We all have natural talents - things that seem to come easy. And those are generally the things we spend our time honing and perfecting - because they are fun, satisfying, and engaging. Then as we refine those skills, we discover other things that correlate and seek ways to learn more.
We, humans, are innate learners, and no amount of coercion will force us to absorb the things we don't personally find intriguing or practical. I am reminded of this four times a year when I talk to kids to document everything they have done over the previous ten weeks in their quarterly reports.
When we write their learning plans at the end of each summer, we discuss what they want to focus on based on the things they are naturally interested in and want to explore. In those plans, they often tell me things they think are required or that I want to hear, not what they really desire. This means when I talk to them in mid-November for their first quarterly report, we discover some things they haven't even touched because they honestly have no interest. Or if they did, they don't remember anything about it. Which only induces a sense of unhealthy guilt. All that self-condemnation only makes them feel bad about themselves. It certainly won't change anything the next time we sit down to discuss what they have worked on - in January.
This only speaks to my point that we can require certain subjects and topics - but that does not mean that anything will be learned longer than needed to pass the test - if there is no personal connection. And to be clear, we can't force that either.
I spend my days watching kids seek out the subjects, activities, and projects that feed and excite them. They are learning something new every minute of every day as they joyfully explore, engage, and connect with the nuances of their interests and talents and with the people who are happily doing the same around them.
And those are the moments documented in their quarterly reports - because those are the ones they will remember - forever.
Weekly Creative Meditation
There is a lot going on here these next few weeks. Our annual funding appeal is going out in the next week or so. Look for it here or in your mailbox. DRC is growing, and we need your help to support the families who need us. Please consider contributing to our goal of being able to help every child who wants to join us.
Please plan on joining us at one of our open houses in December. We are excited to share everything we have been working on and our plans for the future. You are invited to have a hand in determining our direction over the next several years with a hands-on activity that will be available for everyone who attends.
Please check out our website - we have been working on streamlining information. We welcome feedback and suggestions.
Our East Peeps - busy and engaged this past week.
And our Canton Crew!
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