The Important Ingredient of Wonder in Learning

One of the things I LOVE about our homeschool routine this year, is the opportunity to add the WONDER into learning. Our boys learn best through doing, experiencing, observing, listening, and getting their hands on what we are learning.

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” – Sir Ken Robinson

So much of what they will remember derives from the WONDER. They get their questions answered. How much more engaging is learning when it’s curiosity driven?

definition of wonder

We spend time in the mornings and sometimes into the early afternoon on our 1st grade curriculum. {Which is going really well, I might add. No changes in curriculum so far; everything seems to be a great fit.} So while most or our mornings follow a routine, the afternoons, evenings, and even weekends we leave room for opportunities like these:

>>> Checking out Venus through the telescope at Holcomb Observatory at Butler University followed by a show at the planetarium.

butler planetarium star gazing

>>> Studying owls up close at Eagle Creek’s Ornithology Center.

eagle creek park bird observation owls

>>> Visiting our local library to pick out books to read for the month.

 library books for homeschooling

>>> Watching a praying mantis attack and devour a beetle. Freakishly cool.

watching a praying mantis eat a beetle

>>> Making a solar system model to hang in their dorm room bedroom. Can you tell they are loving the Astronomy curriculum?

making a solar system for homeschool astronomy    

What things do you remember best from your learning years?  Most likely it’s the ones where you created something. You got your hands messy. You found more out about something that you were fascinated by.  Hopefully these will be the things that stick for our boys as well.

These are things you can do with your kids, regardless of your school choice. After all, we are all “homeschooling” to some degree by giving our kids learning experiences at home through reading, cooking a meal together, making music, character building, creating, and other hands-on-experiences, right?

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” – Sir Ken Robinson

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the standards, the test scores, the competitive academics, we forget the wonder that creates more learning opportunities. Life-long learners aren’t made from worksheets and flashcards. They are made through creating, discovering, nurturing talents, and experiencing life. Let’s not forget what it feels like to be in awe of something, to marvel, to ponder – because these grow a desire for greater learning in our kids.

What things do you do to encourage WONDER with your kids?


Interested more in this philosophy of curiosity and creativity in learning? I recommend watching this Ted Talk from Sir Ken Robinson on “How Schools Kill Creativity”.

2 thoughts on "The Important Ingredient of Wonder in Learning"

  1. Crystal says:

    So true! That was one of the best parts about homeschooling for me; it taught me how to love the process of learning, rather than just the facts themselves. I LOVED dissection!

  2. You are so right – most awesome memories of elementary school are from field trips, art projects and recess!

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