Our children have an innate ability to learn. When our children learn without school and curriculum based learning they are free to follow their own curiosity. They are intrinsically motivated to engage with whatever interests them, to question, and observe, and to try things out, and wonder at the world.
Our responsibility as adults is to actively support, facilitate, and partner our children as they follow their own learning pathways. We must endeavour to do this without the overlay of our preconceived ideas or notion of what learning should look like, or how it should look or what they should be learning.
Positively engaging in your child’s learning means:
- We can give them unhindered and uninterrupted space and time to follow their own paths. We can be open to staying up later until the activity reaches its natural conclusion. We can set up an area where the current lego project can remain set up for the coming days. We can be considerate and not pull them away from what they are doing but reach a mutually agreeable moment to move on to something else when the need arises.
- We can trust them to know when they want to immerse themselves in an activity and when they need to rest. We can trust them to ask the questions that will lead to more learning or play with a toy for as long as they need to to exhaust its potential for their current need. We can trust them to make connections and figure things out.
- We can provide a conducive learning environment and resources that help them to explore their interests. We can find personal space for our children to be in. We can rearrange our furniture to accommodate their latest pursuit. We can find posters and equipment and experts and books and YouTube videos and museum exhibits and local groups that support their interests.
- We can answer their questions. We can actively engage in their search for answers. It might be a passing moment, or it may turn into a deep dive into one subject or it may lead down a rabbit hole of different topics.
- We can learn alongside them. Download their latest computer game, learn to play it and play it with them. Sign up for the same on-line course and compare notes. Sit and draw together. Help find the lego pieces your child needs for the model they are building. Get a book from the library and learn to sew. Go bike riding together.
We can open our eyes and minds to see that learning is broader than traditional methods and assist our children on their individual journeys. We can be encouraged by the joy our children experience in their discoveries and relish their inquisitiveness and be excited by the possibilities of where the next step might lead.
Watch What Learning Looks Like