Love of Learning Phase

The Love of Learning Phase is the second of the two Foundational Phases, and it sets the stage for the child’s later scholarly pursuits. This is when a child begins to play in new ways, and this sometimes begins to look like study, but it’s not; it’s still play. If a child at this stage (or earlier) is forced into academics, what results is usually a “Hate of Learning.” This is one of the earmarks of a conveyor belt education, and why most of us schooled that way can’t fathom the idea that young adults will eventually choose to study 8-10 hours a day, if this phase is successfully nurtured.

Following a successful Core Phase, a child will naturally transition to what we call “Love of Learning.” During this period, a child will commonly play at projects and skills which builds his repertoire of understanding and prowess. During Love of learning, which typically runs more or less between the ages of 8-12 (often earlier for girls than for boys), the time in the day devoted to learning will gradually increase over time to a number of hours a day by the time a student transitions to Scholar Phase. …The TJEd home will facilitate a successful Love of Learning Phase as parents and older siblings model the behaviors of study, self-discipline, passion for learning, a sense of personal mission and a habit of service in and out of the home.
Oliver Van DeMille, A Thomas Jefferson Education, 2nd Edition, pages 32-34

This is a time when the student-in-embryo is encouraged to study anything that interests her. If she chooses it, she’ll be excited about it, and so her play will include things that sometimes do and sometimes don’t look like work: reading, writing, discussing, drawing, sculpting, building, cooking, and cleaning. The parent’s job during this phase is to keep the home stocked with “educational products,” and model to the child that learning is one of the funnest things she can possibly do.

This is a time when the student-in-embryo is encouraged to study anything that interests her. If she chooses it, she’ll be excited about it, and so her play will include things that sometimes do and sometimes don’t look like work: reading, writing, discussing, drawing, sculpting, building, cooking, and cleaning. The parent’s job during this phase is to keep the home stocked with “educational products,” and model to the child that learning is one of the funnest things she can possibly do.

A child in the Love of Learning Phase (who has had a solid Core Phase) will:

Study what they are excited about, without imposed study requirements.

Be fascinated by a variety of subjects, and will move from one subject to another at a random pace.

Grow to love learning, if they are free to follow their interests (and conversely, grow to hate learning, if forced and coerced in academics before they choose).

Continue to learn and add upon the lessons of Core Phase.

by Rachel Keppner