I almost started writing about our lessons at the zoo. But today I wind up the Blogchatter A2Z challenge, something I never thought I could get through halfway. The theme was child-led study units that started with questions V asked. For this last post, I’m going to summarize the world of good it has done me, as a parent.
Lessons in letting go of control
Although I taught in a mainstream school with differentiated instruction, we did have a set curriculum that helped me plan my lessons. Early learning is however a different ballgame altogether. I’ve had to learn to let go of the desire to plan every moment and let her take charge of her learning. I only have to facilitate connections in her brain from the environment.
Appreciating the little miracles
I think as adults, we just stop noticing the spirals in the way the fern leaves curl, goats licking their kids, the wonderful symmetry of leaves and animals, the colour of skies, etc. We spend way too much time worrying about house chores, kids education and taxes to realise that we are missing out on real learning opportunities. That V notices these things and asks these questions of me, forces me to appreciate the larger picture and the way all these tiny lessons from nature fit in.
We all have set perspectives. Sometimes, all it takes is a why from a child to get us to re-think.
On Valentine’s day this year, I remember telling my husband that I was going to wear red. She came up and asked me if the day was about love, why I wasn’t wearing a colour I loved. I had no answer.
Lessons in myself
Toddlers have the ability to hold up a mirror to your face and show your beauties and faults, equally. Like already reiterated, I find it hard to relinquish control. And when my toddler asks me why she can’t wash the dishes herself or play until 7p.m, I find myself struggling to give a valid reason.
I’ve also become a lot more mindful about the way I answer sensitive questions like, “Amma, he threw sand on my head. He is a bad boy no?” or “Amma, why is that uncle’s leg so big?”
V doesn’t rest until she gets an answer to her question. Strike that. She doesn’t rest until she gets a logical and rational answer to her question. She will keep asking, researching, walking, reading (sometimes over days), until she finds it.
I wish I was this passionate about learning. Also, that there is no shame in not getting something at the first try.
Although, the moment really is everything, there is always another day, new things to learn about, new opportunities to learn and love.