Learning Without Teaching?
Can young children learn without parent-led teaching if most learning is incidental to the experience?
The brain is constantly looking to make connections between what is known and what is new. Constantly looking for new interesting things. So it seems creativity and play is the best place to begin life’s learning journey.
It’s obvious children are wired to learn. They have natural curiosity. But I think there certainly is the ability for adults to interfere with that natural creative instinct and potentially de-rail a child’s innate way of thinking, their passion and their desire to learn. I think we need to stop making learning like a chore. I believe if children are supported and encouraged to use their skills they begin life with, they have a much better chance at continuing on to be creative, innovative individuals throughout adult life.
Fun To Learn
With my children, learning is often the result of an interesting experience. Not always one that has been taught, repeated, practiced and tested. I think we can all relate to this. I remember events that were memorable, enjoyable and interesting. I tend to forget about those that were a bore. It’s actually quite easy to make things more fun, throw in a little more love and laughter and children may even learn better this way.
Curiosity = Interest = Attention = Learning
Curiosity creates interest and with interest there is often greater focus and attention to the now. When children are focused they are learning. They are interested. They are connecting and taking it all in.
Fail Often To Succeed Sooner (David Kelley, IDEO)
It’s sometimes hard to not correct a child who is learning, but mistakes and failures are part of their learning. It forms part of the experience of improving, evaluating and trying again. Mistakes lead to discovery. I try to let my children work it out themselves rather than showing them how, even if it it would be quicker and easier to step in.
Everyone Is Different
Not all children like to learn the same way. I can see how clearly different even my three are. We know boys and girls often like to learn differently from each other too. There seems no one right way to teach them, instead maybe we can set our children free and let them lead the way with their learning.
Critical Thinking Skills
We can help our children with ways to think, which is more important than telling them what to think. Play time is certainly not trivial, I think it’s vital to children’s development.