Learning has it’s own timeline and the most challenging part in this alternative approach to learning is trusting in that. I have a nine year old son who is learning to read. In leaps and bounds right now. Though he has been preparing for it for years. It has been hard to wait for more outward signs. I also have an eleven year old who is only now starting to write in sentences, tweets, texts and emails. He as well has been gathering the tools for years upon years now. But I had to wait and trust because the signs I was trained to notice simply were not present.
As I lay next to my nine year old last night. He was playing through is new Pokemon game. The one he hesitated for a while to purchase cause he knew there was a lot of reading to be done. He read each word slowly, stopping, sounding, asking for help. And then he exclaimed, “Games rot your brain, no way. They make it work. And give you new information.” He moved in the course of one day from reading just bits of a sentence to completing full sentences, two, three in a row. In the course of a single day driven by his own desire he moved from what a grade school teacher would evaluate as kindergarten reader straight through to a second or third grade level. On his own. Through pure desire. He was happy. It was hard work. But of his choosing so the rewards were what fueled him forward. Forever he will claim, I taught myself how to read. But deeper then that he strengthened his own trust in his ability to learn what he needs to learn to move through, even the tough parts, of gathering new skills to reach a goal. That sort of magic is worth waiting for.
In the room across the hall, my eleven year old son worked with his dad to design his first graphic because he is building a business. Yep. He wants to make some cash. He knows he has the tools. So he is starting. He has years, like his brother above, of building an unwavering confidence in his own ability, to figure out what he needs to in order to meet his goals. He is driven because it is his learning. It is his goal. His passion. In a day he researched marketing strategies, designed graphics, updated his youtube channel, figured out a video capture system and exclaimed this is so awesome.
Not all days are this rockstar awesome I can see evidence of learning everywhere. In fact, it could be said that exactly the opposite is true most days. But on the inside, where I can not see, this is always growing, of a strong confidence, in their own ability to learn what they need to learn to step closer to their dreams. Holding this knowing is how I learn in to trusting that indeed learning has it’s very own personalized timeline and my job is just to hold the faith and apply tons of love.