Learning

17 Jun

Learning must be serious...source

After yesterday’s post (in which I commenced with copious hand wringing concerning my daughter’s future smarts) I’ve done a lot of thinking and come to some really important conclusions.  Here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Thinking about these things during certain weeks is ridiculous and will almost certainly result in me driving myself crazy over something that I will eventually realize (usually in 2-3 days) is NOT THAT BIG A DEAL.  From now on, anything occurring to me during this one particular week shall be placed immediately and firmly on the back burner until it can be reexamined during less hormonal times.
  2. I’m already doing a lot of things right. We read books at least ten times a day.  We listen to music.  I talk to her all the time and clearly name things for her.  I ask her questions, which she usually can answer.  I explain things to her when she shows interest.  We sign.
  3. Speaking of signs, I was bothered that after a week she hasn’t picked up a single new sign when she learned the signs for hungry/thirsty in three days… until I was talking to my mom.  “Yeah,” I said.  “I don’t know why it’s taking her so long this time.  She learned ‘hungry’ in three days.  Now we’re working on diaper, tired, done, more, milk, help, cat, dog, horse, play, bird, mommy, daddy, water…”  At that point it suddenly clicked in my brain.  I’m throwing so many new signs at her.  Of course she hasn’t picked them up yet.  I’m trying to pare it down to water, milk, more, done, and diaper for now.
  4. We need to listen to more music.  Although I sing to her a lot, she doesn’t get enough exposure to other music.  From now on we’re going to spend at least a few minutes every day listening to something new… classical, jazz, hip hop, r&b, country… I don’t care what it is, but I want her to hear all of the beats and rhythms and sounds out there.
  5. We also sing the alphabet together while looking at the letters, and we spend a few minutes every day with animal flashcards.  I want to keep doing this, and also keep paying attention to her reactions.  Right now I am careful to stop as soon as she loses interest, and I want that to keep happening.  I always want learning to be fun for her, never something I push on her.
  6. Something else I’m not sure I got across well yesterday: I don’t care what she wants to do with her life.  It doesn’t matter to me whether she wants to be a painter or a heart surgeon or a trash collector or a dog walker or a nuclear physicist.  I don’t care if she is “successful” by society’s standards.  I don’t care if she does any one particular thing.  I just want her to have every tool, every advantage, every benefit so that when it comes time for her to choose her path(s) in life, she will be able to freely choose.  If she becomes a fry cook, I want it to be because she (in possession of many, various forms of knowledge and skills) chose to do it to make herself happy, and not because it was the only choice she had due to lack of skills/education.  Does that make sense?  I want her to have the kind of educational background that makes it possible for her to do absolutely anything she wants to, so that when she chooses, she can choose from everything out there.

In the end, over and above everything else, I want her to be health and happy.  Not just smiling or content.  I want her to be totally happy, truly fulfilled in her life.  I want her to look around at her adult life, at her family and friends, and be genuinely thrilled by what she finds.  I want the world for her, and in the end alot of my fear and concern stem from the fear that I don’t have what it takes to give her those things.

But I do.  I have enough love, enough passion, enough determination that whatever else I need will be easy to come by.  With the resources out there – family, friends, educators, reliable internet sites – I can help her learn anything.  How is it that, again, I find myself learning from her?  At thirteen months old, she is teaching me so much about myself.

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More from me:

Move more, feel better: make today the day you commit to YOU

More World Cup wines

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One Response to “Learning”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Move more, feel better « Skinny Sushi - June 17, 2010

    […] Learning: sometimes my daughter teaches me… […]

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