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’s 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…
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 much 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!