Seasons of Learning

For everything there is a season, a time.

Many hear this and think of rites of passage or periods of life. Being a child, growing into adulthood, establishing one’s own family, watching your children leave home, retiring. Each of these are periods, seasons of life. They are unique with their own trials and more importantly, joys. I would suggest that education has the same cadence, though. With my little ones, I am constantly fluctuating between several seasons all at once.

Infancy

It is incredible how much a child can absorb in this season of her life! The brain develops more in this period than it will at any other “season of life”. Watch a baby or young child light up as they are exposed to some new event or activity. The wonder that is clearly visible is amazing to many.

As a mother and my infant’s primary educator, I work to share experiences with her. Providing stimulating toys (we enjoy many from FatBrain and Hape Products – which can be purchases from our partner – Baby Cotton Bottoms) is a fun way for us to play and her to learn. Letting her sit outside to feel and experience all of the wonder of nature is also important. Lastly, we read constantly. We like to use ASL as we read and incorporate our signs into the book. If she eats the book, it’s okay – we just call it “early literacy”.

Elementary Years

During these years a child learns so many facts. Facts about history, math facts, science information and the list goes on. Watching a child discover what he or she is interested in and will become passionate about, leaves me in awe. Dr. Terrence R. Redding’s research on “The First Moment of Lasting Excitement” suggests that a child in these years often experiecnes a spark. Some topic ignites a passion about learning that lasts a lifetime. These children are destined to become life long learners. For me, it was history – genealogy in particular.

My grandmother was ana mateur genealogist, studying our family tree. I would sit with her as she told me about the research she had done and the people she had found who we were related it. The caused me to crave information about many periods of time and many parts of the world. I sitll have a love of history and think about most world events from a historical context.

For my son, his spark was dinosaurs. He will spend hours pouring over encyclopedias, watching documentaries and moving through the Natural History Museum. It is nothing for him to recall the name of any number of dinosaurs and provides him with pride when he recognizes them! This excitement can last him through these years and onto the more difficult adolescent season of life.

Adolescent Years

At this point, a child has already established a love of learning hopefully. He or she may enjoy learning about any number of topics. As a parent, I already see where the excitement is as it directs my adolescent’s personal objectives.

Learning, experiencing and understanding knowledge is so important as an adolescent develops because it assists in learning about who she is as an individual. As One Planet, One People, we each have an idea of who we are as individuals and we come together on Earth, our One Planet. Education becomes a choice as an adolescent. Something that schools, at least in the US, begin to recognize as they put more responsibility on the individual and less on the parent. As a mother, my responsibility lies in helping my child learn how to handle this responsibility. Without guidance, many would flounder as managers of their work.

By the time my adolescent graduates high school and enters college, the rewards will be abundant. If I was successful, she will be able to manage her time and activities effectively. At this point, she will have transitioned into adulthood and my role will have become that of a bystander in many respects.

Just like that summer fades into fall, a parent’s role as educator changes too.

What role are you in with your children today? Have you Joined the Voyage? GlobalLearnDay 2017 is this weekend!

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