Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thoughts on teaching things that are applicable and comprehensible

Just a quick thought I wanted to write down.  After the last entry, I've been thinking a lot about the weather and being outside.  So when I was driving shortly after that and the sky started to change and it was clear that it was about to rain, this is the thought that occurred to me:  It doesn't matter that my son knows why it's going to rain, scientifically.  It just matters that he knows what to do when it DOES rain.

That thought came up after I found myself explaining to my son about atmospheric pressure.  2 things:  1) he doesn't really need to know that, and 2) I don't even know what I'm talking about when it comes to atmospheric pressure, ha!  But ... really?  In my defense, I was just talking.  And some day maybe it will be important for him to know about that stuff.  But right now...  what's most helpful for a toddler to learn about the rain?  That it gets him wet.  That if he stays wet he can get cold and sick.  That when it rains hard we come inside.  That playing in the rain is fun, but we have to dry off afterwards.  That rain is good because it makes the plants grow.  There's so much more to know about rain, scientifically, but ... he doesn't need to know it, and most of it he probably won't ever have to know.

That's not to say that if he wants to know, that I won't try to teach him or encourage him by finding somewhere that he can learn about it.  But ultimately, if I get distracted trying to teach things that aren't APPLICABLE to his life, or COMPREHENSIBLE to where he is at developmentally, then he won't learn the things - and even if he does, they won't mean a thing to him.

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