How do you decide what you listen to? What will you read? This is important for our continued learning and even more important as we homeschool our children. With so many books and so little time you really have to be selective. It’s imperative that you listen to people who have what YOU want. Who have proven what it is that you want to learn and that it has passed the test of time. Customizing this for each student is important and this is why we include so many classics and biographies in our studies.
The absolute best way to become accomplished in a chosen field of study is to find a mentor and become the student. You don’t hear much of this in the mainstream except when it comes to business and sports. However, the world’s most successful and intelligent people have a mentor, coach or personal trainer to credit for their success. They never stop growing and learning for they consider themselves always the student.
“To be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts is a great step to knowledge.” –Benjamin Disraeli
In An Inspired Education we implement mentoring practices rather than standing in front of our children teaching. I don’t discount that there is some value in conventional teaching practices of a classroom environment. However, the way you truly learn in this classroom mode is by first possessing some level of self education ability, and next by allowing the information to flow in, and finally being high on the teach-ability index. This is also necessary for learning through reading, which is the way we mostly learn. If the student does not have all of these essentials in their possession, learning is severely limited by conventional means.
Leaders are always readers, they are massive readers and they are reading all the time. But first and foremost we must be teachable and coachable. Are you teachable? You don’t need to worry about whether you are a good teacher or if you are smart enough to homeschool your children. Do you know how much you don’t know? Think about that for a bit, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” This is a road block that many students can run into, trying to re-create the wheel, never realizing that they don’t know what they don’t know. What you really need is someone who has done what you want to do. But in order to benefit from a mentor, reading to learn or even a workshop or seminar you have to be high on the teach-ability index and so it’s also true for your children.
It’s time to let go of grades and graduating, being “done” with school and learning. You are both learning and growing, or you’re not. By definition that which is not growing is dead. We live a lifestyle of learning because learning is life. As you live it so will your children. When something isn’t working the way I want in my homeschool or with one of my children I have to think, am I living it so my children can too? It’s time for me to check my teach-ability index scale first and then my children.
The Teach-ability Index must be considered at all times.
- What’s your willingness to learn? On a scale of 1-10, how high is your willingness to learn? If you want to learn you must be teachable because you never know everything. Are you willing to go the distance, spend the time and invest in yourself or your children? Are you open to receiving guidance? Are you willing to step up to the learning and do what it takes? Where are you on a scale of 1-10?
- What is your willingness to change? On a scale of 1-10, how high is your willingness to change? What are you willing to give up? Are you willing to think different? Are you willing to do things different? What are you willing to give up making room for learning? Time spent on television or gaming, habits that keep you from being successful in a productive schedule, unhealthy habits that leave you with no energy. Focus on your willingness to learn, to accept change and do things differently.
As we are learning we go up and down on the Teach-ability Index. We are like a sponge, soaking up a lot of information, learning and learning until finally our cup runneth over and we cannot hold anymore. At this point we move down the teach-ability index.
You can walk into a workshop or seminar, have a super high Teach-ability Index and then in 3 hours it may go down because you are overwhelmed. This is why it is good to relisten to CD’s over and over again so you can absorb the information or reread a book. When we get overwhelmed we stop processing information and stop learning.
Allow the natural ebb and flow of this learning while at all times checking on your Teach-ability Index. Read, reflect, apply and do it again. Secure a mentor, be an apprentice and mentor your children. As you move up the Teach-ability Index and make learning a lifestyle your life will become rich and rewarding.
“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” –George Bernard Shaw
Parents Inspired to Action:
- Where are you on the Teach-ability Index, on a scale of 1-10? Check this often and consider where you are and how you can move up on the scale.
- Create a habit and environment that supports your learning so you can model what you want to see in your children. As they see you living a lifestyle of learning they will be able to apply it to their own pursuits.
- Read, read, and read. You are the leader of your children, providing, guiding and stepping aside. Hire a mentor, become the student as you mentor your children. This is where you will see the absolute fastest results.
- Always encourage learning through reading for your children. When they are self-educator’s and learn to take responsibility for their own education they are able to do this for a lifetime no matter where they live, or what the economy is doing, they will be able to land on their feet. Learning is life and life is learning.
- Introduce your children to the Teach-ability Index. Talk about it so they can understand. Help them keep their learning in priority as they make choices and create habits. Be compassionate with them as they move up and down the Teach-ability Index reassuring them that this is the way natural learning happens so they can get comfortable with it and be more open to learning.
- Instead of standing in front of your children, mentor them by providing, guiding and stepping aside. Support them in being your student by honoring them in their uniqueness. Encourage them as opportunities arise to mentor their younger siblings. As they are living and learning, rising on the Teach-ability Index they are learning to be leaders and will be able to make a big difference in the world.