I am sure we have all at some time or another found ourselves in awe of a person who is enthusiastic and passionate about an activity they are learning and exploring. As they tell you all about it you can feel and see them glowing and as that energy reaches you it warms you inside. It lifts and inspires you. You begin to radiate, you feel excited for them and sometimes you become to grow curious about the topic yourself.
That energising feeling remains with you throughout the day. Sometimes you find your self explaining it to others. Or perhaps you find yourself in a class, at work or in a meeting and your mind keeps drifting back to the conversation you had earlier that day. You long to get more involved. You don’t want this fever of joy to fade. When you finally get your chance you jump at the opportunity to do some more research ; take a trip to the library and read all you can. You hit Google untill the early hours of the morning. You bubble over with all the new things you have discovered and stired into your cauldron. You run to make a few new purchases so you can get started on your new adventure. You start sharing it with others your work, your knowledge your new found passion and excitement and the joy spreads on.
Today I witnessed the begining of such an effect with Little M and it’s a pleasure to see just how much inspiration to tackle the learning of new subjects, can come from seemingly small moments in time. As we made our walk home from the park, my friends son was taking great pleasure in telling us all the things he had been learning this term at school. I was amazed at the facts a 5 year old can retain about Florance Nightingale. The year of her birth and death, which war she served as a Nurse in, her contributions to modern nursing. In fact J (as he shall be known for the purpose of this post) taught me a few facts I had never known! He that continued to show me the mental arrithmatic he had been learning including addition and his 10 times tables. You could tell J really enjoyed his learning and he was proud of all he had achieved. It it was such a pleasure to share his joy.
M however, a little tired and cold seemed as if he was barely paying any attention to all that was being said. Yet clearly he was internalising the entire conversation and J’s enthusiasm and knowledge sharing had hit deep with M, who having learnt to skip count in tens via a game on his Leap Pad, suddenly seemed to have made some connection and as he was role playing kept repeating “2 x 10 is twenty, 4 x 10 is 40 and 1+2 is 4…..” So okay some of his answers were off, he is only 3 after all but it was the enthusiasm and joy that he was now finding in this new topic he had discovered that really got me. He happily read a few multiplications that I wrote down for him and we talked about the sign names too for the first time and he was 100% engaged.
There is a few lessons I learnt from observing all this today:
1. Don’t underestimate what your child is absorbing even when they don’t seem to be paying attention
2. Children are capable of absorbing, retaining and understanding far more than I ever thought I could at that age
3. Peer learning is an extremely valuable tool
And last but not least number 4.
Never hesitate to share the things you enjoy, are passionate about or proud to have achieved because you never know who may be listening and who you might be helping in the process.