Friday, November 30, 2007

Enjoy the Freedom of Babyhood

Last Monday, I watched the National Geographic documentary, My Brilliant Brain. The main point that I took away from that hour was that while there are gifted children out there who are born with the propensity to excel in certain areas, ALL children can be nurtured to have the same hunger for learning that gifted children do. That was supposedly one of the characteristics of a gifted child/person - they love to learn.

All of us are born with that spongy brain that absorbs everything but many children lose that inherent thirst for knowledge. I noticed this with some children I taught from the time they were 5 till 7. Prior to going to school, they wanted to learn everything. However, after half a year in the first grade, I started hearing things like "I'm too lazy", "I can't", "I don't want to" etc.

So what have I been doing this week? Going overboard with trying to find 'educational' games I can play with Aaron. Incorporating, colors, shapes, names, numbers, alphabets, music, into everything. Don't get me wrong, all that is good. I need the over enthusiasm so that when it dies down, I'll still have a lot of it.

But as it is Friday, and I think about how quickly the time has slipped away, I can't help feeling that I just want to enjoy Aaron being a baby. I noticed today that he doesn't suck his fingers or gnaw on everything he can get his hands on anymore. I did nothing to stop those habits yet they disappeared. He's also able to drink from a normal cup, with supervision of course. He tells me that he wants his bath. He's growing up!

I really need to remember to enjoy each day with him even while I try to prepare him for the future. Doesn't it sound silly to 'prepare' a baby for the future? As if it were an examination. Its a competitive world these days and he'll be in it soon enough. Now is the time for the both of us to just enjoy the complete freedom of babyhood at home.


dawn224 said...

I'm a speech pathologist in my other life - our best therapy with little ones is done in a play setting, or in the most familiar settings and routines possible. So, I figure this means we can be the best possible teachers just by going about our regular routines, but keeping baby in the loop with us. :)

Kellan said...

Good post, Amanda! There is such a fine line - pushing them toward the future and wanting so badly to hold them back ... sitting and cradled on our laps.

My twins were identified as "gifted" in the First grade. I think they were born with much potential, but I also contribute much of their success (academically, etc...) to my spending a lot of time with them when they were tiny - reading constantly, drawing, playing with blocks, painting ... I spend a lot of time preparing them - all my kids. It does pay off - especially the READING!

Have a great weekend - see you soon. Kellan

Kelly Malloy said...

There is a fine line! I was raised with workbooks and excelled at school - but I have done the play thing with my boys (and you know what? One of them is doing 10 times better than I did at his age!)

Nap Warden said...

I know what you mean...I just want to hug my little ones and never let them out of the house...Even now, I have to start letting go...

John said...

I think that the best gift that we can give to our kids is to help them to learn to read well. Great stories that they will enjoy and want to hear over and over and want to learn to read on their own. Good readers excel in all areas from math to music, creative arts and science.

If they have an interest, they can learn more about it by reading.

Aaron would sit and listen to you read, Hannah would play while you read. Both were paying attention in their own way.