Playing with shadows

How naturally children learn… We spend so much time trying to impart knowledge and they hold it all already. They just don’t have the words for concepts and things, but they know they are there, they know they exist. And they know this in the most organic way.

My daughter has been learning about the shortening of days through observation and Wendy Pfeffer’sΒ The Shortest Day: Celebrating The Winter Solstice. We’ve started noticing, now that we’ve turned back the clocks, how dark it is even before we sit down for dinner. She’s also started noticing that she wakes up longer and longer before the sunrise, being able to watch it with me, naming the colors and observing the clouds that paint a different canvas every morning.

But, although Little Man is around us as we learn, in my mind, 15 months is a bit early to start explaining the tilting of the Earth on its axis. Or so I thought…

IMG_8990 IMG_8995 IMG_8996 IMG_8999 IMG_9002 IMG_9005 IMG_9015 IMG_9019

We went walking yesterday. The wind had a bit of a bite to it, but the sun was so warm! It was around 1 pm when we hit the soccer field and the magic started. Close to the time where his shadow would be elongating, he noticed and started playing. Turning, running, waving his arms… Climbing, laughing, pointed at his Peter Pan looking self on the ground, the bleachers and eventually the trees as we took to the woods on the way home, Little Man was learning about the shortening of days.

I’m always amazed at how little credit the world gives children. We over schedule, over educate, fill their little brains with so muchΒ stuff, we forget how amazing teachers, to themselves and others, they really are.

I’m so grateful for a chance to experience it fully this time around. I wasn’t able to be home with my daughter at this age, so this is truly a gift. Everyone keeps telling me how amazing this is for my children… what they often fail to mention is how much more of a gift this is for me!

About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
This entry was posted in Family Life, Gratitude, Learning at home, Nature and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Playing with shadows

  1. sally says:

    They are incredible, aren’t they? Naturally such amazing explorers and scientists and experimenters, then we send them to school and they teach it all out of them!


    • Yanic A. says:

      I think it depends… I never got it knocked out of me… I was a spit fire about learning when I was a child and never lost the appetite for it. I haven’t 100% made up my mind about public school vs. home school yet. I’m gonna play it by ear! See how my ideals an the school system links up, make up my mind then. It will be interesting to see starting next year for sure! πŸ™‚


    • Yanic A. says:

      It was truly an inspiring moment. I just sat there for over an hour, watched him play in the light and snapped pictures… πŸ™‚ My favorite moments have always been the quiet ones. Love seeing the little gears in action. πŸ™‚


  2. Oh goodness, just adorable. I remember vividly when my little man first found his shadow, so much fun for all of us.

    I am with you, such a wonderful gift not only for my little man, but for me, to be able to spend my days with him.


  3. What perfect and peaceful moments to learn from the environment and the world around him.

    Love these photos and the natural learning taking place.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Wishing you a lovely week.


    • Yanic A. says:

      It’s such an amazing time. An being home now and having this be my focus just makes it that much more special. It,s a wonderful time for all of us. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for stopping by!


  4. alexa says:

    Ah and ah. Says this mom sitting here and laughing with you! Such precious moments when, instead of teaching, you are learning and learning about them. Such precious little people.


    • Yanic A. says:

      They truly are… It was nice to just sit back. It was one of the first times. he is very much a “come with me mom” kind of boy. So watching him go at it alone and loving it was a huge step. πŸ™‚


  5. I just heard a great talk by an MD that was talking about how we tend to think that children are like buckets–the faster we fill them up with information the better off they’ll be life. He went on to say that children are just learning to digest their experiences and the more we put onto them of the adult world (he was talking specifically about too much media, but extended it to all experiences), the more we are putting them in the stressful situation of digesting before they actually have learned to digest. Akin to feeding your child a 12″ Subway sandwich and then wondering why they are not thriving! His conclusion was to allow them more time to just be, to explore, to move, to “play with shadows!” because they often know the exact experiences they need.

    I love your photos. You can just see his joy in life. Proof that we just have to let them be children!


    • Yanic A. says:

      I totally didn’t see your comment, so sorry it took a while to write back!
      Such a wonderful comment. Made my husband read it. I whole heartily agree. They have so little time to just be kids. I see kindergarten approaching and I find myself worried. I get worried at the pace of life today. I remember when I started school and it seems like centuries ago instead or decades. I thin it,s why we’ve opted for a simpler life. I’ve said it before, after many MANY conversations, homeschooling is not for our family right now, but I’m still torn sometimes.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your insight. xo


  6. Pingback: Finding new ways to connect | Family, Faith, Food and Fabric

  7. Ahhh that toothy smile. He’s so sweet. I love natural learning. Exposing children to a variety of experiences is what makes them well rounded individuals so much more than what they learn in a book while sitting in a closed room.


    • Yanic A. says:

      I 100% agree… there’s some to be said for traditional education, but too many parents rely on school and don’t take responsibility. I like to think that learning happens 24/7… it,s our job to make it happen, seamlessly!


I would love to hear from you so please, take a minute and say hello!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s