How can I maximize my home’s potential to be a learning center?
Wherever people are, learning happens. The home is an especially important place of learning, because there children learn basic facts about life and about interaction with others.
Learn to make the most of each educational experience in your home. From building with blocks, to tying shoes, to reading aloud, to developing hobbies, to discussing life issues and current events, recognize God’s command to instruct your children. Embrace each season of your involvement in their lives.
By fostering a home environment with these characteristics, you invite your children to enjoy the adventure of lifelong learning.
Create an Atmosphere of Learning
The following concepts are foundational components of education. Seek to communicate them to your children through your attitudes, words, and actions.
- Acceptance: Learning is for everyone. Welcome curiosity!
- Security: Let them know that it’s good to ask questions and express ideas.
- Example: Be diligent and inquisitive. Value knowledge.
- Reinforcement: Talk about what you’ve learned. Review. Make what you’ve learned a part of your life.
- Motivation: Understand that extra incentives help, especially with difficult subjects.
- Discipline: Set aside specific times for wholehearted application.
- Consistency: Keep on learning!
- Reward: Enjoy the results of your labor. Look for ways to make learning fun.
Wisely Use the Power of Your Influence
Home is the place where children first learn basic skills and where their actions and attitudes are most influenced by their parents. Use your time with your children wisely by teaching them important truths and setting a good example for them to follow. Keep in mind that your behavior forms lasting impressions in your children’s minds and hearts. Your words, actions, and attitudes—positive or negative—will influence them for the rest of their lives.
Talk About Life and Faith
God entrusts parents with a basic responsibility to teach their children about Him and His commandments. In Deuteronomy 6, He instructs parents to love Him with all their hearts and to diligently teach His commandments and to talk about them when they sit in the house, walk in the way, go to bed, and get up. (See Deuteronomy 6:5–7.) These are times when your children are with you, ready to listen and learn. Be a wise steward of the time you have with your children and help them grow to love God, to understand that He is real, and to learn how He wants them to live.
Focus on What Is True and Pure
When bankers are trained, they don’t learn to identify counterfeit money by carefully studying what it looks like. Instead, they learn to recognize genuine currency—the real thing. They carefully examine the details of authentic bills so that they can instantly recognize a counterfeit one. Similarly, the books and materials you provide in your home should focus on genuine truth and purity that aligns with God’s Word. If your sons and daughters are trained in an atmosphere of righteousness and truth, they will be more likely to discern false ideas later on.
Incorporate Character Training
Along with learning about God, help your children learn about basic, Godly character qualities. Teach them about love, diligence, responsibility, and gratefulness, for example. Help them understand what these words mean and how they can demonstrate them in daily life. Once again, lead your children by example. They will sense what is important to you and will imitate your attitudes and actions.
Gain Basic Skills
Home is a wonderful place to learn basic life skills. From an infant’s earliest discovery of rolling over, to a first-grader sounding out words in a book, to a teenager preparing for a science presentation, your children should feel comfortable and confident as they develop skills at home. Be an encouraging witness and an available guide as they are introduced to new areas of knowledge or experience.
Aim to Know God and to Walk in His Ways
As your children mature, your ultimate goals for them should focus not on a specific vocation or a predetermined level of success, but rather on knowing God and living according to the truth of His Word. The Bible tells us that the ultimate purpose of learning God’s ways and of comprehending His guidance is to know Him. Moses, whom God described as “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3), said to God, “. . . Show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight” (Exodus 33:13).
Direct your children toward this goal—to know God and find grace in His sight—by helping them to understand Scriptural truths and then to live in accordance with the practical application of those truths. God’s Word offers guidance for our involvement in each sphere of life: family, friends, marriage, ministry, vocation, and government. Help your children discover the value of walking in God’s truth so that they may experience the joy that comes from knowing God.
“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
This material is adapted from pages 169–173 of the Men’s Manual, Volume II.