Podcast Episode 31:
Modeling a Love of Learning

Growing up, was there something you thought you were too bad at? That you’d never be able to do?

 

I definitely had a “fixed mindset” around art, music, and sports. I was just not good at anything that required coordination. 

 

Others seemed to be naturally good. I was not. So I didn’t even bother trying most of the time.

 

I actually did play percussion in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade. But I chose percussion because it sounded the easiest and learning to read sheet music seemed too hard.

 

After not putting in much practice, I wasn’t particularly successful so I stopped playing, labeled myself as “not musical” and didn’t try to do anything remotely musical for a REALLY long time.

 

In fact, I recently wandered into an awesome folk music store and was chatting with a guy there, mentioning that unlike too other self-proclaimed musicians that had walked in, I was not musical.

 

I had already decided in my mind that I was going to learn to be more musical, alongside my kids. But I still kept reverting back to the “I’m not musical” fixed mindset.

 

The guy suggested trying the ukelele because it’s inexpensive and relatively easy to get started. I was all in. I bought two. I’ve been practicing.

 

I’m learning to become musical!

 

Maybe one day, I’ll take up tennis!

 

In May, we had a series: “Learning Should be Fun!” where I gave ways to make reading (ep. 20), writing (ep. 21), and math (ep. 22) fun!

 

The first tip in all of those was to enjoy it yourself! When kids see us enjoying reading, writing, and math they know that it CAN be fun, even if they don’t yet find it fun themselves.

 

This week, I’m inviting you to model a love of learning yourself. This isn’t just about loving it yourself, but about allowing yourself to make mistakes. When kids see us struggle and persevere, they learn to persevere in their own struggles.

 

If we never mess up, our kids don’t know how to handle their own struggles.

 

Watch, Read, or Listen!


And then let me know- What are you learning?

Audio version: www.DecodingLearningDifferences.com

Transcript:

This is Decoding Learning Differences with Kimberlynn Lavelle. This episode is modeling a love of learning in episodes 20 2122. We talked about how learning should be fun. There's a whole series on each of them. I gave some tips on ways to make learning fun and in all of them. Tip number one is to enjoy that subject yourself, enjoy reading, enjoy writing,

enjoy math yourself. And I encouraged you to use the other tips if you weren't already enjoying it. And so go back, check out those episodes. We're not going to be rehashing what was talked about there, here, but I wanted to kind of remind you of what we were talking about there. Today, I'm going to encourage you to try some new,

hard things. One of the struggles that our children face is that they are struggling. And a lot of times they feel alone in their struggle. They're the only ones struggling with learning how to read this, especially if you're homeschooling and you only have one kid, they don't see that other people are also struggling. Especially if you're not also struggling with something yourself,

you read so well, I don't know how to read. We might even see this with kids. I hear about this all the time with like younger kids, they won't draw because their child can draw. Their parent could draw better than them. So they feel like why bother? I can't drop the problem with this is our kids wind up getting into this fixed mindset of I can't draw.

Now. I personally definitely had a fixed mindset around things like I can't draw. I'm not musical. I'm not athletic. I had, I knew that to be true, but is it all of the research on growth mindset shows us that if we believe that we can get better, we will get better. If we believe we can not get better, we won't get better.

So all we have to do is say, I can get better at this and then we'll get better at it. Now I shouldn't say all we have to do. Obviously we also have to try to get better at it, but we have to have that mindset of, I can do this. I can get better at this. I can learn from my mistakes.

I might not be musical yet, but I can be musical. In fact, I'm going to be musical. And actually that is something that I'm working on. So as trying new hard things, allow yourself to fail, make mistakes and try again. When our children fail, they need that model of that, that model of what do I do if I mess up,

if we mess up with somethings, we need to apologize and say that we're sorry. And our child needs that modeled With other things. Our child Needs to know that they just need to keep trying, right? It's not about apologizing. It's just like they messed up in their math and they just need to recognize where they went wrong and try it again.

Or they messed up in reading that word. And they're going to try it again. They're going to learn from their mistakes, allow yourself to make mistakes. Now, when they're really little, you can kind of fake a mistake and they don't necessarily recognize that you're just faking it. But I would encourage you to instead put yourself in a position where you are actually going to make legitimate mistakes.

And then you're going to just keep trying and move on from it, right? You're just going to keep going with it. So this is what I was alluding to is I've decided I am going to be musical. I had purchased some things for my, my little ones to learn, to be musical. And I was like, you know what, whether they use it or not,

I'm going to use it. It might be designed for a little tiny babies, but I'm going to use it to become more musical. And then I was recently in a music shop, a lovely little folk music shop. And I happened to say, I'm not musical. And I was going to clarify that I'm working on it or I want to be or something.

But the, the guy that was working there immediately was like, don't even say that you're just not musical yet. You know what you need to do? You need to get a ukulele because they're not very expensive. You can practice. You can try, you know, they're, they're pretty, it's pretty easy to like enter and start learning. And I was like,

okay, show me the ukuleles. So I actually bought two. This is one of them. I actually bought two ukuleles because I was like, he showed me two different ones. He's like, you know, this is the soprano. This is the concert that this is the soprano right here. So it's a little bit smaller than the concert. And he was explaining a little bit of a difference.

It's like, okay, let's just get both of them. Then if I'm playing and one of my children wants to play with me, they can, maybe I can get my husband to try and learning with me, but no matter what, okay, I've got two ukuleles. So like, I can't do hardly anything, but actually do a little bit.

The one I'm really bad at with it. I find difficult, but I'm practicing and like going between them and you got a necklace on that was bumping into us. That wasn't good either. But so I'm working on it. I practice a few minutes every day. I don't have a ton of time, but I'm committed to trying. And I definitely intentionally do it in front of my kids.

And I also use some of the other instruments that I've bought for them and allow myself to mess up because I just naturally mess up. I'm not, I don't yet have much musical skill at all. So I make mistakes all the time. And I say something about it to them. Oh, I messed that up. Let me try it again. That was a little better.

Let me try it again though. I need to keep practicing this great. I'm, I'm constantly modeling that I'm doing something new and hard for me. I'm making mistakes and I'm gonna keep going. And my goal with it is to hopefully allow my children to feel like they can make mistakes too, that it's okay to have to have those mistakes happen and to learn from them.

And it's just part of life and it's not at all a big deal. It's just what happens. And it's lovely because then we just learned something we move on. And also another part of this is asking for help modeling, asking for help, not all the time, right? Most of the time, I'm not asking for help. I'm just moving on.

I made a mistake and I'm going to keep practicing, but I'm also seeking out some help in right now in YouTube videos. I watch some YouTube videos and learn how to do it. And I'll let them see that I'm trying to learn from someone else to learn how to do it. I might take the ukulele back to the music store and have them show me a little bit more.

You know, he had showed me two chords originally. My kids weren't there when I bought it. It happened to be able to actually be a little date that I was on at the time, which was nice, sweet. My husband. I don't get many dates, but it was lovely. Anyway, So we didn't have the kids with us at that time.

But in general, I will normally try to let them see that I'm seeking out help and learning how to do things. All right. So I want to know what are you going to be modeling, email me Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com. And I can not wait to find out what you are learning. It's just so that you can show your children,

that you are learning some new and hard things, yourself, making mistakes, learning from them and enjoying the love of learning something for the sake of learning it and kind of bettering yourself. What are you hearing from you.

 

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