Sometimes, I worry I am not teaching our children enough. We never sit down to learn, do worksheets, build pyramids out of sugar cubes or whittle wooden spoons together. We occasionally go to museums or watch documentaries, but most learning seems to take place in the most unexpected places. Our children will often ask me a question in the car or at the supermarket in the middle of the cereal aisle or while walking the dog. Questions, may arise naturally from a conversation we are having or they will surprise me with a big one like, “Mum, how did the earth get here?”
I try to give them answers that will spark a discussion.
I will share the scientific answers to questions like “Creation”, but then go on to share what different religions and cultures believe too. Not all questions are about facts either, our son likes to know about people’s emotions and feelings. He will ask why someone we know is sad or angry. I always answer him as honestly as I can. If we are in the supermarket when the question arises, I will ask him to lean in close so I can speak more quietly about someone’s personal story. I’m sure the supermarket staff think we are making plans to steal stuff!
This organic way of learning feels natural, simple and respectful.
I don’t always have answers to our children’s questions, but I always suggest ways in which they might find them. Learning where to find answers for themselves seems like a great skill to give our children. I’ve recently, started using Pinterest more and can understand why people become hooked on it, it’s awesome! I keep finding things I know our children will love and call to them often, “Quick, come see what I found on Pinterest“…to be honest, they are getting a bit fed up with me now.
It takes courage, to trust our children will learn what they need to learn, in a way that is natural for them. It takes courage, to let our children follow their own interests, rather than teaching them what the national curriculum thinks they should learn. But, living and learning any other way would not feel good or right, so every time I begin to worry about whether they are learning enough, I take a deep breath and decide just to trust everything will be okay.