A Child’s Garden of Learning

“Kindergarten” is a German word that means a “garden for the children”. I have had the privilege of being exposed to the beautiful learning environment that truly reflects what being a child is meant to be, in a school very close to where we live, but at many schools Kindergarten has gradually become a structured environment with high expectations that resembles a steel box rather then a garden.

Elijah Constructed a “Parking Lot” and this followed by lots of imaginative play and creating stories around life at his Parking Lot.

Homeschooling a Kindergarten for a lifetime of learning presents a unique opportunity to connect daily, enjoy simple grace-filled learning, and allow space and time for a child to simply enjoy their little garden called home and the wonderful world of discovery around them.  Any structure, curriculum that does not allow room for breathing and for nurturing life in my child, but remains a task master rather than a life steward, will suck the joy out of Kindergarten.

” Volcanoes”

“Different types of Rocks all around us”

I am reminded of two contrasting ideas that I have been pondering for  almost two years now. The idea of living life in boxes vs living life within a garden. Children start off life viewing it as a wonder-filled garden full of endless possibilities and freedom. Growth is a child’s only task in those early years of life. We marvel at the first time they smile, and cherish all their attempts at talking and walking, and we contently delight in each stage. Then the day arrives when all of a sudden the carefree world of growth and discovering is replaced by hurried and impatient goals. And the joy we find in children becomes defined by how well they start to fit the boxes we have so intricately molded for them. The checklist is pulled out, and the measuring trap of comparison begins, because God forbid that little Johnie is not on par with his peers in his reading, or that he does not know all the things a good little kindergartner “should” know!

Nature Walk and Finds

” Making Pretzel bags to sell to his siblings and Math everywhere”

” Fine Motor”

Visit to an Art Gallery and trying not to break anything.

As a mom of a kindergartner, my task is simple: nurture and cultivate growth within my child. This means pursuing life in learning rather than creating and ticking shallow boxes.

Learning Thought #2
Let go of the boxes, Simply tend the garden for life and growth

 

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