Nurturing a Love For Learning – Jennifer Elia, Part 2
Join Yvette Hampton and Jennifer Elia, Founder of Sound Foundations Homeschool, as they discuss how to nurture a love of learning in our children and how to teach to different learning styles. Schoolhouse Rocked Backstage Pass members have access to this full interview, which includes over an hour of content, including the video, “Eliminating Homeschool Overwhelm” and the 30-minute Bonus Video, “10 Steps to Homeschool Success.”
You can get a free copy of Jennifer’s program, 10 Easy Steps to Transform Your Homeschool and Home! on the Sound Foundations Homeschool website.
Jennifer Elia, homeschool consultant, blogger, and Amazon best selling author, is Founder of Sound Foundations Homeschool which is dedicated to giving homeschool moms the tools they need to thrive in their home education career. Jennifer is leading the Sound Foundations Homeschool movement, equipping moms to provide an education that celebrates her child’s unique and special gifts without burning out. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children whom she has been educating at home for the past 10 years. When Jennifer isn’t busy researching the best curriculum solutions, she enjoys gardening, crafting, and writing.
Connect with Jennifer Elia:
Jennifer’s website: https://soundfoundationshomeschool.com
Read Jennifer’s books:
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Interview transcript (this is an automated transcript. Spelling and grammar errors are guaranteed!)
Speaker 1 (00:42):
Hey everyone. Welcome back to part two of my interview with Jennifer Elia. On the last episode we talked about eliminating homeschool overwhelm that every homeschool mom faces and we also talked about just the importance of finding support both globally and locally in your homeschool. And so today Jennifer is back with us again. Welcome back to the podcast, Jennifer.
Speaker 2 (01:06):
Thank you. Glad to be back.
Speaker 1 (01:07):
Yeah, I’m so glad to have you back. She is the founder of Sound Foundations Homeschool. She’s a homeschool mom to four kiddos and she has been a public school teacher and a college professor. She’s gotten lots and lots of training under her belt today. She speaks from experience and also from just education herself and knowledge of having been a teacher. And so one of the things we kind of started talking about at the end of our last episode was we were talking about nurturing a love of learning and our kids, and I have found that too, the one of the most important things that we do as homeschool parents and also one of the hardest things that we do as parents because we can, we, we talked in the last episode about, about the gaps that we all feel like our kids have when we kind of get this frantic, Oh my goodness, our kids are going to have all these holes in their education and what are we going to do?
Speaker 1 (01:58):
And you were talking about how it’s important to teach them how to love learning because everybody’s going to have gaps in their education. But if they, if they learn how to learn, then they can learn anything. And I’ve told this story actually before. I’ve told this story before on the podcast, but I grew up really hating school. I genuinely hated school. And I remember my senior year of high school I just felt like, Oh, thank the Lord, it’s done. It’s over. I never have to open up another book again. I enjoyed reading for fun, but I did not ever want to open up anything academic ever again in my whole life. And I just felt like, okay, I’ve checked off that box. I never have to learn anything again as long as I live. And I really wish, now I have a very different opinion about that and view of learning of course. And now I enjoy learning as an adult, but I wish that I had grown up with a desire to learn and a love for things because everything that we learn can, can and should point us towards our creator and having a deeper relationship with him. So I want to talk about the two things of, you know, one nurture, why we need to nurture that love of learning in our kids. And then two, how do we accomplish doing that?
Speaker 2 (03:19):
Yes. Well, the first thing is that like I said in the last one, I love to do research. Like that is a great passion of mine. I love, I actually love writing research papers. But now that I’m out, most of what I do my research on is education or something like that. However, I was working for global learning day for a while. And one of the things that they wanted me to find out about was preparing people to be lifelong learners, but also preparing them for getting out into the world and being productive adults. And so I really dove into that research and when I found is that when led top skills that employers want are people who can learn, like know how to learn and are, are willing to self-educate so they’re willing to keep learning and they know how to take a topic and find out about it.
Speaker 2 (04:18):
And I realized that homeschooling really sets us up for that because if you’re in a brick and mortar school you are, yes, you’re checking off those boxes and you’re trying to get from first grade to second and second to third and pass this test and earn that certificate. And then in the end it’s considered like a completion, like you’re done. But really when you think about graduation, it’s called a commencement because it’s supposed to be beginning the next chapter. And so it should never really end. So I think that when we’re thinking about preparing our kids for wanting them into a world and preparing them for like, you know, future ready careers, one of the biggest things that we can teach them beyond STEM or investing in expensive chemistry equipment or any of that is really how to learn because of the world that they’re going to be living in is going to be completely different than what we’re doing right now.
Speaker 2 (05:09):
And that’s one thing that I’ve seen over and over again in these studies about STEM is that the people that are high up in the technology are saying, listen, the coding you’re teaching your kindergartners is not going to exist when they get out. So instead of focusing on that, focus on teaching them how to adapt and learn and love that and also be creative in their learning. So you were saying like, how do we start that? And I think really it’s igniting that, that spark. When kids are really little, they, they get fascinated by something. So everyone has their little quirk that they love. Like we were talking earlier about my oldest just loved Thomas the tank and she couldn’t, I mean, every single engine that there was and telling you what they did and, and where they lived and what their number was and whatever.
Speaker 2 (06:01):
And so they didn’t study a few years ago about children like young children preschool and toddlers and how they obsess on something. And people get upset because we were in this academic mindset that all they want to learn about is dinosaurs. But they found that when you let them dive into that, they become much better learners and their brains develop more much more productively then if you’re exposing them to everything and trying to get them to, you know, learn Spanish and know physics also, there’s stuff that they’re trying to teach preschoolers now. So I think that sometimes we need to step back from where we want them to go and see where they are, especially when they’re young and let them chase that passion a little bit. It’s hard to do as moms, as homeschool moms because we worry, well if they only want to like my oldest loves horses. If they only want to learn about horses, then you know, where does chemistry and algebra fit in? And that will come. But you need to nurture that that passion within them and let them dive into it. And as they learn how to dive into their passion, they’re going to keep reading and learning and studying. And that kind of sets them on the path of understanding how to learn. So now when a new problem comes up, they can go about it to problem solve through it.
Speaker 1 (07:25):
Right. Can we, I want to take a break and then when we come back, can we give some very practical ways to do that with kids and I want to talk about kids with maybe some different learning styles and how that would work with them. Okay. Sound good? Okay. Let’s take a quick break and we’ll be right back. The home grown generation family expo is here. You’ll be encouraged by Kirk Cameron, Heidi st John, Sam Sorbo, Andrew Patois, ginger Hubbard, Lee Borden’s, and many others. You can still register and have lifetime access to the replays of the entire event. Don’t miss out on this exciting expo. Register today for only 20 firstname.lastname@example.org that’s homegrown generation.com Hey guys, this is Brooklyn Hampton. Have you left a review for the schoolhouse rock podcast yet? If you haven’t been positive show right now and go do it. Don’t worry. I’ll wait.
Speaker 1 (08:23):
Have you done it yet? Great. Then back to the show, we are back with Jennifer again and we’re talking about nurturing a love for learning and our kids. And, and what I want to talk about specifically is every kid has a different, or every one of us is made with a different bent, a different learning style, a different personality type. And so as far as learning styles, you know, you’ve got those who are kinesthetic, those who are visual, those who are auditory. I know there could, the list can go on and on with those, but those would be, you know, the three basics. And then you have different personality types as far as you’ve got the introverts and the extroverts and those who kind of fall in between. And so can we talk a little bit about, and maybe kind of break that up into the different learning styles and, and personality traits that kids have and how we can foster that love for learning in those kids. So how, how do you, I mean do you want to go one by one? I don’t know. I did not prepare you for this. I’m sorry. I,
Speaker 2 (09:26):
Well, I think in general the learning sales are often discounted. When I was in public school, there was this whole differentiation of lessons and so you needed to try to touch all the learning styles. So the are reaching everybody. But I think sometimes we’re afraid to foster that learning style that our child was born with. So we worry that if, for instance, for a kinesthetic learner, if we have them do everything physically, so like when they’re learning their times tables, if they are you know, multiplying like how, how far they ran, you know, so like we have them run it and then they multiply that out. Or if they are topping up and down to learn how to count or they are physically moving things from one place to another, you know like the all about spelling where you move things.
Speaker 2 (10:20):
There’s many different versions of that. But we worry that if we, if we just focus on that, then they won’t learn how to learn. But in fact, like we’re nurturing their gift. And I think that one big thing that’s essential to fostering that level of learning is nurturing their gift and how they learn. Because while they need to be exposed to everything in life, you’ll be exposed to auditory and visual if you’re a kinesthetic learner. So if the best way for you to learn fractions is by cooking, you know, making cookies, it’s much better for you to learn how to do that then to struggle through it in a workbook because you’re not going to get as much out of it. And that’s not like a really a detriment. So I would say overall like, be willing to step back and see how your child learns and be willing to foster that after level of learning.
Speaker 2 (11:16):
So if you want, I guess if you want to go one by one and think of some ways to do that. So if we already started with kinesthetic, with kinesthetic, anything that is physical like, and it doesn’t have to be like outside physical, you know, like running around climbing monkey bars, although that it’s very helpful. It can just be like moving things. So instead of drawing a line from one side to the other, you’re physically moving things from one container to another, or you are you know, using marbles to count instead of tally marks. Does simple things like cooking, really any of those practical skills can be transformed into a lesson because there’s so much math and science and creativity and everything we need to do in everyday life that we often discount. You know, even doing the laundry, you need to balance it right?
Speaker 2 (12:10):
And you need to sort the colors and you need to decide which temperature and what are the temperatures going to do to this kind of clothing. So everything can be a learning opportunity. It’s not that you need to spend a day learning how to do laundry, but for that kinesthetic learner, it’s something that they can get their hands on and their minds around to learn it. So I feel like sometimes kinesthetic is a little bit easier because it’s easier to imagine, you know, like you can see them doing it. At least for me, it is. For auditory learners, we, we really discount auditory learners, I have to say, because we are so focused on like the visual reading and doing work and workbooks and tests and stuff, which is all visual. It’s not auditory. And there’s also been, you know, again, lots of people moving away from lectures or [inaudible] extended listening.
Speaker 2 (13:11):
However, that is a great skill for kids to have. And auditory learners need that. Like they thrive on having all that rich information coming into them. So audio books podcasts, lectures, there’s going to get so much out of that. Yes, they’re just, it seems like they’re just passively sitting there not doing anything, but that is what feeds their soul and gets them excited. And so I really, you know, my, my kids are audio book junkie and I’ve had people say to me, but don’t you make them read books? And they’re voracious readers. My younger two don’t read yet, but they will sit and listen to audio books for hours. And I always say, if you can read with your fingers, why can’t you read with your ears? You know, it’s, it’s the same thing. So they are devouring this literature. I’d rather have them do that than not read anything because they’re frustrated.
Speaker 1 (14:08):
Right. And Andrew poodle, I would agree with you. We’ve, we’ve talked with him about that on the podcast and in the movie.
Speaker 2 (14:14):
This is why I love Andrew. So I always say that he’s my, like my homeschool. Like heartthrob
Speaker 1 (14:22):
Well, you’re not the only one. I’m sure my husband teases me that I’m a groupie, but anyway, as long as you don’t have posters of him up on [inaudible]. But I always like, you know, hear his voice in my head when I got back and I’m like, Oh, we should get bracelet. Says Hey, what would Andrew do? What would Andrew do? He just read a book or we just read a book he would listen to. Did you know actually that he, he’ll talk about reading books himself, books that he’s reading. I know almost every book that he reads, he actually listens to, he, he does almost all audio books himself. Yeah. And and, and that’s amazing. I mean, you look at someone like him who’s so well versed and well educated and, and he speaks on this a lot and he himself has an audio but guy, you know, he’s not a Tory learner and so he, he’s a musician of course. So that makes sense. And that’s how he enjoys reading is through audio.
Speaker 2 (15:16):
Yes. And so same story really, you know, no matter how it’s, it’s the same as like reading a play versus seeing a play. Sure. The same thing, you know, you’re still reading Shakespeare. So then the last one would be the visual learner. And these are people that might actually thrive on workbooks, but you really don’t want to get stuck in workbooks. So you want them to have a way to not only express themselves visually, but to receive information visually. So really engaging books with lots of pictures. Encyclopedias, not, you don’t want water and down with pictures. But there are some wonderful, my boys are really into animals and they have some, you know, volumes, they’re like this thick with beautiful photographs and tons of information. But the photographs are really just so engaging that it pulls you in. And that even if you can’t read the text or you can’t get everything, you’re getting information from that. So like infographs would be another thing if you’re looking, they would probably, you know, visual learners would probably love to make up an infograph to PowerPoint presentations, things like that, that are engaging their eyes and and getting them thinking.
Speaker 1 (16:32):
Yup. Yup. And I think I find of most curriculum that are out there today, or she’d say curricula out there today I feel like people are doing a better and better job of creating their, their texts to meet the needs of all of these different learning styles. And so they’ll have, you know, the reading portion of it, but then they’ll have activities that go along with it, which are great for both of those. And as mom, you know, you can read to your children so that they’re not having to sit there and read on their own. And in reality it’s going to be much, much better learned when mom reads it out loud. So then they’re getting that auditory as well as the visual, if they’re following along with you. But then mom typically will read it correctly where the kids oftentimes will not, they’ll skip words, they’ll mispronounce a mispronounce words.
Speaker 1 (17:22):
I almost said ms pronunciate don’t know where that came from. They will mispronounce words. And so it really is, and again, we talked about reading in the first episode to your kids. And so that’s just a great way for them to get that auditory learning. But then mom is sitting there with them and you’re still building that relationship and being able to read the texts with them. And that’s aside from just fun books and, and you know, great literature that we get to read with our kids. Let’s talk very quickly about the, the two different personalities and why, I guess it would be really three cause you’ve got the introverts, the extroverts, and then those who kind of fall in the middle and helping to nurture that love of learning and kids with different personality styles.
Speaker 2 (18:11):
Yes. So I have kind of a mix in my family and I am most definitely an introvert. Most of my children are extroverts though. But I realized that when I try to do group learning with them, it’s harder to harder on some than others. And so we need to kind of limit what we do together. However, my extroverts need that interaction. So they, like my son thrives on, he has a zoom based Spanish class and he just, that’s like his favorite class ever. Cause he can see people and he can talk to them. And so he has a science co-op that he goes to and we do a fine arts co-op. So they’re kind of like, they need that constant stimulation of joining things. And one thing that I’ve realized is that sometimes we get into that habit of joining everything cause we want our kids to be socialized and make sure that they’re meeting enough people for some children.
Speaker 2 (19:05):
That’s very painful though. So for my extra words, I need to find a balance though. And so what I do is I let them join things that are going to teach them what I want them. You know, what they need to learn. And then we fill in the gaps. So we’re not like when they do a science code, we don’t do science elsewhere, you know, this way we have time for other things. And so that gives me enough time to bring them there and let them experience that without feeling like we’re constantly behind. And the same with like they’re in four H and they do presentations and research and whatever. So I count that towards their language arts and take that out of the language arts. So that gives us time to participate in four H. So I think that is an important balance. You have an extrovert if sometimes not to get caught up in trying to get them out there so much.
Speaker 2 (19:53):
And then trying to keep up with work, find a way that you can use what they’re doing out there to take away from what you need to do, like in books at home. Right. And find outlets online for an introvert. I think you still need to get them out there. You know, you don’t, but I don’t think that we need the push kids to do things that they don’t necessarily want to do all the time. I think though that there is a place where you have to be, well, you need to learn how to live in the world. So we’re going to go to, we have book record club quarterly where the kids go and present a book report to our group and then they sit and listen to all the book reports. And so from my one tile beds of painful experience, but I’m like, this is part of what we do, you know, so it’s only quarterly and the rest of the time I let it go.
Speaker 2 (20:47):
So defining strategic ways to give that little taste of having to be in front of people to get over the fear of it, at least without overburdening them, with having to be somebody that they’re not. And then providing quiet study, you know like I know an online course was just not in the cards for that child. So I’m providing a more quiet you know, lots of reading and journaling and stuff. And supporting that, you know, that is valid learning. Just as you know, doing public presentations is, it’s the same thing.
Speaker 1 (21:25):
Yeah. Great advice. Great advice. We are out of time but I would love it if you would come back. We most people know we have the backstage pass membership site and one of the things I really want to talk to you about is you talk about 10 easy ways to transform your homeschool and home. Will you stay on with me for an extended version for our backstage pass members and can we talk about that with them? Yes, definitely. Okay, sounds awesome. So thank you guys for listening today. If you are a backstage pass member, you can go on backstage pass membership site and we will continue this conversation with Jennifer talking about 10 easy ways to transform your home and home, homeschool and home. And if you are not a backstage pass member, go on SchoolhouseRocked.com and just click on backstage pass and you can get information on that.
Speaker 1 (22:13):
And there are some great resources on there that is a really fantastic way to support the ministry of Schoolhouse Rocked – the podcast, the movie, the blog, social media, everything that we have going on here and get some great behind the scenes footage from the movie. Great. Just great encouragement on there. We have lots of podcast interviews on there and extended versions from the podcast, but we also have many of the actual interviews from the school house rock to movie on there, people to full interviews and I’m so you’ll have access to all of that stuff and we have a lot more stuff that’s coming on backstage pass membership site, so we would love for you to join us there as well. Thank you guys for listening. Thank you, Jennifer. Where can people find out more about you? You can find me on SoundFoundationsHomeschool.com and Facebook and Pinterest at Sound Foundations Homeschool. Okay, great. We’ll link those in the show notes and you guys have a great, great day and we will see you next time. Bye bye.