Reflecting Through Photos: Learning Adds Up

“Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places.” – John Holt

“What the hand does, the mind remembers.” – Maria Montessori

I scrolled back through our unschooling social media photos recently. I saw my daughter’s busy hands in every photo. She was actively engaged in DOING and MAKING and EXPLORING. She was using her hands, her body, her senses, her body, her brain, her creativity. This beautiful, whole body/brain play is the great work of childhood. It delighted me!

My husband encouraged me to share this reflection as a blog post. For anyone who is on the fence that learning needs curriculum: try it out for a week or month. Summer is coming. Even if you’re committed to curriculum, because your child needs and wants it, try seeing the natural learning:

  1. Try picking a week or a month to get messy with purely hands on learning.
  2. Take photos as you go. I also love taking screenshots on my phone of all the “Will you ask Google how X is made?” and “Can I see a video of X?”.
  3. Look back at what you captured. The view looking backwards can be powerful. And can give us motivation to keep looking forward.

Kids are naturally experiential learners: through play, with hands and body and senses, through copying and helping, with sweat and laughter. When you look back, look deeply into those images of your kiddo’s childhood:

  • What did their hands do that they will remember?
  • What unexpected moments of excited delight and wonder occurred?
  • Did curious, calm minds ask big and little questions?
  • Was there more emotional balance in the day?
  • Did you feel like a family who is actively exploring life?
  • Was this learning? Was this growth? What did you see?

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