Making Children Learn What They Don’t Want to Learn

Editor’s Pick. Written by Sue Elvis.

My children follow their own interests when it comes to learning. This sounds rather indulgent, doesn’t it? Why should I let them direct their own learning? Hey, they’re only kids. How do they know what they need to know?

I stop and think about these questions for a moment, and then I remember something my youngest daughter Gemma-Rose said to me a while ago:

“You can’t make me learn anything I don’t want to learn.”

These weren’t the words of a defiant child. They were the observation of a rather astute eight year old.

“You can’t make me learn anything I don’t want to learn.” This reminds me very much of trying to make children eat. We can’t forcibly feed a child something they haven’t a desire for, however hard we try. In the same way, we can’t really stuff knowledge into a child’s head if she isn’t interested, though it might appear we can…

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