We all know how much I love my grandchildren. Just click on the “Grandaddy Letters” category and you will find dozens of posts featuring David and Beks over the past few years. They’re growing by leaps and bounds and in every way; I’m so happy and so proud.
But today’s featured image – the only one – demonstrates that I also understand my grandkids have a great deal to learn about life, a fact that’s not always easy for them or for the grownups around them! See – they’re both pouting. They don’t want their grandmama to leave, and neither David nor Beks are going to smile for the camera when they’re not getting their own way!
Curiosity is Key!
But it’s Ok. Learning new stuff is at the core of what it means to be human beings who embrace this amazing gift of life. In my two decades of work in the classroom, and my lifetime as an fairly astute observer, it’s pretty clear to me that the clearest sign of intelligence in a child is curiosity. And these are two extremely curious children!
They may have a ways to go when it comes to learning that pouting will get them exactly the opposite of what they want, but their moment-by-moment orientation to life is all about discovery, and new ideas, and open spirits.
A couple of days ago David, who will turn five later this fall, said this to Naomi: “Mommy, how do you know so many words?” He’s learning a bunch of new ones himself, every day, and he’s impressed with what his mom knows! “I read a lot, David,” she said; “and I ask questions, and I listen. And when I don’t understand I always ask….”
David will be starting part-time preschool after Labor Day, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Still – and this is something everyone in North America needs to understand – the primary responsibility for my grandson’s learning resides, and will always reside, with his parents.
School can help. School can pull together resources we don’t have access to as individuals, but home is where education is born, where learning takes off, where curiosity is nurtured, and where everything must be pulled together by the parents.
It’s our responsibility as a society to do our best to help, but if the fires are not light, nurtured, and stoked at home, then we have lost our best chance at the future.
Yesterday’s post outlined, “Why I Believe in the Future.” Well today’s is pretty much about the same idea. When they can get over the pouting, that is. Or, as their favorite baby-sitter likes to say, “David has his crabby pants on this evening.”
Love, love, love those learning grandkids!
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.