100 episodes

The Raising Lifelong Learners podcast helps parents -- especially homeschooling parents -- encourage their differently-wired kids to learn, explore passions, cultivate creativity, and become fascinated by the world around them. Join host Colleen Kessler -- educational consultant, gifted specialist, author, and speaker -- for interviews, audioblogs, tips, and encouragement to help your differently-wired kiddos become lifelong learners -- children who know that they can find the answers to anything they want to know if they can just view their world with play, passion, and fascination.

Raising Lifelong Learners Colleen Kessler

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.9 • 185 Ratings

The Raising Lifelong Learners podcast helps parents -- especially homeschooling parents -- encourage their differently-wired kids to learn, explore passions, cultivate creativity, and become fascinated by the world around them. Join host Colleen Kessler -- educational consultant, gifted specialist, author, and speaker -- for interviews, audioblogs, tips, and encouragement to help your differently-wired kiddos become lifelong learners -- children who know that they can find the answers to anything they want to know if they can just view their world with play, passion, and fascination.

    Sparkschooling | Engaging Children in Music, Art, and STEM

    Sparkschooling | Engaging Children in Music, Art, and STEM

    In this week's episode of the podcast, we're talking with Rachel Figg, a trailblazer in the homeschooling world and the creator of Spark Schooling. As homeschooling parents, we recognize some challenges come with teaching children at home. This conversation focuses on sparkschooling, a novel approach to learning designed to ignite curiosity and engage students more deeply by integrating art, music, physical education, and STEM into daily learning activities.
    The heart of sparkschooling lies in its curiosity-driven approach, tailoring learning to align with a child’s natural interests. Rachel explains how Spark Schooling integrates non-traditional methods like using buckets and kitchen utensils to teach musical rhythms, or video classes for varied subjects to cater to diverse learning preferences and paces.
    This method not only respects each child’s learning journey but also fosters a supportive environment where learning is associated with joy and discovery rather than pressure and memorization.
    Key Takeaways: Curiosity-Driven Learning: Rachel Figg emphasizes the importance of fostering curiosity in children as a fundamental aspect of sparkschooling. This approach encourages students to pursue their own interests and questions, leading to deeper engagement and understanding.  
    Integrating Creative and Analytical Learning: Both Rachel and Colleen discuss the importance of combining left and right brain activities—such as art and STEM—into homeschooling to develop both creative and analytical skills in children, enhancing overall learning and problem-solving abilities.  
    Hands-On Experiences: The episode highlights the significance of hands-on learning experiences, like the real-life application of physics concepts in a homeschooling with horses class to understand inertia. This method helps cement knowledge through practical application.  
    Resource Accessibility: Sparkschooling is likened to a Netflix-like library where children can choose from a variety of activities based on their interests, all available in a simple, self-paced format. This accessibility makes learning adaptable and tailored to each child's pace and interests.  
    Higher-Level Thinking Skills: The discussion underlines the need to focus on developing higher-level thinking skills from an early age, moving beyond basic knowledge to analyzing, evaluating, and creating. This prepares children for complex problem-solving and independent thinking.  
    Low-Pressure Learning Environment: The sparkschooling program is designed to create a low-pressure, non-judgmental learning environment that encourages exploration and reduces the fear of failure, enabling children to explore new subjects and discover their passions.  
    Simple Integration of Diverse Subjects: Rachel suggests practical ways to integrate diverse subjects like music, art, physical education, and STEM into daily homeschool routines to ensure a holistic education that keeps children engaged and promotes well-rounded development.  
    Encouraging Physical Education: Physical activities are highlighted as crucial for children's education, not just for physical health but also for teaching persistence, coordination, and critical thinking through physical challenges.  
    Engaging and Fun Learning Activities: The episode emphasizes the importance of making learning fun and engaging through activities like using kitchen utensils as drumsticks to learn musical rhythm, which helps sustain children's interest and enthusiasm for learning.  
    Following Children's Natural Curiosities: Both host and guest stress the need for parents to pay attention to and nurture their children's natural curiosities, as this will lead to more meaningful and self-motivated learning, making education a joy rather than a chore.  
    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math
      Links and Resources from Today's Show Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising

    • 44 min
    Embracing Play for Teens | Growth and Resilience

    Embracing Play for Teens | Growth and Resilience

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Fostering Creativity and Critical Thinking | A Conversation with Puzzlemaker Eric Berlin

    Fostering Creativity and Critical Thinking | A Conversation with Puzzlemaker Eric Berlin

    In the latest episode, we dive into the fascinating world of puzzles and their role in fostering lifelong learning. Eric Berlin, a renowned puzzle maker and author, shares his experiences with puzzles in educational settings and their impact on child development.
    Eric discusses the integration of puzzle-solving into educational curricula. He shares a time when his daughter, influenced by puzzle video games, designed video game levels herself, showcasing how such engagement can foster a practical understanding of complex concepts like coding and design.
    Key Takeaways: Foster Critical Thinking: Puzzles encourage critical thinking and creativity, essential skills in today’s rapidly changing world.   Tech-Savvy Learning: Incorporating puzzle video games can promote visual thinking and problem-solving skills among children.   Community Collaboration: Participating in community puzzle events can build teamwork and social skills. Find Eric and his engaging puzzle books at puzzlesnacks.com and ericberlin.com. Connect with him on social platforms for more puzzle fun!
    Whether you’re a parent, educator, or puzzle enthusiast, this episode offers valuable insights into making learning a playful and engaging journey. Tune in to discover more
    Links and Resources from Episode 242:
    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math


    Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising Lifelong Learners Raising Lifelong Learners Membership Community - The Learners Lab Raising Resilient Sons by Colleen Kessler, M.Ed. The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin Puzzlesnacks by Book by Eric Berlin Free Gift: Puzzlesnacks Sampler Ever So Logical | PuzzleNation.com Blog Creative Thinking Activities for Kids  How to Encourage Innovative Thinking in Your Kids  Raising Problem Solvers One Person Logic Games that Rock  The Learning Game | A Conversation with Ana Lorena Fabrega  Giving Your Child Life Skills | Metacognition Connect with Eric
    To try out Eric’s puzzles click over to Puzzle Snacks: http://www.puzzlesnacks.com
    You can find Eric  @puzzlesnacks Instagram or Facebook with the handle @puzzlesnacks

    • 36 min
    RLL #241: Changing Rhythms | Homeschooling in Sync with the Seasons

    RLL #241: Changing Rhythms | Homeschooling in Sync with the Seasons

    As the days grow longer and the flowers bloom, it's the perfect moment to refresh your homeschool approach and cater to the bright energy of the season. On this episode of the podcast, we dive into the art of embracing change and the beauty of flexible learning environments.

    Colleen, an advocate for shaping education around a child’s needs and curiosity, guides you through the perks of adjusting your homeschool routine to sync with spring's lively vibe.

     

    Key Takeaways from the Episode:
     

    Flexibility is Your Superpower: Harness the adaptability that homeschooling offers. Shift learning times to enjoy the splendid spring weather, and don't shy away from eclectic approaches to fit your family's unique rhythm.   Create Unforgettable Stories: Prioritize shared family experiences and connection. Whether it's "just because we can days" or diving into a "bucket list of mini adventures," these moments foster not just learning, but lifelong memories.   Embrace Your Homeschool Journey: There’s no one-size-fits-all in education; tailor your teaching style and schedule to what resonates with your family—Colleen's insights can guide you on this personalized path.
    From combating the infamous mid-year slump with spontaneous outings to leveraging Colleen's extensive experience in homeschooling, the episode is packed with gems that will revitalize your educational outlook.

    Tune in for the full episode on changing things up in your homeschool routine, accessing exclusive resources, and joining a community that uplifts and inspires.

    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math
    Links and Resources from Today's Episode:

    Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising Lifelong Learners Raising Lifelong Learners Membership Community - The Learners Lab Raising Resilient Sons by Colleen Kessler, M.Ed. Masterclass | Building Family Connections - Raising Lifelong Learners Masterclass | Raising Resilient Families How a Return to Outside Play Will Help Our Kids Thrive with Ginny Yurich  RLL #43: Getting Your Kids Outside with Justin Wren  Homeschool Rising | A Conversation with Christy Faith  Growing Gardens with Kids (includes free printable garden journal)  Cultivating Curiosity for a Thriving Homeschool Navigating Summer Learning With Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids  5 Things to Do on Your Next Nature Walk A Week of Epic Backyard Nature Science Fun | Summer Camp at Home  Backyard Nature Activities for Kids  Create the Best Homeschool for Your Family  Adventuring Together: How to Create Connections and Make Lasting Memories with Your Kids: Eskridge, Greta - needs affiliate link 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever by Colleen Kessler M.Ed. Hands-On Ecology Book by Colleen Kessler M.Ed. Connect with Colleen
    You can find Colleen on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
    How does your child learn best? Take the Quiz!

    • 35 min
    RLL #240: Insights on Homeschooling and Entrepreneurship | A Conversation with Samantha Shank

    RLL #240: Insights on Homeschooling and Entrepreneurship | A Conversation with Samantha Shank

    This week, we welcome the inspirational Samantha Shank to the show. From blogging as a teen to becoming a digital nomad, Samantha's journey is a testament to the power of homeschooling and following one's passions.
    Here's what this can't-miss episode holds in store for you:
    - Discover Samantha's transition from stifled student to a flourishing creative mind, and how homeschooling played a pivotal role in her personal growth and professional success.
    - Gain insights into the ways Samantha's childhood interests in subjects ranging from Hebrew to history blossomed into invaluable skills for her travels and career.
    - Embrace the beauty of imperfection to help combat perfectionism in learners of all ages.
    - Explore the virtues of adaptability and resilience as we dive deep into the importance of these skills in our constantly evolving world.
    In this enlightening conversation, we offer practical strategies to help you guide your child through the lifelong learning journey with curiosity, courage, and joy.
    Remember, teaching kids about resilience, the normalization of failure, and the power of the "yet" mindset can make a world of difference. This episode is a gentle reminder of how embracing the learning process, including its ups and downs, can pave the way to a fulfilling life.
    Don't let your child miss out on the opportunity to thrive in an ever-changing environment. Tune in to this episode and equip them with the tools they need to succeed in life, not just in the classroom.
    Links and Resources from Today's Show
    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math

    Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising Lifelong Learners Raising Lifelong Learners Membership Community - The Learners Lab Raising Resilient Sons by Colleen Kessler, M.Ed. Masterclass | Raising Resilient Families What Does A Gifted Homeschool Graduate Really Think About Homeschooling?  The Need for Flexibility When Teaching Your Gifted Kids  Cultivating Curiosity for a Thriving Homeschool  RLL #103: Entrepreneurial Mindset with Brian Weisfeld  Delight-Directed Learner Turned Published Author | A Conversation with Millie Florence 10 Things I Love About Homeschooling: A Gifted Kid’s Perspective  Homeschool Rising | A Conversation with Christy Faith  Homeschooling High School With Interest-Led Learning  Homeschooling High School Isn't Something to Fear RLL 34 Ginny Kochis: Cultivating Critical Thinkers  The Learning Game | A Conversation with Ana Lorena Fabrega  Idiom Matching Game - Raising Lifelong Learners
    Connect with Samantha
    Learn more at: https://learnincolor.com
    Find Samantha on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest with the handle @learnincolor
    Connect with Colleen
    You can find Colleen on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
    How does your child learn best? Take the Quiz!
     

    • 43 min
    RLL #239: Fostering Teamwork | The Power of Collaborative Learning in Homeschooling

    RLL #239: Fostering Teamwork | The Power of Collaborative Learning in Homeschooling

    In this week's episode, Colleen dives into the world of collaborative learning and how it can transform your homeschooling experience. Listen to gain insight into creating a dynamic, engaged, and cooperative learning environment right in your home.
    Key Takeaways:
    Collaboration Empowers: Discover ways to implement co-ops, community projects, and family initiatives that develop skills like cooperation, problem-solving, and critical thinking.   Shared Learning, Shared Growth: Learn how rotating leadership roles and involving the entire family can create rich educational experiences that go beyond the traditional curriculum.   Unleashing Potential: Understand the high value of tailoring education to your child's unique needs, fostering a love for learning that prepares them for a complex, interconnected future. For any homeschooler looking to elevate their child's learning journey and unlock the full potential of their educational experience, tune in to this inspiring episode.
    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math 
    Links and Resources from Today’s Show
    Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising Lifelong Learners Raising Lifelong Learners Membership Community - The Learners Lab Raising Resilient Sons by Colleen Kessler, M.Ed. Finding Your Community as a Neurodivergent Family  Why Community Is So Important For Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids Finding Community: Building a Support System Online and In-Person  Thriving Together | Creating Supportive Environments in Homeschooling  Building Social-Emotional Skills While Helping Others Find a Place of Belonging for Your Neurodiverse Kids Activities to Strengthen Your Family Team  Free Solar Eclipse STEM Printable for Your Homeschool RLL 22: Finding a Homeschool Co-op and Creating Killer Classes | A Listener Question  Why Community Is So Important For Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids Science Buddies Electronics Kit for Arduino Connect with Colleen
    You can find Colleen on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
    How does your child learn best? Take the Quiz!

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
185 Ratings

185 Ratings

Stampinladybug ,

Such a blessing!

Colleen and this show are true blessings. I am so honored to have had a chance to share here as a guest, and to pour into this amazing community of people Colleen supports. This show is a true gift Colleen, thank you for all you do! 💕🎉 -Katie @ Her Home and Heart Podcast

Lizzie O' ,

Colleen is wonderful!

I’ve been listening to this podcast from the beginning and I just listened to the last one on 7 secrets to building self-esteem and I was reminded that Colleen truly cares and is our cheerleader on this journey of parenting. She has professional well thought out advice and wisdom that she knows will help our children become stronger and resilient human beings. Thank you Colleen! You’re a gem!

GraceEllenOliver ,

Thank you

Thank you so much before your podcast, Colleen. I am not sure if my child is gifted but from your last episode I think there’s a possibility. I’m thankful for your insights about how to support diverse learners, and I think any homeschool parent can benefit from your advice and perspective no matter how their kids learn. Can’t wait to see you again at the convention in Cincinnati.

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