In their natural habitat...
I needed to reset my perspective today. I got annoyed with the 5yo because I’d planned some work for us to do together and he was as disinterested as it was possible to be. I gave up in the end and we read a book together instead, but the little nagging voice inside my head kept saying “I should be insisting that he sits down and does some bookwork” like he would have to at school. After the toddler woke up we went out to the park and the beach. Watching them playing at the park I thought how quickly we dismiss children’s play as being something unimportant, something for them to do when the ‘serious’ learning is over. But watching the 5yo tackling some swinging ropes that he’s never managed before, and see him so elated that he’d accomplished it, I realised how much they are learning from something so simple - growing in self confidence, persistence and an awareness of their own abilities, as well as strength, stability, flexibility, stamina and spacial awareness. We talked about balance and equal weight on the seesaw and speed on the roundabout. At the beach he climbed rocks like a mountain goat and told me all about the black anemones he found clinging to the rocks, while his sister threw stones in the sea. They were so happy and totally engaged in what they were doing. It was a good reminder to me that learning happens everywhere in real life - we don’t have to be sitting down with a pencil in our hand. (I don’t mean by this that they shouldn’t do any bookwork - I do believe it’s important to learn to read and write well - but forcing a child to sit and write when their heart isn’t in it is pretty pointless. We learn and remember best when we’re engaged and interested...I just need to remember that now 😜)
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