This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ashworth. The opinions and text are all mine.
I love when the boys discover me reading, or working, or creating. Whether it’s a novel for book club, laying out a blog photo shoot, or decorating for one of their birthday parties, I like showing my kids how we should never stop developing ourselves. And we should never stop encouraging our thirst for learning! Today I’m pleased as punch to partner with Ashworth College to talk about a favorite topic of mine: ways to become a lifelong learner as a parent!
Ever since reading Lucy Calkins book Raising a Lifelong Learner, my ultimate goal for our family is to create a home that celebrates and fosters learning. Ultimately, it’s not about the discrete facts we know, but whether we’ve become resourceful enough to learn whatever new information is needed to grow.
As a parent it’s easy to have the mindset that our school days are behind us. But our world is changing so quickly, we need to keep our learning tools sharp. Lifelong learning is about self-development and discovery! Here are 5 ways to become a lifelong learner as a parent.
Read voraciously. Seriously, there’s no avoiding this step. However, if reading has never been your strong point, these days nearly everything is available via audiobook! Ask your older children or spouse to read aloud to you – reading a book together is a bonding family activity! Find the kind of reading that interests you – that might be novels, or it may be gardening journals!
Engage in genuine conversation. This means listening and asking questions more than half the time. Other people have so much to teach us through their experiences and expertise. Sometimes, even if we disagree, it helps us grow to hear the other person out and see from their perspective how they think.
Memorize something. Pick a poem, a song, part of a famous speech and work on committing it to memory. Memorization skills retrain the brain to think differently and be flexible.
Work on a project with someone else (your kids!?). Pick something you’re good at – gardening, crafts, woodworking, or another skill – and create a project your kids can help you with. To teach is to learn twice, so as you explain to your kids, you’re relearning the skill yourself.
Enroll in a class. Interestingly enough, the four above points can be accomplished simply by enrolling in a class! A course or class, whether leading to a degree, diploma or certificate offers an environment that supports and encourages learning and growth!
I’m just leaving the babyhood years where I felt like all I did was change diapers, clean up messes, and prepare snacks. There were many years I thought I’d lose my mind if I didn’t have an adult conversation and PRONTO! Practicing the habits of lifelong learning (joining a book club, blogging about family projects, etc), kept me from feeling like I was out of touch on many a day!
And you know what? In addition to feeling renewed by my own lifelong learning, the side benefit was: the kids were watching me! When I showed them how much I enjoy learning they picked up on the idea that learning reaps a shower of rewards!
Children are born naturally inquisitive, always asking “Why?” and seeking to understand the world around them. With every course, every book, every conversation we are sending our kids an empowering message: learning is so exciting and it never has to stop!
If you’re feeling a little worn down or like you’re losing that joy in learning, think it’s a great time to look into continuing education online. Ashworth College is a great place to pursue self-development and continuing education. If I ever decided to add another degree or certification, I’d definitely go the online route, because it’s so flexible and affordable compared to other college routes. Tuition at an online school like Ashworth College is easily five times less than other online institutions, much less brick-and-mortar educational facilities!
With over 125 programs in high-demand fields like business, education, creative services (like floral designer and event planner!) and trade skills (carpentry, dog obedience trainer!), there are so many choices!
I was thinking how would be amazing to have my boys take locksmithing certification courses when they are in high school. Imagine leaving high school with a professional certificate under their belts? Since the courses are online, we could fit this right into our homeschool program!
Perhaps you want to learn a new skill or trade. Maybe getting a professional certification or diploma could boost your family’s financial situation. Perhaps you never finished that degree, but now you’re ready to get back at it. At Ashworth College, you’d have the chance to go at your own pace, and keep a healthy work / life / family balance. Request more information from Ashworth College to see if this is the right learning path for your phase of life!
I think it’s fabulous when I hear about moms who are returning to school after putting their education on hold to raise a family! It’s never too late to finish that degree, earn a certificate, or get a diploma. Or even, just take a course or two to satisfy your inner drive to keep on learning.