2Q: Fostering Learning and Entrepreneurism At Home (Episode 329)
As a relationships coach and unschooling mama, I am no stranger to answering questions. And, I have to say...I love it. I love the challenge of Q&A and sharing insights and resources that I've personally found helpful. So as we hit our first of the "Two Questions" episodes (dubbed 2Q for short), we're going to touch on education and entrepreneurialism at home.
We discuss how to create a supportive learning environment outside of traditional schooling and how to add structure to your child's learning journey, in addition to fostering that entrepreneurial spirit.
So, let's dive in!
A Little Help From AI
It's been a while since I've gone through listener questions, and I've been learning about and playing with AI on different platforms. My friend Myhriah Young is an "AI Prompt Creationeer" and she's been helping me ask the right questions to really get some great insights from AI.
So today, I went in and laid out what my vision is for the podcast and what topics we cover, and I described my audience - those of you listening in. I got back a list of great questions to cover a variety of topics, like transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, alternative education, entrepreneurism, nomadic lifestyle, growth mindset, and marriage/parenting.
While I got artificial intelligence to generate these questions, ultimately, I want to hear from YOU, dear reader and listener. So reach out - what are you tolerating at home? What are you feeling overwhelmed by, or stuck? What are you curious about?
Building A Supportive Learning Environment
So here is our first question we want to address:
How can we create a structured and supportive learning environment for our children outside of traditional schooling?
There are two parts to this question -
First, start with your child's interest. We talked about our concept of "functional education" being life-long learning, using any opportunity to learn together. If your child is interested in baking, for example, think about all the things that foster learning:
- measuring and estimating - learning fractions and more for modifying recipes
- culture and history of foods
- the science of baking and how things like heat impact the food
- health and nutrition and how it impacts our bodies
- spelling and following directions while reading recipes
Those are just the first things off the top of my head. I believe in nurturing a child's curiosity and focusing on learning out of interest rather than force. The more you follow your child's passions, the more receptive they will be to what doors you can open for them.
Think about yourself as an adult - how often do you force yourself to sit down and memorize something you see no real-life application on?
Let's give the same respect to our kids - do they know why it might be valuable to learn something new? Do they have a dream about doing something big that requires some basic learning steps first (like reading and writing)? When you know their big interests, you can start to look with them at the many little steps they can take to get there.
Structure for Learning:
Actively involve your children in your life. Functional education works best when you're simply living life and learning those practical life skills. When you integrate learning into everyday life experiences, kids get a deeper understanding of how knowledge can be applied in the real world.
Yes, if you want to create structure for your children, make sure you're modeling it first. Are you taking the time to get yourself out of survival mode?
The more you are on top of your schedule and able to incorporate the down times to recharge, the more you can foster your growth and learning. Not just for yourself. When you pave the way for your own space to grow, you allow more space to be available for them as well.
When you've structured your life in a way that allows some breathing room in what you're doing, you're going to experience your kids modeling your own growth, like sitting down to read when they see you doing the same.
And when you're paying the bills and you're child is asking what you're doing, it allows you some time to possibly stop and explain it to them, or even invite them to learn with you as you teach them about running a household.
The Big Rocks
I've mentioned this before, and it's such a great way to visually see the concept of focusing on your priorities. Here is a quick video from Stephen Covey laying out the "Big Rocks" principle:
Structure doesn't have to be rigid or suffocating. Instead, prioritize the important tasks in your family's life, allowing for flexibility and adaptability. Remember, it's not just about checking off a list but managing your energy and being present in the moment.
Don't get caught up in unnecessary drama—focus on creating a nurturing environment where learning can flourish naturally. And that leads us to our next question.
Q2: Fostering Entrepreneurial Kids
Our second question falls right in line with what we've just addressed:
What strategies can we implement to involve our children in our entrepreneurial ventures and cultivate their entrepreneurial spirit?
Another two-part answer for this! First is to look at what it truly means to have an entrepreneurial mindset.
An Entrepreneurial Mindset:
I believe it's very similar to a growth mindset. As an entrepreneur, the sky is the limit on what you do - you are your own boss, and you create and build as you go. As an entrepreneur, when faced with an obstacle, there is no one else to go to. You're responsible for looking at what it makes possible. How will you pivot, grow, and innovate? Sounds pretty similar to a growth mindset to me.
If you really think about it, no matter who you call your boss, we are all bosses of our lives. We call the final shots on what we will tolerate, how we will grow, and what our perspective will be. So are we fostering that same growth - or entrepreneurial mindset - in our children?
When you want something, do you break down what it takes to get it? Can you share that with your children?
Opportunities For Work Ethic:
When our kids would ask for something, we often will say, "yes, that sounds great - how are you going to get it?" They've learned quickly that they better make a good case for it beyond a want. They have to show that they've done their research and are willing to accept the responsibility, whatever it may be.
When Clara was turning eight, she asked for a betta fish. We saw it as a great opportunity for her to learn what a "report" was and to share with us more insights into why a betta fish would be a good addition to the family.
Wow did we release the floodgates. She created an amazing booklet full of facts and insights on these beautiful creatures. We learned about their history, breeding process, how to care for them (and even teach them tricks and entertain them), how many species there were, and so much more.
You can click on this post to the right to see more pages of her booklet!
Not only did she rock it as a betta fish mama (I've still never cleaned a tank or even fed the fish), she progressed on to using those same strategies of research to get other animals (all paid for by her), and to vet out future business ideas.
As Nathan talked about on the podcast, she dreamed of owning a pet-sitting business. She did all the research on what services she wanted to offer, average rates and fees, what her expenses would be, and ultimately looked that the revenue and the work and decided it wasn't the most lucrative option.
How amazing she had the tools and the innocent curiosity of a child to just dive in and create business plans! It starts with helping them look for those steps of growth at a young age.
Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in your home is being open to creativity and innovation, and being willing to be your own boss and take personal responsibility for what you can lead.
Where do you go from here? What are you feeling stuck on in your home?
We hope you found our answers insightful and inspiring. We're committed to serving our intentional family community, so we would love to hear from you!
Please reach out and ask us your burning questions related to intentional families, alternative education, relationships, or anything else that sparks your curiosity.
At Mama Says Namaste, we celebrate the uniqueness in each individual, recognizing that every family is on their own beautiful journey...and we want to hear about yours!
Creating an intentional learning environment for your family is a remarkable journey of discovery and growth. As a relationships coach and unschooling parents, we are honored to be a part of your path from chaos to clarity.
Remember, the key to fostering curiosity, creativity, and lifelong learning lies in nurturing your child's interests, integrating education into daily experiences, and prioritizing the important tasks in your family's life.
Thank you for walking with me on this blog and the podcast where we explore simplicity, alternative education, marriage and parenting, personality styles, RV travel, food and diet, and everything in between. Together, let's embrace intentional living, celebrate our unique family dynamics, and say "Namaste" to the wonder and beauty of intentional families.