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Thursday, April 19, 2012
How do our children REALLY learn? I mean REALLY?
Is it by accident? Is it by imitation? Is it intentional?
What constitutes learning?
Do they only learn from Adults?
Do they learn by themselves?
When do they learn?
What should they learn?
Do we only learn as children?
When can we stop learning?
Now go back and replace those "learning" words with "Think"...
I read that somewhere...a while back, sorry I don't remember where...
But it has definitely stuck with me...
I do think learning is synonymous with thinking...
I get annoyed with all the "learning" kids are supposed to be doing...
I think (yay) therefore I am...
We are all learning all the time, whether we want to or not!
Sometimes I hear people say Real Learning comes from Books!
Well...Hey, I am your number one LOVER of ALL books!! I read ALL THE TIME!
And maybe that's why there is such a rush to turn these little guys into READERS...and then the push, push, push to learn the ABC's, sight words, etc...
OK, I can see some logic in that (a teensy weensy bit ;)
But, I do know that when I read and read and read about having a baby...I still wasn't prepared for her...
I read and read and read about being a teacher...I still wasn't prepared for them...
I read and read and read about (and salivated) William Dean's Award Winning Mexican Mango Chocolate...but I still wasn't prepared for that delicious sensation! ;)
I tend to think and Learn best by DOING...Observing others...Listening...Writing...Thinking...Making Mistakes....Trying new ideas....trying my friend's ideas...MOVING...staying still...
These are the ways we all learn and Reading is also a part of that...but just a piece...it's too bad we emphasize it SOOOO much.
Unfortunately, this push for our kids to Read is working...Kids can learn to read...babies can learn to read...but we're creating a nation of Alliterate souls...People who can read... but have no desire to.
Reading has been so taken out of context and made so abstract for children...it's connected to strong emotions and pressure to succeed and perform that although they can do it...they don't Want to do it.
And when children Learn to equate Learning with shame, pressure, and embarrassment...the desire to Know is diminished.
Rachel Carson, whose book...The Sense of Wonder, moved me so much...so much that I named my business after her...she says it best on page 45...
I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to FEEL. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused-a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love-then we wish for knowledge about the object of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to WANT to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.
Posted by Shannon Booth Lipan at 1:45 PM