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Top tips for continual learning as a parent - Cheryl Lee-White


To keep constantly learning is one of the most powerful things you can do. It not only improves your knowledge but will enhance your options in life and will help open more doors. Unfortunately it has taken me 30 years to realise this, and now I am on a mission to keep learning and growing everyday and am encouraging others to do the same.


I didn't do well at school, I tried but didn't get anywhere. In college I was diagnosed with dyslexia but didn't get any help and only just scraped through my course. University I lasted 2 months before dropping out. I decided after this that I'd had enough of learning, and it was not something that was for me. So I started on a string of dead end jobs working hard for not a lot in return, whilst trying to raise 3 children. 


One day though I decided to start up a blog and this was the stepping stone I needed to find my passion for learning. So often we associate learning with a school type environment or a course with grades, but the truth is learning can come from anywhere like reading a book, taking in information from the Internet, listening to a video of an expert, and most importantly from our failures. 


When I started out I had no clue about blogging, website design, SEO or even creative writing but through a lot of failures (and learning from them) as well as reading any literature I could on certain subjects, I now have an amazing blog, a great website that I am proud of and a wealth of knowledge to go with it. 


Through learning and evolving constantly with my writing I have also become an award winning children's author. This accomplishment was only achieved through continual learning; especially taking in and learning through my failures. I looked back at some of the early pieces I wrote for my blog, and I will be the first to admit they were terrible, but I didn’t give up. I continued to write and the more I wrote the more I learnt and improved until I had enough knowledge to start on my journey of writing children's books. Becoming an award winning author is not a bad achievement for someone who didn’t have a great education and who has dyslexia, finding writing a real struggle at times. 


My tips for continual learning:


Read - Reading is an effective way to acquire knowledge. There are books for every subject imaginable with a wealth of information just waiting to be picked up and read. Even if you are reading a fiction book you can still learn things like creative writing, grammar and language. 


Trial and error - This is one of the most important ways to keep continually learning and building knowledge. Learning from our mistakes will be the most rewarding lessons we can take, only when we make mistakes and learn from them can we grow and achieve. I have built 2 websites over the years with no knowledge of website design; these were built on trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but do be prepared to learn from them.


The Internet and Social Media - The internet is packed full of people sharing their tips and knowledge covering a vast range of subjects. It can be a great place to learn new information. On social media you can find groups and pages where people share knowledge in certain fields and are usually willing to help answer any questions people have, making these great platforms to learn from. One important thing to remember about using the internet and social media is to take information from lots of different sources as not everything is correct and people do things in different ways. You can take this knowledge then use the trial and error method to see what works best for you.


Online Courses - Taking an online course will help boost your knowledge in a chosen field. These can usually be done at home and at your own pace and are a perfect way to fit in learning around current commitments. I have taken lots of short courses recently from digital marketing to photography and even Portuguse all helping me to learn and boost my knowledge.


Don’t give up - The key to learning is to never give up! Our brains need to be kept active and a great way to do this is to keep learning. Lessons can be learnt anywhere you just need to open your mind to the opportunities. 


Author: Cheryl Lee-White