Learning has always mattered to me. I was raised to value learning; not just an education. It’s among the reasons helping children claim the identity of “I am a learner” is important to me.

Teaching is one of my joys. It energizes and delights me. It’s something I just have to do. But it’s not because of the teaching. It’s because of the learning I see happening before me. It never gets old.

This past weekend, it was my privilege and joy to be one of the presenters at the Hearts at Home national conference. The very positive experience has me reflecting on why it’s one of the annual events I enjoy tremendously.

Learning is more likely when the atmosphere is one of joy. The Hearts at Home staff creates a positive environment. They work to create some fun. There are bright colors and fun signs everywhere. Joy inspires.

  • The atmosphere matters. What’s the learning atmosphere you’ve created at home for your children? Might any changes help them engage more in learning?

Learning is more likely when connections are healthy. At Hearts at Home conferences, speakers have a chance to meet and interact. We also get to meet many staff members. There’s a unity created among those of us there to work and then among those who attend. Moms are encouraged to come with friends and family. They’re constantly encouraged to reach out and meet others. And, they get a chance to meet speakers at our booths. I can’t tell you how many moms took pictures with me after I autographed. It was about being connected and it was fabulous. Communication is more likely when connections are positive. Connections captivate.

  • Connections matter. Do your children feel connected to you in healthy ways as learning opportunities begin or have you just exchanged harsh words? Are you unified or separated? Might any changes help them engage more in learning?

Learning is more likely when optimism reigns. Moms are not recruited to come to the conference because they’re “bad moms.” They’re recruited because moms are important and being a good one isn’t always easy 24/7/365. Moms who attend feel valued and significant. There’s an infusion of hope in their role and hope in their ability. In my sessions, as I share new ideas, I always proclaim, “No shame or blame for yesterday. You didn’t know this yesterday. Hope for tomorrow.” I can almost see women relax and attitudes change. Optimism opens the mind for more.

  • Hope matters. Do your children approach learning opportunities optimistically? Or, is pessimistic how you would describe them? Might any changes help them engage more in learning?

What have you noticed helps you learn more effectively and efficiently? Add those things to my three concepts and talk with your kids. YOU can make a difference for them. Of course, all of this also applies to us when we’re in learning situations. Do we approach our Bible study with joy, connections, and optimism? When we begin to listen to a sermon online, are we joyful, glad to be connected, and optimistic? These things matter.