Was having dinner last night with my 5yr-old girl when she surprised me with her knowledge. We had received a number tag for our dinner, which I placed in front of us on the table. All of a sudden, she said, “Forty-seven.” Last I knew, she was still struggling to identify numbers in the teens, and I wasn’t pressuring her. “Wow! You know that? How do you know that is forty-seven?” She replied, “I just know.” She then looked at a collection of unused number tags and started reeling them off. “Eighty-five, sixty-two, forty-six…” Amazed, I again prodded. She replied, ” I don’t know. I just think.” She eventually conceded that she had learned it at school. Mentioned it to one of her teachers this morning, and she said, “That’s the great thing about the way we teach here, they think they’re just playing.” Well, though I envision a school environment that is even more play-based and creative, I’m happy to hear that this mentality is there. My daily drive time feels a little more valuable now. Proud and grateful… but I’m still taking her in late consistently and minimizing five day school weeks. Childhood before learning. After all, what is the hurry?
We made the cover for her Curiosity Book binder. Good fun and creativity. Then, when she was struggling to re-write an ‘s’ I got on her case. She protested that sometimes she forgets. Fair argument at five. But I responded with, “No, it is the second letter in your name which you write nearly every day at school. If you want to play games like candy crush on the tablet then you need to be able to write the whole alphabet no problem.” She promptly pulled out a piece of paper and pumped out the whole alphabet in upper case, only struggling with ‘G.’ “Very good. Now, next is for you to be able to do upper and lower case.” I scribbled it out quickly and told her she could work on that over time, but she wanted to practice immediately. “See, I did it.” We agreed that mastering it was one tenth of earning my tablet as her own. She likes these little challenges, and I patted her head and told her, “You’re doing great, honey. You’re doing great.”
Today, at school pick-up, she asked me “Is God real?”
Me – Remembering what a friend of mine asks his girl, I said, “What do you think?”
Her – “I think he isn’t.”
Me – “Why do you think that?”
Her – “I don’t know.”
Me – “Do you think that because you figured out that Santa isn’t real even though many people believe he is and so you’re thinking the same thing about God?”
Her – “Yeah.”
Paused to try to figure out what to say…
Me – “Well, God is real. But God is not a He. He’s not a man in the sky. God is Life. God is the energy that makes flowers grow, the sky, the trees, you, me, everyone. It’s the life force that makes up everything. Some people call that God. Others call it Universe or Life, many names. The nature of this energy is love, abundance and unity. Everything is connected. Do you understand a little?”
Her – “Yes.”
Later in the day, she asked me “How do people make toothpaste, toothbrushes and… skirts?”
Now that will require some Google time!