The Challenges of Trusting the Learning Process
Sometimes trusting the learning process can be hard. You see that your child is smart as a whip, but for some reason, he doesn’t find necessary the acquiring of the basic skills which we are accustomed to seeing appear at specific grade levels.
You watch. You wait. You model. You slyly offer interesting things needing these basic skills we want them to acquire. We do everything we can to optimize self-direction. You talk about how wonderful it is to be the possessor of Skill X. And then, you take a breath, and slowly back it down to let go of the path you had envisioned, when each offering you set forth is politely and happily refused in honor of some other happy pursuit.
You wait some more.
And one day, your heart leaps, as your kid wakes up and says, “You know, Skill X is important. I’m going to acquire it.”
He is older than the other kids who have the skill, but he hasn’t cared about that. Now, that maturity serves him well. He has been exposed to everything he needs for mastering Skill X. He has been observing it for years. It is imprinted upon the subconscious of his mind and he easily recalls all of the pieces in which he heretofore found no interest.
He sits down to his new path, focusing deeply and singlemindedly on making the skill his own. He doesn’t have to be reminded. He doesn’t have to be cajoled. He doesn’t have to be forced, or manipulated with rewards or threats of how much he’s missing out on or of outside punishments.
He just sits down and gets to it. He finds the resources he has been surrounded by and spends time with them. He picks things up. He asks questions. He spends time. He is focused. He is fast. He is happy. As he has been.
He is unwavering in his desire for Skill X. And suddenly, before you know what happened, he has pieced together all that had been absorbed, he has uncovered the missing links, and he has applied the information, and acquired the skill. Suddenly, he is a master. And he is sharing it with others. Sharing what he has discovered. Sharing the richness. Sharing the learning process. Sharing the love. Sharing deeply.
While we may question if they will ever learn what we know to be so valuable in life, I set forth that, indeed, we CAN trust the learning process. We can trust that when they are ready, they will globble up the information they need and metabolize it into exactly what THEY need. They will be nourished by it. They will nourish others by it. And we, as parents and educators, will be nourished.
Because as they are allowed to pursue Skill X when their heart pines for it, our own hearts soar to see THEIR hearts soar. They take flight with their new skill and buoy the souls around them with their joy. They chose their path and they made it happen. They made their way and they are proud and confident.
May we be strong enough to let them live their own lives. May we be bold enough to make way for the individuality of their own path. May we love them enough to trust the beautiful humans they are and respect their decisions as to how they spend their time.
And may we bask in their joy as they acquire all their Skill X’s on their own individual timelines, and may we always and forever continue…
…Trusting the Learning Process.
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