When you see a insect and say, “Yuck!”
What does your child say? “Yuck”
Lesson to child: worms are yucky and possibly scary also. Without realizing we close a big learning opportunity for the child: To know more about worms, about nature and food cycle, about aerodynamics or movement, about life.When you see a flower and say, ‘Beautiful”. What does your child say? “Beautiful” (Even if the child is too small to speak, she appreciates beauty). Lesson to child: Flowers are beautiful, something to appreciate. Maybe without realizing we have opened one learning opportunity for the child to know more about flowers, designs, nature and to appreciate good things in life.
Children see us, observe our behavior, listen to our words carefully and feel our feelings. How the adults approach a learning situation, the child learns to approach the same way. If we want our children to be curious, inquisitive, exploratory,
inquiring, we need to see how we approach things in our life.
Many children detest writing. During first few years of child’s life listening and talking is the basic form of communication, while the child sees reading equally important to survive – from signboards to food packets to stories for entertainment. But the child is introduced to writing through writing ABC – which has no connection with child’s life. What motivation will a child have in writing one page of only A’s or B’s. On top of that they are supposed to write the alphabets correctly and neatly. How artificial, uninteresting and laboring can learning made to be?
The moment we let the child write his or her name, family members name, his wish-list of shopping items, what the child wants to eat, what the child wants to play and so on the motivation is intrinsic, the learning natural.
Observe – question – investigate and you can learn the science taught in first eight years at home through curiosity and fascination. Somewhere in the process of packaging it in a tin we have made learning to be artificial, something that ‘has’ to be done, something that requires extra effort!
No wonder to many it tastes bland - something that requires the external push and pull of a teacher and marks. But the moment we stop teaching, rather we explore learning with our child, we learn together - by discovering, by doing, applying, by imagining - all from our day to day life. Learning is the most natural thing for a child to do. Have Top of the world day.