When I addressed the Anarchy and Christianity conference about our approach to education, I emphasized the extent to which our children fulfilled our hope that if we didn’t force them to learn things on our timetable, they would pick them up on their own schedule. That’s a hard principle to live by when your children haven’t shown any interest something you think important, but we bit our lips and did our best, and in time each of the children has turned out restlessly to hunger for learning when the time was right.
Yesterday, Pippa asked to play Scrabble. She enjoyed it enough to play again today, and we’re on our way downtown to pick up a complete set (the one from our basement has the wrong number of letter tiles, and some have alternate letters penciled in to help make up the difference — pretty distracting, especially if you’re a beginning player). I can’t enumerate all the ways this delights us. We delight in the implications for her spelling, her vocabulary, her calculating, just for starters; but it also evokes memories of epic Scrabble matches between my mother and me. Chalk up another one for patience in pedagogy!
[Later: Tuesday morning, she’s been sitting at the dining room table reading the dictionary we used as a reference for acceptable words. . . . ]