This week our family is living in our trailer on a small patch of dirt and gravel outside the livestock barns at the Southern California Fair. Our kids are busy all week caring for their animals and showing them in several different shows.
One of the things that we like best about homeschooling is the ability to do things like this. For the most part, the kids are able to greatly reduce their typical school-related activities and focus on the task at hand. On the first day of the fair this year, two of our kids won the first place blue ribbon in showmanship for their guinea pigs. As the winners of their respective classes, they get to move on to Master Showmanship at the end of the week.
Master Showmanship requires that the participants show all of the animals in that category. Since our kids won for small animals, they will be showing guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, chickens, and turkeys, even though they only prepared for guinea pigs. This means that regular study is required throughout the week. As a result, they have been reviewing dog and rabbit breeds and have talked about chicken and turkey body parts. They are doing all of this because they are motivated. They are doing it because they enjoy it. And that is the essence of a Love of Learning.
We don't have to nag them about studying to prepare for the big show on Friday. They do it because they enjoy it. They are sharpening their minds by studying. Who cares if the information is not listed in the standards? What's important is that they are learning how to learn and they are having fun in the process. What better way for a child to learn than to want to learn?
Give your kids a reason and they will blossom right in front of you. Help your kids find purpose for learning and your life will never be the same.