• Heather Martinson

Force vs. Choice

Updated: Mar 26


Did you know that by forcing your child to “learn,” you may actually be limiting her opportunities and abilities? Here are some things your child learns when she is forced to do schoolwork that has no meaning to her:

  • Do the bare minimum that is expected.

  • Please authority figures.

  • Their opinions and likes are not important.

  • It's important to do what everyone else is doing.

  • Learning and study are not fun and it should be avoided, if possible.

  • The things that they are bad at are more important than the things that they are good at.

You may feel secure with a planned and sequential plan. It gives you the ability to assign, demand, and mete out consequences. You have been conditioned to believe that this is what education is, that anything else must be less valuable, less effective, or irresponsible.


Truth is, if you are trying to "make sure" your kids learn all the same stuff the other kids are learning, you are denying to them the opportunity for them to maximize their learning potential and to be their personal best.


This is because force kills the spirit, dampens passion, and destroys the zest and life of learning. Force makes followers, not leaders. When children are given choices in their learning, the learning is more powerful. Wouldn't you rather that your child:

  • Does more schoolwork than expected?

  • Knows how to confidently communicate with adults?

  • Has his own opinions that he can articulate?

  • Knows that it's OK to be different?

  • Enjoys learning and asks you for more learning materials?

  • Knows that his skills are important?

  • Learns within his own learning style?

Would you like to try using more choice and less force? Here are some things that can help you better inspire your child to become a powerful, independent learner:

  • Talk to her about her future and help her set goals.

  • Provide a variety of learning experiences to him, not just textbooks and workbooks.

  • Expose her to lots of interesting topics.

  • Take him on field trips.

  • Help her accomplish projects of her own design.

  • Have lots of interesting books on hand.

  • Give him a smorgasbord of inspiring learning opportunities for him to pick and choose the learning he craves.

  • Show her what an independent learner looks like. Model learning through interests by letting her see you learn things on your own.

  • Support him in his interests. Take him places and buy him things that enhance his good qualities.

It may not be comfortable to you at first, but if you stick with it, you will find that your child:

  • Has increased confidence and self-esteem.

  • Loves to learn.

  • Has increased brainpower.

  • Is an individual, not just a brick in a wall.

  • Has created a unique portfolio that impresses colleges and employers.

When your children are sufficiently inspired they can become voracious learners on their own! This is a whole new experience that will be enjoyable and powerful for both of you!!


Because your children deserve to feel liberated, comfortable, fulfilled.


Heather Martinson

Celebration Education


Celebration Education provides exciting in-person and online classes to children in California.

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