I have shamelessly used both my children as inspiration for my new book ‘Who’s Not In School?’
It was Chelsea I caught one time putting a bug in her mouth. And Charley was always looking for adventures beyond my line of vision. Chelsea could create artworks from anything in the cupboard, grated wax crayon included, and Charley who would toss herself into deep water despite not being able to swim.
Ironically Charley went on to become a scuba diver and Chelsea vegetarian. I often wondered if the bug had anything to do with it! (You’ll see why I mention these things when you read the story).
Although it made our hearts pump six times as fast as normal with all these experiments and investigations, it was always something we encouraged.
Most parents have a tendency to discourage it. They either think that it’s just kids being naughty and behaving badly. Or they want to keep them so suffocatingly safe they never have a chance for exploration.
But they’ll also never have the chance to learn about the world. And that’s what they’re doing; finding out about the world and testing to see what happens if..
Obviously children need to be safe and I admit that some of the experiments and explorations need moderating before they go too far. Certainly climbing up museum exhibits like ‘Little Harry’ does in the book is OTT and to be discouraged – you have to be ever watchful! But their experiments and investigations are demonstrating an active, interested and intelligent mind. And that kind of mind is a mind that has the potential to become a learning mind. To become an educated mind. So that aspect wants encouraging.
Within the limits of sensible vigilance the more your children explore and test their world the more they’ll learn, the more stimulated their minds will be, the more motivated to learn they become.
Which is the precursor to education after all!