Creating an Environment of Learning in Your Home

by Edie Wadsworth on June 29, 2009

How do you make your home a haven of learning and education for your children?   I don’t have all the answers to this question, but I’m trying to learn.   Over the next week or so I’ll be giving you some practical suggestions on how I’m working to achieve this in my home and then next Monday, July 5th (the date the Verity returns from their 10-day tour) I hope to have a linky party where you can share your ideas and suggestions.  Some topics I plan to cover are:
~~Surround them with books~~
~~Surround them with beauty~~
~~Surround them with mentors~~
~~Surround them with love~~
Be the change you want to see in your children.   You go first.   Be the leader.   Show them by example how to extend grace to others.  Show them the difficulty and the rewards of tackling classic works like Plato and  The Abolition of Man.   Make your home beautiful so that they learn to live with and appreciate beauty.   Talk about the deep theological questions that haunt you so that they learn how to have meaningful conversation about life’s ultimate purpose.   Armor them with your reasons against abortion so that they learn to defend life.  Lead them and they will be leaders.   Their needs  are fairly simple.  They need you.…..leading them with humility.
Be honest with them, that you don’t have all the answers.   And ask for their forgiveness when you fail them, as you are certain to do, daily.  Let them hear your prayers, see your struggles, and even your tears.   Invite them to learn along with you instead of requiring them to learn on their own.
One thing I know for sure is that I am not equipped for this task, but I’m willing to continue to grow.  I say all this with a broken heart for the regret of not realizing these truths sooner.  But we do what we know until we know better.  I wish I could turn back the clock.  As C.S. Lewis says,
We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road;  in that case, the man who turns back soonest is most progressive.  

We’ll start tomorrow with mentors.   I chose tomorrow for that topic because it’s the 1 year anniversary of Issues, Etc, the christian radio program that has been an educational and inspirational powerhouse for Steve and I.   These brave men have mentored us in ways they may never know.  And you probably can guess, but tomorrow I’ll reveal my own personal mentor.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo June 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Hi Edie.
I can't agree more with everything that you said. I am exicted to follow along this week.
Have a happy Monday!
*Tricia

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2 duchess June 29, 2009 at 4:40 pm

What a great post. I try to do these things with our children as well. Can't wait to see what else you've got planned.

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3 TheOldPostRoad June 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Thank you! I need a "shove" right now as my kids are growing up faster than I planned. I am in "panic mode" with my eldest starting her Junior year in HS! Only 2 years left to 'polish her up'!

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4 Emily June 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Beautiful post. Gorgeous photos!

Emily@remodelingthislife

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5 Alison June 29, 2009 at 6:49 pm

I love this! I've been trying to do this on a small scale for my 2 year old. I can't wait for your series!

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6 SoBella Creations June 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm

I can't wait to see your post on this subject. My girls love books and art supplies. So we always have them readily available.

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7 Spencer Family 6 June 29, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I would love to share pictures of what my children are surrounded by but I don't think moving boxes are very motivational or inspiring! I love what you posted and look forward to more this week! :)

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8 patty June 29, 2009 at 9:31 pm

they learn what they live, don't they? :)
i'd like to add, not that it creates an environment of learning, but one of love, that you demonstrate physical affection in front of them… hug your hubby or slow dance in front of them… kiss one son in front of the other so that he sees it's ok to accept that affection… hold her hand in the mall… etc…
thnx, edie!
:)

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9 Jessica June 29, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Love this post Edie. You always say it best…graceful really, so I guess your blog has the perfect name all around. I love the sweet photo's of your daughter w/ their grandma? and Steve. I envy that you can have paint and markers around in a handy place. With Sophia, everything is put out of reach and even then she searches and destroys. :) I will be thinking of who some of my mentors are, (hint) one of them has a southern accent, has been burglarized twice in one year and does killer hitch kicks! Have a great day and keep us posted on any Verity happenings.

Btw, since listening to those TJED talks, everytime I hear myself say to the kids "go play" or "clean the playrooom" I remember it's so much more fun and effective if I play and clean right a long with them. They love it and get so motivated. Sure it's easier to just split up and do separate rooms but why not tackle the house room by room together and teach them and enjoy them?

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10 Mrs. Dunbar June 29, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Can't wait for this series.

As a teacher turned mom, I often times look to doing things with my boys as I did with my students, until I realize "Wait a minute we can do this more authentically."

I love that you included "Love" which is so important in creating an atmosphere of learning.

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11 Marie June 30, 2009 at 12:18 am

Hello Edie – your post brought tears to my eyes. What beautiful words. Inspiring and encouraging. Thank you for sharing. I home school my children and feel it's an absolute honor and blessing to have been given the opportunity.

Blessings,
Marie
http://emmacallsmemama.com

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12 Amanda @ Serenity Now June 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

Great post! I had to laugh at the "surround them with beauty" b/c if you saw my post from today with photos of our neighbors' yard (they've moved), you'd know my girls are not surrounded by beauty at all right now! ;)

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13 Alli Worthington {@alliworthington} June 30, 2009 at 4:32 am

perfection in a post!

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14 Frugal Fine Living July 2, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Great post! I just found your blog and I'm lovin' it!

Jane

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