Today I watched Sarah pick up Jack’s shoe, undo the velcro and try again and again to put the shoe on her foot. We hadn’t taught her this, she doesn’t wear shoes. She learnt this from watching us. It reminded me that indeed all her waking hours she is learning. It reminded me that by doing she is hypothesising, testing, figuring things out; learning.
When I was teaching I put considerable time and effort into preparing interesting and motivating ways of teaching the students the curriculum. After having Jack, I made detailed monthly and weekly plans of things I would teach him; ‘C’ is for car, ‘D’ is for dinosaur. Very slowly I realised that he learnt so much more from things that were real to him than anything I ever made to ‘teach’ him something. Learning to let go and step back was hard. Now with Sarah, things are different. Rather than thinking what should she be able to do and then thinking of clever ways to teach it to her, we try to make the world as accessible to her as possible. She has freedom to explore, to learn, to investigate things which catch her attention.
Learning isn’t hard. It’s really very easy. Just step back and let them do it. They really are learning all their waking hours.
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