a Christian Education
One of the main influences on your child’s learning experience and attitude toward acquiring not just knowledge, but also wisdom, is the school experience. This is why many parents choose a Christian education for their children. Schools that are serious about growing Christian disciples and partnering with parents in both academic excellence and spiritual growth will make a culture where learning is a valued priority.
4 Guidelines for Cultivating a Love of Learning
To help your child become a lifelong learner, look for a school that can help you follow these five guidelines.
1. Honor the Different Ways Children Learn
Both schools and parents should recognize that each child is uniquely made by God and therefore honor the way each child learns. By helping children make choices about how they learn — whether through reading, hands-on experiments, watching a video, or other ways — you will foster a natural sense of curiosity.
Look for schools that offer differentiated lessons, rich technology resources, STEM activities, art, and music. Both teachers and students should embrace that differences among children are part of God’s plan for each of us to have distinct gifts and talents.
2. Encourage Children to Ask Quality Questions
Deeper learning happens when children learn how to ask questions that center around why, how, and what if. These types of questions are central to learning academics as well as understanding God’s work in the world. Letting children ask questions keeps them more engaged in both academic lessons and in learning the Scriptures.
3. Develop a Moral Vocabulary
Words such as honesty, trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, and courage are core to living out the Christian faith. Use these words to express and reinforce your family values. Both teachers at school and family members should be teaching children behaviors that are grounded in these principles.
All of these values work hand-in-hand with the concept of lifelong learning and growth, particularly spiritual, emotional, and social growth. Talk about ways the Bible teaches us these principles and ways that we can practice them in school and at home. Just like students practice spelling, multiplication tables, and musical instruments, they should be practicing living out Christian values.
4. Be a Role Model of Learning
Let children know that adults can be learning new things too. Not only should you read with your children, but you should also make time to read for yourself, attend a Bible study, or learn a new hobby. If you’ve been to the movies as a family, discuss the characters and plot of the movie and have each family member share something they learned. Encourage children to update you on what they have learned at school at the dinner table. As they grow older, you can be sure you will learn something new from them. Praise them and point out what they were able to teach you.
Nurturing Elementary Students at Wesleyan Christian Academy
Wesleyan Christian Academy offers a Christ-centered education for children from preschool through grade 12. Students in elementary school thrive in a supportive atmosphere that weaves the Word of God into every subject as well as day-to-day interactions in the classroom. Read more about how Wesleyan Christian Academy nurtures young students and creates a thirst for learning. You can also learn how to sign up for a tour.