Thoughts On Self Education

One of my great goals and aims in educating my children is that they develop self discipline and become life long lovers of learning. That’s what we all want, isn’t it? We want to see our children grow in knowledge and develop a passion for some subject or other.

But what do we know above all about how children learn? As the old maxim goes “children learn what they live”, and our children are watching us. What kind of example for learning and self education am I setting? Do my children see me pursuing my interests? Do they see me struggling to learn or master something new, trying again until I get it right?

There have been a few things I have been interested in learning in the last few years. When my oldest was quite young, I wanted to be able to make decent, homemade birthday cakes for family celebrations. This was “pre Pinterest” so I took a few classes and can now whip up a nicely decorated buttercream cake for my girls’ birthdays. Then, I wanted some basic sewing skills. I took a weekly, evening class and can now (usually) correctly thread my sewing machine. I truly hope my children see that adults are still learners as they are!

One area I do believe I have been neglectful both to my own personal development and in setting an example to my children is in keeping my mind fed. Before becoming a mother, I was a voracious reader. I spent HOURS each day reading. I lost track of time reading. If in the middle of a good book, I could read all night without even noticing the passage of time.

As the years have passed, I have been reading less and less. These days it seems I am constantly checking books out of the library only to  return them several weeks later unfinished. I still LOVE books. I love booklists. I love book reviews. But actually sitting down and getting through a book has become a real challenge to me.  Add to this the desire to be able to read the classics and the great literary works, and I have been feeling pretty defeated.  Is it possible that I am no longer able to really READ a book anymore?

This past year, for the second time, I checked the book,  The Well Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had out from the library. I really wanted to read the books listed. I really wanted to read those classics in each genre. But I knew I just couldn’t.

It’s time to model that growth mindset, that perseverance, and that love of learning to my family! Surely I can spare 30 minutes a day to build the habit of reading back into my life! Starting today, I commit to reading a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Will you join me? Follow along with me on Facebook, and I’ll post each week what I’m working through! If I don’t, you can give me a nudge!

Here is what is currently on my stack:

What's on my stack! /Learning Mama @

How to Read a Book

I had this one out from the library a few months back and returned after having only read the introduction. It had a request on it and couldn’t be renewed. I’m on chapter 5 now, and I’m hoping it will make a better reader out of me. I’m taking notes!

The Story of Art

This title came highly recommended to me when I was searching for a way to chose and organize my own art curriculum for our homeschool. My knowledge of art history, art, and artists is really lacking and so far this book is really interesting!

The Bible

This book is always on my stack! I can remember the first time reading through God’s word when I was about 16-17 years old. I really felt my eyes opening as truth was revealed to me so freshly for the first time. I truly hungered for it!  I confess that it hasn’t been so in recent years.

What are you reading? Do you have a hard time fitting reading and self education into your busy days?

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  1. Karen @ The Simply Blog June 10, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    One of the books I just happen to be reading is How to Read a Book! I confess, I’ve been reading this book for a long time now. Ahem. It’s slow going. But, while there have been some dry parts here and there, I do like the book so far. I’ve been reading several books for awhile now, but they are now on hold as I work on pre-reading books for the upcoming school year this Fall. One of the books my oldest daughter will be reading is Susan W. Bauer’s The History of the Ancient World. My hope is that I might get it completely read before Fall. But it’s a thick book and I’ve got other books to read as well. So we’ll see. I may have to just get a running head start on the book and just continue to read ahead several chapters of my daughter’s assigned readings during the school year. 🙂

    1. Learning Mama June 10, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      SWB’s History of the Ancient Word- I started that one too! As well as the Medieval LOL!
      Those are pretty heavy books! How old is your daughter? Do you pre-read all of your daughter’s books?

      1. Karen @ The Simply Blog June 11, 2015 at 7:34 am

        My oldest daughter is 17yo. She’s the one who will be reading Bauer’s The History of the Ancient World. She’ll be a senior this Fall.

        I do like to pre-read as much as I can. But I can’t always read That’s just usually not realistic. So, I prioritize the books as ones that are top priority for me to read; then if I can fit in the others, I like to try to do so.

        I will say that there are some books that I don’t feel it’s necessary for me to pre-read. And my husband also sometimes reads some books for me. So that helps too. 🙂

  2. Carol June 11, 2015 at 3:12 am

    How to Read a Book – I decided the only way I was going to get through this was to read it aloud with my son. I did start it myself a few years ago & never got past the introduction. Thanks for your comments on my post on self educational!

    1. Learning Mama June 11, 2015 at 10:45 am

      I’m on chapter 6 today, still plugging away at it!

  3. Jennifer A June 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I started How to Read a Book back before the baby was born. I was about half way through, and I was enjoying it. I’m hoping soon I’ll be able to pick it back. It’s a good one, especially the further in you get! I’m going to follow your Facebook and try to keep up with you. I’d love to have the accountability for 30 minutes a day!

    1. Learning Mama June 12, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Yes, do follow along! I’m so out of the habit that I’m having a hard time meeting my minimum! I could use the encouragement!

  4. Amy June 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    This topic is always very convicting for me =) The first thing that came to my mind at the beginning of your post was reading. I read out loud to the kids a lot. I read bits and pieces here and there…mostly homeschool related. I usually have a book that I am (slowly) going through. But, I know that I really need to improve in this area. I really WANT to improve! I require my kids to sit and read for an hour each day as a quiet time (they read more throughout the day too) and I know that I should sit with them and read for at least part of that time too. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Learning Mama June 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      I’m happy to be an encouragement, but truthfully, posting this has been a HUGE encouragement to myself!
      I’m having my “mandatory reading time” during our afternoon quiet time 🙂

  5. Rebecca from Hip Homeschooling June 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I have struggled with this as well. I used to read a few books a week, before I was a busy mom I was a book review blogger, I got stacks of books in the mail! It pretty much FORCED me to read 😉 I miss those days! Thanks for sharing and linking up at Favorite things Friday! Hope to see you again this week!

    1. Learning Mama June 15, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Oh, a book review blogger! That sounds lovely 🙂 Books in the mail is my absolute favourite thing! “Brown paper packages tied up with string”!! and all that 🙂

      1. Rebecca from Hip Homeschooling June 17, 2015 at 10:58 pm

        Are you a part of booklook bloggers? You should look into it! You request books, you get them in the mail, write a review and post another one! There are tons of companies like that!

        1. Learning Mama June 18, 2015 at 10:27 am

          Thanks for the info Rebecca! It looks like I would need to build up some social media followers first, but I’ll have to remember that for future use 🙂

  6. Simply Rachel June 18, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I am SO right there with you! Sigh… The Bible is always on my priority list and even IT doesn’t get read much – sadly. I’m always much happier and, well… grateful(?) when in The Word. Good for you for making this commitment! And thanks for sharing & linking up to Favorite Things Friday with Simply Rachel & Hip Homeschooling! Hope to see you again next week! =)

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