If you let kids learn, they will learn.
Create an environment of discovery and people are naturally explorative. God, who made us in his image, is a creator. The combinations of colorful, creative people, animals, insects, plants, planets, ocean life, etc. is infinite. We will always possess a longing to discover and understand it all.
Unfortunately, our current educational system pushes “learning” on children from infancy with ideals often comprised by those who don’t really understand the basis of education. Learning isn’t simply imparting knowledge.
This is part of an article by Kate, the Modern Alternative Mama, that is an excellent example of the breakdown in education. I appreciate her outside the box approach.
|Preschoolers Need PLAY, Not Academics|
|I took my youngest, who’s 4, to story time at the library today. I knew about what to expect, having done this years ago with my older ones. And generally it was accurate — a couple stories, a song, and a craft. He loves listening to stories, wasn’t a fan of the song (stood next to me the whole time), and enjoyed the craft. He also just loves leaving the house and being around others. But. The leader spent time on “letters of the week,” expecting the kids to be able to recognize them (3 – 5 year olds). She also mentioned they should write their names on their projects. And she sent us home with tracing sheets to practice writing letters, and an alphabet chart. This is what the mainstream considers developmentally appropriate for preschoolers…and it isn’t. It’s no wonder so many parents with young kids feel pressured and worried that their kids are ‘behind’ when they’re not. What kids this age actually need are stories…songs…hands-on crafts…a chance to interact with other children. They need to explore the world and the people and things in it. They need answers to all their (many) questions. They do not need to recognize or write their letters. That will come, later. Every healthy child in a literate world, with supportive parents, will pick up on these things when they are ready.|
Some children at an early age, my oldest son was one, will ask to write letters and want to explore language in reading. Other children may like numbers, counting, adding, and make collections of items. Perhaps they love watching bugs, finding rocks, or catching lizards. Colors might fascinate them and you can find them “drawing” in their yogurt or pudding. And all of them will figure out reading by the ages of eight to ten because that’s when their mental growth allows for it. (Check out educator John Holt and Dr. Raymond Moore for further information.)
We are all different and will be motivated in different ways. For visual learners, books and movies fascinate. Auditory learners love to make sounds and listen to stories. If a child is a tactile learner, they will want to feel, smell, and taste everything. Music, art, nature, interacting with people, spending time alone, and movement are some other avenues through which individuals best learn.
Bottom line? Children will learn, if we let them.