Learning Is a Contact Sport*

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* Quote by Clark Aldrich

Observing small kids is entertaining.  They have no fear of approaching other small children.  Their curiosity must be quenched but touching, feeling, interacting with everything.  And they don’t slow down.

Even as I write this, my son wants to see and hold everything on my desk.  Sure, here are my pens.  One second later, Sharpie designs are now incorporated on my bedroom wood floor.  No, I did not know there was a permanent marker hidden in my stash.  What’s that you ask, you want to see my wallet?  Ok.  My newly registered and unused credit card is now mysteriously hidden somewhere within my house for the week.  I’ve turned bookshelves, chairs, mattresses inside out and upside down.  Man, he’s great at Hide and Seek!

Or when we go to music classes and while other kids are playing with instruments, my son is sneaking around the circle, undetected by all, snagging cellphones or wallets.  Or better yet, making a run for every door he can find, determined there’s a way out of the place and he’ll make his escape.

When prepping dinner, he wants to see touch the ingredients (and the knives), put food into the pan, taste the butter and turn on the stove.  We learn by doing.

When my brother was in fourth grade, he was a normal, active, and curious nine year old.  Yet when he spoke up one too many times, he was held in from recess to copy dictionary pages.  We’re taught to make an unnatural shift when we’re older to sit in chairs and to be still and to be quiet.

How is this learning?

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