Curiosity: the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness
As a homeschooling mom of four, I would like to think that all of my kids are curious. After all, part of the emphasis of our life directly involves learning. I definitely desire them to be interested in the world around them. Of course, when they were three and asking why about EVERYTHING, I could have benefited from a little less interest in the world around them. 🙂
One thing that I have observed is that my kids are often the most intrigued when I get out of the way. When I am not forcing them to explore. Perhaps I still will provide a bit of direction, but then I simply allow them to continue forward. At their own pace. I feel that the absolute best way to cultivate curiosity is to give your children time to explore the world around them. No fancy tools are generally needed – just more a mom or a dad who is not in a hurry. This is why developing this habit for children can be a struggle – after all, we have places to go and people to see. Often I hinder the very thing that I desire for them to discover.
The world that my children will explore is far different from the one where I grew up. With technology being developed in leaps and bounds, all that they can discover is immense. Many people are concerned that this progress will squelch curiosity and learning. Recently I read a forward-type post on Facebook about a doctor that was horrified when a child reached for his mom’s phone to check what his diagnosis meant. While I do sort of get the doctor’s concern, I am pretty sure that my kids would do the very same thing.
Throughout the day, if they ask me a question and I do not know the answer, we look it up. No longer in encyclopedias like when I was young, but instead our tool of choice is my smart phone. We try hard to pick reliable sites, but this instant access to information can be be great for learning. Now I am not saying that they will not learn traditional research methods or no longer look up information in books. We still weekly check out dozens of books. Yet since this type of technology is here, at times embracing this wealth of knowledge can be a good thing.
For the first time this year, television and video clips have played more of a factor in our homeschool process. As subscribers to “Discovery Education,” we have often utilized their compiled videos, especially as we have studied state geography and science courses. Even YouTube can actually be beneficial if used correctly – we have been able to access tourism videos that have taken us on “tours” as we study each state. Learning from a moving picture can provide more impact at times than a still one.
Another one that our family accesses technology is through educational television. We do not watch a lot of t.v. When we do watch television, our shows of choice are often on public television. We are BIG fans of NET. Frequently if we are talking about animals, my kids have some random fact that they have learned from Wild Kratts.
Now that my kids are all in elementary school, we do not have Curious George on quite as often. But when they were younger, they were quite the fans of the inquisitive little monkey. I was always a bit worried that they were going to attempt some of his escapades, but thankfully that never happened! Of course, when I was asked if I wanted to do a Curious George on behalf of NET, I jumped at the chance. Curious George just happens to have a new Christmas special premiering this Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. on Nebraska Public Television. I am guaranteeing that my two youngest will be tuned in, and I bet even my oldest might watch part of the show.
What my 2nd son is excited about is the premiere of the new show, The Odd Squad. So far, he does not recognize that the show is a bit about math – hopefully he will not find out. 🙂 Actually I still think the show is going to be an interesting one! Right after the Curious George special, you can watch this new show. NET, the Nebraska PBS station, actually has a whole new winter line-up of shows starting this Wednesday. We will post it on our Good Life Moms Facebook page that morning.
To celebrate Curious George Christmas Special and the start of Odd Squad, our blog is doing a special giveaway. Mainly the items will feature Curious George (stickers, coloring page, kaleidoscope and game cube), but there will be some Odd Squad bookmarks thrown in for good measure. A perfect giveaway for the little curious ones in your life! By the way, if you would like to see a preview of these shows, please click here. Then enter below!