I am a big believer that the best kind of learning comes when children are involved, and learning by doing; through their experiences. I also think that despite the old saying "curiosity killed the cat" that curiosity can be the best 'teaching instructor.' I often times like to sit back and let my boys try and figure things out for themselves, of course while keeping a close eye on them--I definitely won't allow them to do anything that could cause them any harm. They will sit and I can see as the questions form on their face. Often times I don't have answers to Coopers questions which in return makes me want to learn more so that I can give him a true honest answer. In all my of schooling to become an actual teacher one thing that was heavily drilled into our brains was that "children learn best when it is their idea," they don't even feel as though as if it is learning. Now I know it may be hard for it to always be their idea, but you can always spice it up so that it's in the best interest of the child. Choose books that make the child wonder, make homework fun by talking, and goofing; that's what we have to do with Cooper. But over the years as I have watched my own children grow the best place for 'my' children to learn and be their best selves is when they are outside-they are just happier there. I don't want to be the one who denies them that happiness so I just join in. I used to not be as much of an as I am now. Don't get me wrong I loved being outside as a child, and still have a love for it but now it's what I actually crave. Just ask my husband- whenever he asks what I want to do it's 99% of the time outside usually he responds with can't we have a normal date, or go on a normal vacation? Whats 'normal' anyway?
Having children, and boys for that matter has helped open windows for me! Your children really do teach you more about yourself than you ever could imagine. They make sure you slow down, take the time to truly "smell the roses" or pick up this stick and that rock for their collection. They make me really think about the "How's and why's" of the way this world work, as I begin forming my own questions and hypothesis about this world we live in and along with them I begin to crave more of that learning drive.They honestly teach you how to 'explore' the everyday world around you; the places you have been a million times that are right outside your door, but by allowing them to take the lead it allows for a whole to world of exploration to be opened up into an adult world which is usually too busy to see the magic in it all. It may take us twice as long to get anywhere but we are actually taking the time to enjoy these little things, the things that I usually step over or pass by, but now I find myself looking for cool sticks, rocks, flowers and have now come to re-admire these simple things as an adult. Even running through puddles among the snowy ground was something I would have never done if it weren't for my little ones making me slow down to and take the time to just run. To be in that moment, and just be.
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