Why to “Be Curious”? How to “Be Curious”

“Be Curious”, said the master.

Why to “Be Curious”? How to “Be Curious”?

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

As I remember this famous quote by Stephen Hawking’s, I realize how relevant and powerful this stands until today! The immortal master who changed the way we looked at the universe still manages to inspire us in many ways.

Why is it crucial for your child to be curious? How can you inspire the urge to be curious in them?

Here goes my analysis-

Every child is a born explorer. We all have seen how during early childhood days, toddlers put anything in their mouths as soon as they see it, even if it’s dangerous. They want to feel, touch and taste all the objects they can hold, and enjoy sensorial experiences a lot.

We live in a world that is an endless source of wonder- the rotation of the earth on its axis, the sun and the moon, seasonal changes and so on! Researchers believe that some children possess a keener desire than others to explore their immediate surroundings.

Curiosity is a boon to a child and it undeniably ignites their creative spark. One thing inevitable to progress (be it for a child or an adult) is constant innovation and no innovation is possible without arousing curiosity at first.

But unfortunately, this natural urge to explore the surroundings dies with time. Formal schooling methods, the rat-race to be the topper, finishing the syllabus in time, fear of disapproval from parents and peers and unsafe environments gradually kill the importance of curiosity which once came naturally to children.

Children speak their curiosity if given a chance to. For instance, you visit any historical monument. After telling them about the beautiful architecture built thousands of years ago, you can ask your child – ‘There was no electricity or sophisticated engineering tools when these grand structures were carved. How did the craftsmen transport these stones and take measurements to build them?

This way, both your child and you can embark on a journey of learning together. It is natural that when you both imagine together, your child will truly enjoy learning. However, you need to keep in mind their age and not overload them with information.

I have a few points an educator can incorporate into their daily routines with children that’ll help them grab hold of their curiosity!

DON’T GET TIRED OF THEIR QUESTIONS. YOUR EXPRESSIONS WILL MATTER THE MOST

I understand a parent or a teacher goes through a roller coaster of emotions each day. Too many questions sometimes irritate you. However, try to calm yourselves and answer your child’s questions thoughtfully. If you don’t have an answer, take efforts to learn together from books, experts or the internet. This will bring a sense of comfort and openness.

ACCEPT THE WAY YOUR CHILD WANTS TO LEARN

Sometimes, we set unrealistic expectations for our children. We must encourage self-directed learning for them. What if your child spills the colors out of a circle while experimenting with crayons? We need not bind them into dimensions and let them explore the world their own way!

YOUR CHILD HAS AN INTEREST? FUEL IT.

If your child shows interest in a particular activity/object, leave no stone unturned to expose them to the same at higher levels too. Do not disapprove or discourage their ideas- this will instill a feeling of rejection in their psyche.

MAKE THEIR SURROUNDINGS SAFE

Here, I not only intend to focus on removing sharp objects, chemicals, dangerous objects etc. from their vicinity, but also we must try to make their surroundings safe by helping them stay amongst people who support self-directed learning (choosing pre-schools thoughtfully). You must also ensure that they do not experience abuse, ignorance or any form of violence.

NATURAL SURROUNDINGS WILL HELP THEM THE MOST

Television and mobile phones might have the ability to entertain your child, but the materials cannot be manipulated or questioned. Exposing your child to natural surroundings where they can collect sea-shells, play with pebbles, or do some sand art will help them learn the fun way.

 

House of Learning pays gratitude to Mr. Stephen Hawking for igniting the fire of curiosity in all of us!

 

 

Advertisements

That’s What the Education System Lacks

Recently, while delivering a talk at one of the reputed schools, a child from the senior grade raised his hand and asked me a question that made me ascertain some crucial aspects of the education system.

His question was, “What should I do for better grades?”

I asked why grades were so important to him to which he responded, “That’s how you get into a good college which ultimately gives you a stable job”.

I don’t need to emphasize the importance of education in building a strong nation! But there are loopholes that are destroying the actual abilities of children and killing their creativity as individuals.

Let’s have a look at some of them-

THERE’S NO ROOM FOR MISTAKES

As Jim Rohn has rightly quoted, “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to set for the ordinary”.

Our education system follows the standard set of rules and regulations that have been passed over the generations. Mistakes and risks are the last things schools and parents allow the child to take.

How will children learn unless they don’t experiment? This ultimately forces them to follow the mainstream and shuns their ability to think out of the box.

THE FEAR OF FAILURE

Since childhood, we are forced to work hard on different subjects where we’re expected to score magnificently well in each one of them. What if the child is good at literature and mathematics doesn’t interest him/her?

But the kind of pressure and fear of failure parents and teachers inculcate in a child’s mind leads him/her to focus on abilities rather than the creative capacity and expertise.

Schools believe that it is imperative to create a standard curriculum for students to follow. However, it is not mandatory. Schools can create divisions depending upon different areas of interests which students can freely choose from!

STUDYING AND LEARNING ARE NOT THE SAME

Attending school, memorizing facts and reading lessons is entirely different from gaining knowledge and experiencing learning.

It is not important if a student is studying, he/she might learn out of it too.

Learning is an experiential concept. Being in environments that are learning-oriented, moving beyond textbooks and indulging into discussions is much more important than memorizing information.

STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE, NOT GRADES

Competition and comparison have led to severe problems. Students, from the very beginning, are encouraged to be amongst the “top five” in the class thereby, igniting the spirit of competition.

It is this pressure only that has led to suicide cases over the years.

Therefore, it is crucial to accept how every child is unique, has different interests and will find a way to a sustainable life.

The purpose of education is to bring out the best in a child. Let’s make sure they don’t lose themselves in the process!