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

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An evening at the Aquarium

We used our Aquarium membership (thanks Grandma!) for the first time during a members-only family night. They opened up after hours for members to avoid the school vacation crowd. The kids have been dying to go. This is the only shot I got with all three of them in it... Isn't it awesome!?First up, the jellies!Always a big hit for everyone, except Caden that is. He was NOT impressed with the darkened exhibit hall (or the whole darkish aquarium for awhile) and clung to Daddy the whole time. The other two were mesmorized.Probably the most enjoyed was the hands-on sea critters exhibit. They would stay there for hours if they could.And Caden thought splashing in water was a fine way to spend his time. Well that and alternating with poking sea stars.Simone said her favorite part of the whole Aquarium was this horseshoe crab. Go figure.Nevermind the sharks...the 560 pound sea turtle...or the creepy moray eel!Climbing in with the horseshoe crabs will do just fine!

Simone's big question for the aquarium staff was "Where do you get your creatures?" Though she was too shy to ask so Gabriel said he would. His raised hand kills me. Not only is it his Miss America-esque hand shape that gets me, he had no idea that when he didn't get picked to ask his question, he should put his hand down. Every other kid would do it and Gabe just held steadfast with his hand held high the whole time the staff member was talking. So funny.
Caden eventually warmed up to the rest of the aquarium just fine even though he thought the shark was going to bite him.He really liked the little statues that were sprinkled around the whole place.So did the others.Gabe looks especially thrilled about them.All in all, a fun night out! We just won't talk about the ride home... in a snow storm, with Simone crying for at least 25 minutes, and Caden basically climbing out of his car seat because he was "hot", or my stomach rumbling the whole time because the cafe was closed at the aquarium... no- we won't talk about any of it. Glub glub.

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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