I want to raise leaders who impact the world for the glory of God.
How about you?
When I talk about leadership, I often substitute word “influencer”—I use these words interchangeably because a leader influences people. Not every influencer is a CEO, politician, or famous author. Parents influence their children, pastors lead their congregations, and teachers change the lives of their students.
There are many things that make leaders successful. However, there is one thing I have noticed over the years. Successful influencers are lifetime learners, always growing.
Leaders are Readers
The most effective leaders I know are avid readers. From the Founding Fathers who studied the Bible and read classic works voraciously to Elon Musk who enjoys biographies of world changers, business books, and literature where the hero does the impossible, leaders read.
Reading shows an interest in learning, an enthusiasm to grow. If we want to influence others to grow and be their best, we must always be growing, too.
When I had little children, I read everything I could about motherhood, homemaking, and the needs of preschoolers. When my children hit the teen years, I read books on how to homeschool high school and how to parent teenagers. As a homeschooling mom for 25 years, I read at least one book a month. Yes, that’s a lot of reading. Yet, you see—my job is important. I want to always be growing wherever God has me.
I strive to raise children who love to read. That has been easier with some children and harder with others. I persevere! We read together, I read aloud, and I give them books on topics they love. For my son it was sports, biographies, and animal books. My daughter loved classics by Louisa May Alcott, Kate Seredy, and Lucy Maud Montgomery.
The Quest to Grow
My pastor spends hours each day in God’s Word. He read, studies, and memorizes Scripture. He is a fountain of knowledge, a walking concordance. Yet, he believes there is more to learn about God’s Word each day.
My daughter has her own company. She takes courses, reads, and learns from peers in her field. She is always looking to grow in her profession.
When I read about successful businessmen and leaders, they don’t spend a lot of time watching TV or playing video games. They treat time as valuable and use it wisely. They make developing their skills and maturing in their fields a priority.
They are lifetime learners.
What is a Lifetime Learner
A lifetime learner sees the world as a wonderful place filled with new things to discover and enjoy. They seek learning as a joyful experience not a drudgery—that’s why they pursue knowledge and wisdom their entire lives.
Lifetime learners set aside time in their day for education whether it’s reading a book or watching a “how-to” video. That requires time management and diligence—life skill and character.
Curiosity and a sense of wonder are traits of a lifetime learner. How does that work? Why did they do it that way? What does he believe? Did she write any other books? they often wonder.
How Can We Raise Lifetime Learners
Present learning as a privilege and joy, not a boring task to complete as soon as possible.
Remember more is caught than taught so parents must examine their own lives. Moms and Dads can ask themselves, “Do we seek to grow in acquiring knowledge and wisdom?” and “Do we enjoy learning new things?”
We set the pace for our children. If we love learning, they will too.
Let children pursue learning about things they love, at least sometimes. Cramming our brains full of facts that we have no interest in can be tedious. That’s why we can also make subjects exciting and fun to learn about.
For example, you are studying history with your extrovert child who loves people. Instead of memorizing facts, you “meet” people in different times and places through biographies.
Or maybe your young reader loves horses. You fill the bookshelf in her room with horse books by Marguarite Henry and Walter Farley.
Your squirrelly middle schooler might enjoy learning science through doing experiments and making models.
- Stay positive even when kids get grumpy. Use phrases like “Today, we get to learn about …” rather than “We need to hurry and get this done.” Sometimes we have to slow down and savor the moment or take a rabbit trail.
- Let kids get messy by crafting, experiment, mapping, and building to help them remember what they learn to create fun memories associated with “schoolwork”.
- Switch it up sometimes by watching videos, visiting museums, or listening to audios.
- Choose curriculum that is interesting and enjoyable.
- Add cooking and baking to geography and history—what kids doesn’t love to cook and eat?
- Have your kids help you pick out books, curriculum, and hands-on activities.
- Read lots of books and picture books together.
Again, the most important thing is to stay positive and enjoy learning yourself. Create an atmosphere that is pleasant and affirming.
Leadership Resource: Life Skills Leadership Summit
If you are a parent and you want to raise leaders who influence others rather than succumbing to peer pressure or fear of cancel culture, reading is a great place to start. But don’t stop there. Godly character, a love of learning, and soft skills are needed, too.
Do you need equipping to raise leaders?
If you are like me you do. I need wisdom from other parents who have been successful in raising leaders. Join me this February 20-24, 2023. Attend the annual Life Skill Leadership Summit.
Our Life Skills Leadership Summit speakers reveal their best kept secrets to help you raise kids for Jesus Christ who impact the world, their neighborhood, their own family. Learn from the expertise of trusted, veteran homeschoolers. It’s Life Skills Leadership Summit so mark your calendars for February 20-24, 2023. Get your free Basic Pass to watch 60+ homeschool leadership & life skills workshops. https://meredith_curtis–kerrybeck.thrivecart.com/lsls23-basic/ (affiliate link)
Get your FREE Basic Pass here. You’ll get access to 60+ sessions, swag bag valued over $400 and daily, live kick off sessions.
God bless you in your quest to raise lifetime learners.
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!