Witness To Snowfall and Children Learning

There is something beautifully gentle about being privy to the first snowflakes falling. Like the flutter of a newborn’s eyelids as she’s nestled in a sling by your heart. I remember that too well, though the boys are way past the age. I remembered that the other day when the morning walk with the pup brought the beginning flutters of a snowfall to rest on my cheeks…

The snowflakes the other day had an interesting effect though. First of all, they reminded me of time passing. Of this corner of goodness where I am but the homeschooling mama of my two boys. Of the corner I have been missing from for too long. Time passes. There is no counteracting, but there is being present. My forever reminder to myself.

Back to snowflakes. The second thing  they brought with them was an unmistakable similarity to my witnessing of the boys’ discovering the world they learn about. It’s that sensible a process you see, hence my witnessing of it a gift i do not take in jest. Their eyes light up as they talk about the things they find ever so intriguing and I keep silent and listening because I could not bear the thought of missing it. Then I ask about this or that. What do you know of this or that? what does that word mean? The concept of?…

Sasha learned about electricity and built circuits for days. Rephrase: Sasha built circuits for days; he had fun, eyes twinkling with the surprise of it all. Joy followed along like a puppy. The result was learning about electricity. Then it dwindled. For now it will sit somewhere on a brain shelf until the day comes for it to resurface. We visited Makers’ Space here in Kamloops recently; perhaps future visits hold the key to more learning about electricity. It’ll come. That’s what learning is about. A cascade of facts that link this fact to that and create a bridge of knowledge that you can walk on from here to there, inferring, developing common sense and …well, thinking. What a grand adventure!

Tony delves into geography, becoming so accustomed to a place (right now it is the UK and Ireland) that he can name destinations within it, attach historical facts to it and put today’s happening into perspective. He dives into a complex textbook (say, chemistry) without questioning whether the level would be too high for grade 9. Learning calls for curiosity and discussions. His eyes and mind grow at the same rate; seeing beyond the often narrow path a curriculum imposes.

Stop where facts start getting confusing and information overwhelming, I tell them. They do. I take over where they stop, I read, and then meet them in the realm of where they left it. I am a mere guide, teaching them most of all, and hopefully so, to have the humbleness to admit where their own knowledge of a subject lacks so they pursue more learning. Truly, when we know more, we realize how much more there is that we have yet to learn. It brings awareness of the necessity of life-long learning and the imperative quality we need to pursue that: developing and maintaining an open mind.

Should that be one of the purposes of our learning at home? It better be. The dance continues, much like the delicate dance of snowflakes. I am there to see it. Aware of the immense privilege, I end my days just like I start them: with gratefulness.