“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.” – Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Indeed, the doing matters more than the outcome! How often, have you wanted that promotion so bad, and worked hard towards it, to realize that the toil you put in and experience you gained helped you bag that promotion? How often have we visualized the perfect marriage; but aren’t the everyday moments we choose to compromise, forgive and understand what lead us to that 50th anniversary celebration?
Similarly, when children set out to learn a certain “something”, the journey to learn that is critical.
How my child goes about learning to add 2 numbers, for instance. Yes, of course 1+2=3, but how did she get there? This requires a lot of observation and introspection on the parent’s part.
- Did I give her the answer helpfully and with a smile cos I couldn’t bear to see her struggle? (Aahh, the dilemmas of every parent ever!)
- Did she just hear the answer once, and immediately register it to memory? (Signs of an auditory learner there)
- Did she see it in a book and write it down 5 times, so it became a fact? (Practice makes one perfect but isn’t this rote?
- Did she learn that counting is the concept represented by numbers? Either through montessori beads or fingers or animals (or books in our case ).
- Did she learn to count first, practise it for a couple of months counting anything and everything they came across? Did she then count 1 and 2, put it together and arrive at the answers making many mistakes along the way and learning from them?
Each route created a different type of learner, and certainly the last group of learners would emerge wisest and most confident, just because their journey has been most meaningful and enriching, gaining something at each step of the way, where they were in charge of their own learning.
And this is the premise of montessori by itself. Children learn on their own, through discovery. We only need to guide them in the right direction and provide the right materials and nudge.
You can understand montessori by observing a child than reading a book. Don’t believe me? For a kid, true happiness comes from doing an activity, not completing it and finding an answer. Their focus is always clearly on the process and not the outcome. It is not unacceptable if she reads a book backwards or upside down as long as she is engaging herself and exploring the material. It is great if I ask her to transfer water from a jug into a glass, but I find her engrossed in exploring the flowing motion of water. It is amazing if I expect her to build a structure with blocks, but I find her sorting them according to color instead.
Learning occurs when a child engages actively in a purposeful activity. So if we give them a series of the right tools, they are sure to journey through all areas of learning with great gusto and enjoyment arriving at answers at each stage on their own.
So as a new mom, my new learning areas include physically caring for a baby, understanding her emotional needs, multitasking, time management, planning activities for her, etc. Just like each of us have a different journeys running simultaneously all teaching us something different, so also at any point in time, the child is not on one particular journey alone. A particular child, maybe at a point where she/he is, at the same time,
- Learning to read 3 letter words
- Becoming familiar with the sequence of numbers
- Starting to use 2 hands for some activities
- Becoming aware of cause and effect
Every child is unique in the way they start and move through these journeys. Learning is never a single occurrence, learning even one single concept involves a series of steps.
And that is another reason why we love Skola toys. Every concept based toy from here, systematically takes the child through a series of experiences that are incrementally challenging, thus enabling them to discover and learn something new at each stage.
An example of a mathematical learning journey is shown below:
The same would hold true for other areas of learning too- say science or language.
Visit www.skola.toys to understand children’s learning journeys and view toys that facilitate incremental learning.
Enable our future generations to play, explore and discover through “Learning Journeys designed as Play”.
To read up more on why early learning is important and the right toy selection, vital, click here . Do keep watching this space for another interesting post on Skola Toys.
Disclaimer- This is a sponsored post. However, I only recommend toys that I personally love, and this happens to be one of them.