Watching kids learn

I think one of the best things about being a parent is watching your kids learn things, whether it’s seeing your six-year-old read a book and get more and more confident, or seeing your two-year-old figure out how to put the foam rocket back on the right side up so it shoots properly. (Yeah, Barak was pretty pleased with himself.)

I love what I call “kid logic.” This is when they use perfectly good logical thinking, but come up with completely the wrong answer, simply because they’re missing some information. Let me give an example and hopefully embarrass the heck out of my oldest nephew (who is, I might add, about to begin his term as the Grand Aleph Gadol of B’nai Brith Youth Organization).

So little Oz (who isn’t so little anymore), was about four or five, and my husband and I were in town visiting. Oz and I sat on the floor and we were playing with some little snake shapes. Oz carefully laid out four and named them, one for his daddy, one for his mommy, one for him, and one for his baby sister. All of them with my husband’s last name, Fishman.

Then he laid out two more snakes and proudly named them: “This is Avi Fishman [my husband] and this is Mara Fishman.”

“No, honey,” I said. “My last name is Greengrass. When I got married, I didn’t change my name.”

He thought about this for a moment, then went back to the beginning of the line. “This is David Fishman and this is Ziva Greengrass and…”

See? The logic is impeccable. Mommys are named Greengrass, right?

I love that, I really do. His brain was working and processing what I’d told him and then he tested his theory. I gave him the correct information of his mother’s maiden name and then we moved on. But I’ve never forgotten that adorable moment.

My son is a bit more tactile than my daughter (aren’t personality differences interesting too?) but they both like to see how things work. And they like to build things and knock them down and that’s wonderful.

One of Yael’s favorite games comes from a combination of school and watching too much Dinosaur Train. (No, she doesn’t want to play dinoball!) Yael and I come up with hypotheses about whatever’s happening around us and then try to figure out how we can test them, or if it’s even possible. Sometimes we decide that the idea can be tested, but not by us at that moment. But I figure the exercise is good for her anyway.

Everybody makes fun of kids’ constant “why why why” but honestly, I love it (most of the time). I love their insatiable curiosity and thirst for understanding. I love the way they have to test things with their hands and get in there and get messy. They really are born scientists and the best thing we can do is not mess that up.


About mamamara

I'm a 40-something, work-at-home mother of two. I'm pro-vaccine, pro-medicine, pro-science, and an avid reader of information about all of the above, and I want to combine my love for my children with my love for science. So here we are!
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