"Children do not need to be made to learn about the world, or shown how. They want to, and they know how." -John Holt

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Lessons from a 4 year old

Simone: Momma, (that's my new name by the way- not "Mommy" or the hip-casual-cool "Mom"- somehow we've ended up at "Momma") Guess what cereal I want?

Me: Umm, I don't know... Gorilla Munch?

Simone: Nope!

Me: How about Panda Puffs?

Simone: Not that one! Momma- it starts with a "ssssssssssss".

Me: Ooh, cool clue. Cinnamon Harvest??

Simone: Nooooooo!

Me: Simone, I don't know...Can you just tell me!?

Simone (clearly ignoring my plea): It's like this, "sssssssssss".

Me: Cinnamon Harvest!?!! That's all I can think of honey that starts with a "ssssssssss"!

Simone: It's like, "sssssst". Never give up Momma!

Me (clearly a bad momma and not in the mood): Well I do. JUST TELL ME!!

Simone (clearly pleased to be pushing me to the edge): Strawberry Fields!!! Haha hee hee hoho!

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"By nature people are learning animals. Birds fly; fish swim; humans think and learn. Therefore, we do not need to motivate children into learning by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do - and all we need to do - is to give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for, listen respectfully when they feel like talking, and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest."
John Holt
"In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it...and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself." -Grace Llewellyn
"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child."
George Bernard Shaw
Real, natural learning is in the living. It's in the observing, the questioning, the examining, the pondering, the analyzing, the watching, the reading, the DO-ing, the living, the breathing, the loving, the JOY. It's in the joy. ~Anne Ohman
"How could youth better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?" -Henry D. Thoreau