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The way they learn

March 24, 2010

My children, when little, have zero interest in writing, drawing, or painting. This isn’t for lack of trying. I set out crayons, paper, or watercolors, but what usually happens is they scratch a pen across the paper, then run off to play.

Then they enter school, and they’re off like a shot. I spend my days collecting their scattered artwork from around the house. They love it. So I don’t worry much about those young years.

Because I’ve found that it doesn’t do much good to force. The kind of learning that happens around here is an outgrowth of our daily tasks. I was reminded of this the other day while Preston and I were kneading bread dough on my breadboard. He took his finger and traced a letter through the flour. “Mom, is this how you make an S?” he asked. We spent the next 15 minutes smoothing over the flour and drawing alphabet letters.

This is how things play out around here. I’m cooking and one of the boys asks, “Mom, when you mix blue and red, what color do you get?” So I pull out the food coloring and we do experiments with the primary colors. While we water the plants, I talk about the three essential things a plant needs to grow. We fold clothes and discuss where cotton comes, and how it works itself into the clothes we wear. I love these moments, which make the otherwise-mundane tasks of the day a little more meaningful.

We also have a lot of delicious fun along the way.

  1. John Gholdston permalink
    March 24, 2010 11:05 am

    I wish you were my mom.

  2. Rachel permalink
    March 24, 2010 5:22 pm

    Can I please rent you to raise my girls? You would be their dream come true.

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