"Mom, can I have another math page to do please?" This is what I heard from my 5 year old son this evening.
I am always hoping and praying that I do not get in the way of my children's natural love of learning. Learning is fun. We are born full of curiosity and a desire to explore and understand the world around us. As a parent, it is my job to allow that exploration to happen, to encourage learning adventures spurred on by curiosity.
Sometimes education and learning are treated more as something that needs to be spoon-fed to kids, or crammed into their unwilling minds. This is a very sad way to view learning. Gaining knowledge and understanding, developing new skills, these things are a process, a journey. The journey should be more enjoyable than painful. As a parent, I love observing as my kids learn new things. They always learn best when it is something they have a desire to know or a skill they want to develop.
I try to let them direct as much of the learning adventure as possible. Sometimes I act as a guide. Occasionally I have noticed myself trying to force feed them knowledge. They resist! That is always a reminder to me that I need to step back and allow learning to happen naturally. They might need a break from the subject for a few minutes, days, or even months. Eventually they will be ready to learn the things they need to know.
Babies are born ready to learn, grow, and develop. There is no reason for that curiosity and love of learning to disappear. If you teach your children, do whatever it takes to hold onto their desire to learn. If you entrust the education of your children to others, stand up for your children and do whatever it takes to help them maintain their desire to learn.
Not everyone is meant to excel in typical "school subjects" like reading, writing, and math. But everyone does have an area or two in which they shine. Let's help our children search for and develop the things they are great at!