Learning by Living

This whole learning by living thing is blowing my mind. A while ago my daughter came up to me looking at her fingers and said “two and two is four”. “Uh, yes it is.” I said back. “And four and four is eight.” Then she bumbled up her fingers a bit and as if she had just an epiphany said “and five and three is eight.” It’s a truly amazing thing watching a child’s mind work.

My daughter has been remembering more and more words to spell. She likes to write “letters” to people which are usually just pictures folded and stuffed in envelopes with messages written on the outside. On a recent letter to Lindsay: “Thanks for coming to visit!”

There is never any shortage of specimens to scrutinise outside and we find it handy to carry a few field guides wherever we go. My daughter and husband have a running list of birds they’ve seen and I’m looking forward to again keep a notebook with notes on wildflowers and plants in my area. Rocks as well as the way our bodies work are subjects of particular interested right now.

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2 Responses to Learning By Living

  1. dancing dragonfly says:

    So beautiful and wonderful how children learn and explore. I am constinently torn between letting my child explore and take natural opportunities to teach and then the need to “properly” stimulate my childs cognition. Today there seems to be such a push to educate our children early. Make them all into geniuses. I find this puts tremendous pressure on the parents and as a mother I often find myself feeling like a failure as my 4 year old cannot read yet! I am trying to find a balance for myself and my children. I have surrounded my self with other mother who inspire, motivate me and open my mind to ideas.

  2. mountainannie says:

    I think that’s what’s ironic. The more we push our children to do something or learn or be something, the further they actually get from those goals or at least their drive behind them. Hard to get excited about life experiences when your being pressured to live someone else’s dreams for you. The forced kind of learning doesn’t usually “stick” anyway and four years old reading? That’s so young!


    I want my children to learn things because they want to, not because of a fear that society won’t value them if they don’t. That said I don’t think this would happen. As Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I think nurturing our children’s natural interest in learning is the best way to foster life long motivation in bettering themselves with experience and knowledge.

    I would suggest finding a way to come to terms with the pressure you’re feeling from friends/family/society so your children don’t have to later do the same with you. Sometimes it’s challenging to be our children’s advocate especially when we ourselves didn’t have someone advocating and protecting us from such pressures to perform and succeed.

    Be gentle with yourself. You obviously really love your children and that’s enough.

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