In a world saturated with visual images, children and adults can often become spectators, stagnate in their learning, fail to grow and develop. Sometimes they just need to limit some stimuli and replace it with richer, more varied, and valuable stimuli, so they can inspire, grow, and expand their learning. Two ways to inspire learning is through exposure to new ideas and homeculture. This can be done through home environment and parental example, such as the home and example Gordon B. Hinckley's parents set for him. If parents take the lead in taking notice, developing health curiosity, following through, then sharing it with their children, they will find ourselves inspired, and it can plant the seed of inspiration in their children. Inspiration to learn more can come as parents read aloud great literature, discuss current events, visit museums, attend plays, attend concerts, visit the library, take walks in nature, conversations with interesting dinner guests, and any number of experiences that enlarge our window on life. Through all this, we often have impressions to look something up, experiment, explore, and learn something. If parents do not write it down, the opportunity for learning may pass them up, as then the next impression captures their minds and swallows their interest.
A Commonplace Book is nothing new, they have been used as a learning tools since at least the 16th Century. A Commonplace Book, is a common or central place to gather quotes, ideas, things one learns, and reactions to those things. I find it is a great place to record those thoughts that inspire us to want to learn more and expand our horizons. A great place to record what is learned when we pursue new ideas. Sharing these impressions and investigations can expand others interests, as well. I like to use plain marbled composition books. They are inexpensive and relatively durable. Their hard covers making writing easier when there is no table or desk near. During back to school time they can usually be found for 50% or more off at Walmart and Target. I like to purchase a case so we can use them to record things we want to study and what we learn when we follow through. They can also be used to annotate books we read, lectures we attend, and even as a simple journal. Sometimes we leave them plain. Sometimes we glue scrapbook paper to the front and back cover, make a large paper pocket on the inside cover for loose notes, and add tabs to the page edges to separate annotations for different books.
Consider this wonderful learning tool!