Sidle Up

Sidle Up

Sidle up. Be a sidler. When you see engagement or devotion to problem solving or free play or a moment of curiosity:

  • wordlessly join,
  • stand by,
  • observe out of the corner of your eye,
  • see the learning, before you name it,
  • and allow it to expand.

If you want your child to learn something, try the thing in your child’s presence. Work the math problem or copy the passage or diagram the sentence during breakfast in full view. Don’t announce it. Simply do it. Maybe on the white board. Maybe you talk to yourself out loud as you do it. Be an object of curiosity rather than a teacher.

You want a reader? Create a cozy nook, stack books next to it, aim a lamp just so. Then see what happens. Give it a couple days.

Wish someone would pitch in with chores without complaining? Do it together, listen to a good audiobook, toss some change in the dishwater, rub shoulders, do clean up sprints of five minutes. Make space for growth (don’t expect high standards from novice cleaners). Be kind.

Learning happens because of receptivity, not insistence. Insistence teaches kids to learn other stuff: like how to resist, or how to think of something else while appearing to pay attention, or how to comply. These subtract power from concentration and retention.

To learn? That means there’s an openness stirred by a desire to know that is born inside. Play with it. Tease it out. Exploring learning. Sidle up!

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

The Brave Learner

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