All her waking hours she is learning

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 and 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.

3 Replies to “All her waking hours she is learning”

  1. With my first son I was convinced I needed to have a lesson plan to teach him everything he needed to know. It overwhelmed me and I started resenting the time with him — as well as feeling like I wasn’t enough of a mom. When I realized he was learning every minute, without my needing to do anything special besides be there for him, it was so freeing. It’s so nice to hear that other moms have been on a similar journey!

    1. It is very freeing, isn’t it? Such a heavy burden lifted. I felt like we needed to be doing something all the time. It was exhausting. Jack will happily spend all morning playing in the backyard now, exactly what he should be doing 🙂
      Lovely to meet you Mama Eve

  2. i totally agree! even more after having my second child I’m more willing to provide more space for interaction, exploration, participation… i m getting less stressed about learning, touching the wrong things and so on, explore and play as much as possible

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