Learning and growing ebbs and flows

Watching my children learn outside of a traditional education environment is fascinating. Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening for months. I start to question if I’m on the right path, the BAM! practically overnight new skills are developed.

My oldest, Brecken, is a month shy of 6. I bought him tie shoes last year, and have spent the past year wishing I hadnt! Tying shoes, for what seems the hundredth time in a day, is not my idea of fun. A couple of weeks ago, he “tied his own shoes”, and by that I mean, he tied his laces in knot after knot, until he had used up all the laces. While I was very impressed with his engenuity, do you know how long it takes to UNTIE those? He was very proud of himself and I wasnt about to burst his bubble. After doing this 2 or 3 times, he asked me if I would show him how to tie his shoes like I tie mine. Of course, I said yes! I showed him, on two different days, how to properly tie his shoes. A few days later, as we were getting ready to leave I was helping Ronan get ready, and the next thing I know, Brecken is standing there, shoes tied, and ready go. He was SO proud. He felt so empowered. I wish I could have captured the look on his face.

Brecken has also made HUGE strides in the last month with reading readiness. He is starting to understand that letters put together make words, and that individual letters have their own sounds. He is very interested in this concept, and is constantly putting letters together on the fridge and asking me what word it is. Its been fun.

Ronan’s big accomplishment lately has been a MASSIVE growth spurt. You know the kind, they eat you out of house and home all day, but still wake up in the middle of the night hungry. Whew! Its exhausting for me and him!

Learning is a process. Its not usually steady and continual. Its a bit like a volcano at times, I’ve found. Thoughts, ideas, processes boil under the surface, then every so often, they explode from your being, adding to the mass of your knowledge. And, much like a volcano, its often not pretty, for kids or adults. My children definitely go through a rough phase when they are making big physical or developmental growths. As adults, I think we go through our own rough phases when we make big self discoveries.

It is helpful if we can navigate these phases with empathy for ourselves, and for our children. Sometimes that is a bit easier said than done, I realize!

May you embrace the ebbs and flows life brings your way this week.

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