Friday, August 22, 2014

A Total Process ... Week 6 summer studio

I'm going to be real with you here... I know that there are Parent-Child classes or activities where you go and you watch your child play and pretty much... it's easy, no clean up involved, and you can just sit back and relax.
As a parent myself, when those moments happen, I am THRILLED!!  It's a beautiful thing to not be needed 24/7 by your kiddos.  My husband and I rejoice in the moments when our kids are playing by themselves and we have a moment to just "Be".
So...Is Wonder Studio that kind of place? the Reggiani (the Italian educators of which Wonder Studio is inspired by)  LOVE to tell Americans...

"It Depends."
I think I will circle back around to hopefully answering this question.
But, please allow me to Digress for a moment.

Every semester, a parent comes up with a wonderful idea that I should "DO" birthday parties.  
Now, besides the fact that each Sat. and Sunday would be spent celebrating these beautiful milestones with your children and NOT my own children..."I don't want to work every weekend"... this is the answer I most often give.
And, while you may feel that Wonder Studio is a fabulous way to "entertain" or even my most HATED word:  "edu-tain" your child...that is not my intention.
Being entertained is a Passive activity.  There is little thinking happening when a child is being entertained.  

Now, I like every other human enjoys being entertained...otherwise my husband would gladly cut me off of my HBO Go...:( with most aspects of life, we strive for a Balance.

When, I was teaching, I noticed that the children who seemed to LOVE school the most and were not only receptive to myself as their teacher but truly eager to take on challenges with Zestyness... 
were the kids who came from families where the parents were joyful participants in their child's learning.

I have highlighted Participants because that is the word I want to really stress with both myself (I have to remind myself of this often!) and YOU.

Participating in your child's learning does NOT mean...Hovering over your child, anticipating and congratulating each action they take.

Participating in your child's learning does NOT mean...Doing the Learning FOR them.  

My good friend, Wendy (whose 12 year old does her own laundry, 7 year old takes out the trash, etc..) reminds me...
"Never do for your child what they can do for themselves."'s the good part (I think).

Participating in your child's learning DOES mean...Learning WITH your child.

STOP asking your child questions that YOU know the answer to!!

My kids look at me like I'm a complete idiot, when I ask them "What color is that, what shape is that?" And, with good reason, I already KNOW that the apple is red or the ball is round!
To learn WITH your child means asking the questions you DO NOT know the answers to.

See my husband (and son)  in the picture above...They really did not know what the "Oobleck" would feel like.  They explored it together (with a little encouragement from me), and not only did learning happen for both my Son and my husband...they also created a memory together.
So, now I have circled back around to the question (of which I myself wasn't quite sure of the answer)...

Is Wonder Studio a place where you can come and just watch and NOT participate? 

There's great value in Observation.  

You can learn a lot about your can learn a lot about yourself.
But, even if you spend 5 minutes (out of the Hour's class) exploring what happens when you mix water with Cornstarch...(hopefully with your child ;)

YOU might learn something.
What does it say to your child when you (the caregiver) Adopt this attitude about learning something new?
It says...Learning is fun.  Learning is an act of creation.
Learning is about Lighting a fire within yourself.

Learning is quite a Wonder to behold.