One of my favorite parts of staying home with the girls is watching their learning styles develop. Especially the past couple months, we’ve seen Elle’s little personality really emerge. Some aspects of each girl are totally me or Frank. Others are completely them or a cool mix of various family members.
Bea has always been an imaginative player and reader. As soon as she was mobile, she would pull books down, surround herself with a pile, and be content reading. Even today, she’ll approach us with a giant stack of books, ready to snuggle and read. I can gauge her days at school based on the height of the pile. It’s her way to connect, to learn, to unwind.
So far, Elle isn’t like that at all. She has a few favorite books and loves reading those over and over, but she’s a girl on the move. She stacks blocks, moves furniture, climbs, and explores. She’ll take the outlet covers off, examine them, and try to put them back. She learns by doing and is much more methodical in her approach to a new game or toy.
There’s something so amazing about watching these years first-hand. As a teacher, I would see the later stages of these connections. Now, I get to see the initial spark – what will eventually become fluent reading or writing. Ideas that feed into math and engineering.
Now, when we go to the library and Bea is asking more questions about how things work, we have a mix of fiction and nonfiction books. I’m trying to actively model how we learn – and not just through Google. (Though that’s an often used tool in our house, too!) It’s been fun seeing the books that are brought home – on electrical currents and the fastest races run. Even Elle insists on choosing a book to bring home. (Her’s are much more random and driven by librarian display picks.)
I don’t know if either girl will have the “strength” of learner, but in the meantime I hope to foster a love of discovery and learning. Regardless of who they choose to be when they grow up or what their own strengths are, I want to foster the tools of learning and the magic of the library.
How do you teach kids to learn? Is the library still where you go to find information?
This post is Day 14 of the Write 31 Day Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the StrengthsFinder test. You can find the entire series over at Live Your Strengths page.