Is it difficult to come up with something to learn? At times it can be. (Although I don’t find that to be a problem. I seem to have a never-ending list of books to read and things to learn.)

BrainstormingBrainstorming is a free form of thinking with no rules. It is a free process where ideas are created without criticism or critique. The value of brainstorming is to create a great quantity of ideas in a short amount of time.

There are a variety of ways to brainstorm. Graphic organizers or a web approach can be used. Ideas are generated by choosing a main idea, followed by creating a web of related topics.

Another option which is my favorite is to look at the 5Ws and H: who, what, where, when, why and how. This works most effectively after a main topic chosen.

In choosing a main topic, brainstorm what surrounds you. Where do your feet rest? On a glazed brick? Maybe you are interested in knowing about how the television works. Is there a problem facing your children? Social anxieties? What is the problem at the front of your mind? Are you interested in investing opportunities? Does your budget balance?

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.

~Henry Ford

Other places to get ideas is to observe others. One summer, my children and I sat a park, watching people. My son generated questions about pets and dogs. He looked up the answers to his questions which led to an experiment in dog training our dachshund, Samoa.

Other places to get ideas:

The Art of Learning Journals
Click on image for The Art of Learning Journals.
  • Bookstore
  • Walk around the neighborhood
  • Home improvement ideas
  • Classrooms
  • Museums
  • Art
  • Cars

The list is actually inexhaustible. It comes to what interests you.

By Tracy Atkinson

Tracy Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passion is researching, studying and investigating the attributes related to self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Lemosa: The Annals of the Hidden, Book Two, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the mid-west with her husband. She loved storytelling and sharing her stories with her children. As they grew, she started writing her stories down for them. She is a teacher, having taught from elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, masters in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. Her husband, Kerry and Tracy breed miniature dachshunds and love to spend time with their growing family. She has published several books including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel's 8 and Securing Your Tent.

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