You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.
~Clay P. Bedford
Sometimes, we must tell ourselves to slow down and look around. Listen to each other and talk. We are in such a hurry all the time.
During the month of February, our little town has been the sanctuary for Bohemian Waxwings. They are beautiful creatures. We have a bit of obsession about birds. If you didn't know, you may have just dismissed them or not even notice these beautiful birds. My girls and I took some time chasing them around town. One day, these birds decided to have a party in my front yard. They were there all day and we were able to get some photos and we took a look at them in the bird book. Maya is hoping to draw a picture of them. Now we know there are three different kinds of Waxwings. We have seen two of them. The last one being Japanese Waxwings, which we are quite certain, are the coolest of them all. ;)
Mona asked me one day, "Mom, where does the sidewalk end?" I didn't really know what she meant. I asked her to explain. She went into this elaborate story about what may be at the end of sidewalk. She thought perhaps it may end in Africa. I love her curiosity and imagination. So, I shared with her the poem "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein. According to the poem, we can find "the moon-bird rests from his flight to cool in the peppermint wind" at the end of sidewalk. Mona was beaming as she heard this. "What is a moon-bird?" "What does peppermint wind feel like?" Another opportunity for some learning and to stretch our imagination.
I believe that the learning becomes fun and meaningful when the information is absorbed within the context of real life. Some of my favorite moments with my girls have been like that. We may be cooking dinner together, weeding and watering the garden, or sitting on the hood of the car looking at the constellation. It doesn't have to be complicated. If we take the time to look around, we would find that the opportunities are plentiful.