An Invitation to Touch

We spent the morning at our local nature center. In addition to visiting the peacocks and feeding the goats, we went into the greenhouse. There, hidden in obscure corner, is a display of touchable plants.  There, visitors are encouraged to find leaves that are fuzzy, bumpy, rubbery, hard, smooth, and good-smelling. The educators at the…

Moving beyond “Why?” to “What If?”

A few months ago, J and I were reading a book about inventors. It began with the sentence, “Thomas Edison’s favorite word was “why”.” I almost closed the book and returned it to the library. There’s no way that was Edison’s favorite question. “Why?” implies a concrete, right answer. Why is the sky blue? Why…

Teaching our kids how to look

Children are natural observers. They’re great at noticing differences and asking about them. Most parents have a story about the time their kid asked a stranger about a mole, pimple, or similar taboo topic. We want to harness this power and help our kids learn how to see. This morning, my three year olds and…

Why I don’t always correct my kids

Most of us do a good job with this point when it comes to babies, toddlers, and even young preschoolers. We give them space to learn, accept their funny pronunciations or verb endings, and celebrate their progress with them.
Something happens, though, when our kids reach the age of formal schooling. For some reason, we as a society feel like we need to reach in and begin to micromanage their development. We correct and correct and correct. All in the name of teaching.

It all started with a shadow

My 6 year old and I were waiting for the bus. The day before, we’d traced some shadows.

“Jeremy!”, I said, “Let’s check your shadow – see if it’s the same!”