So, I have been meaning to do a series of posts on how we do ‘Learning At Home’ for quite a while but somehow time always seems to creep away from me. When I remembered that this photo (oh that crappy flourescent light ugh) was my pic for today I realised I could use this opportunity to do a quick post about what we do here at home.
So this is a photo of my kids peeling carrots.
This photo exemplifies what we believe is really important in how we raise our children. They are a part of everything we do. We know that even the most mundane tasks are interesting to little people and that they just want to be a part of daily life. We are big proponents of the idea of ‘Life as a Classroom’ and the Montessori method and this really fits into the Life Skills part of the philosophy. But it is not just about following ideas or a method, it is about following our children and nurturing and offering them chances to learn new skills. It is not about ‘helping’ us or doing ‘chores’, as I simply do not believe young children see life that way. They see ALL of it as an adeventure, as an experience and as an adult, opening our eyes to that way of viewing the world is so refreshing.
Brian and I challenge ourselves as parents to say ‘YES’ as much as possible and to not limit our children by placing unecessary restrictions on them. Unless something is clearly unsafe we don’t hold them back. We, as parents, allow ourselves to trust our children. In the case of the photo above; We trust that they will use those untensils in a safe manner for what they are supposed to be used for without us explaining in extreme detail how to hold the carrot and how to peel. We trust that our children have been watching and learning from us since the day they were born and that if they have never seen us try to stab each other in the eye with a peeler then they will not even imagine doing so. We trust that if they do use the untensil wrong and cut their finger (improbable but not impossible since the peeler is metal) then the cut will not result in them bleeding to death and the child will have learned a valuable lesson in how to hold the untensil correctly.
Hannah asked to peel carrots for 3 days in a row. By the 3rd day, she was so proficient at peeling carrots that she was satisfied that she had learned her new skill and didn’t ask to peel carrots again. With that skill safely filed away in her memory she is free to move on to something new. And there is always something new to learn.