Wednesday 28 March 2012

Learning Through Imitation

It got so late last night that I forgot to mention moments like when Chiara and N were quizzing each other with times tables for fun; like the  moment when HB, off her own back said, lets play I spy and we kept it going all the way into town - little H seemed to find that one entertaining too; and the moment when little H started using her fingers to count with, all off her own back saying 2, 3, 4 Yay!  She even used the hot keys to shut down windows, while saying bye-bye!

When people ask me how do you do it?  Really I should remember to respond with, I don't really need to do much, they just copy. 

I find, most of the time, a child will imitate their parents - sometimes even the behaviour we'd rather they wouldn't.  So because I write up science experiments they want to do that to and the experiments; because they see me hand write letters, they want to as well; because I read to them they want to read; I type up my blog posts, they want to type up their stories; because I play scrabble and like a crossword they want to do that too; my husband and I enjoy a maths puzzle here and there and guess what they want to learn maths; my husband reads the paper they learn about politics, geography and much, much more. 

Isn't it the same as when they are little? They see us walk, so they walk; they see us talk, so they learn to talk; they hear us count and they count; they hear us sing and they sing; they see daddy doing the washing (yes, I escape that chore!) and they help daddy with the washing.  In fact, dusting, cleaning, polishing, hovering... Everything we do they want to do too!

I'm seeing that this is changing a little in my eldest now; she is starting to become more independent.  But she is still copying, just not so directly.  She sees that when I want to learn something I'm interested in how I seek out information, then she copies and studies things she is interested in.  She also sees how I don't doubt that I or they will achieve any goal; she sees how when things don't go right the first time not to let go, not to give up, but to find a different route. 

She is really wanting to become a vet now and she is searching for all the things she feels she will need to know.  She's finding out what she needs to achieve her goals, without my help at all.  The thing is, Chiara is always remembering different facts about animals and remembers all the scientific words too. 
I would be more surprised if she didn't continue to want to be a vet now.  No one ever put the idea in her head, it's been something she has thought about for ages.  A year or so ago she decided against it: she didn't like the idea of having to put the animals down.  She still looked into other animal related jobs though.  Now she is back the the vet idea - I always tell her she can be whatever she want to be and I will support her in that and be proud.

Don't get me wrong, I have no ideal vocation set in mind for my children.  I will be happy no matter what they do, so long as what they do they are happy doing and feel they are living the life they were made to live.  For now I want them to enjoy childhood and live for the moment.  As I'm sure I've said before a happy child learns more and far quicker than a miserable one.

This is what I have observed over the 9 years of being a mother.  I don't know if it is true of all children, but certainly seems the case with mine.

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