You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2010.

You know the one…the really important one?

I’ll back up a little….

The other day, I took my boys out for lunch. While we sat waiting for our food, I told them about a study I heard about on the news earlier that day. I told them the premise of the study, the findings and before I offered anything else, I asked, “What do you think about this?”

They quickly jumped in with their initial reactions, followed by their own way of making sense (or not being able to make sense of it) and then they asked me what I thought, so I told them.

This led us to a discussion where I offered my opinion that any study can be crafted in such a way that it can provide ‘proof’ of almost anything and we discussed how that can be done.

Then we got to the important part of the conversation, where we discussed that even if a ‘specialist’, a ‘scientist’, an ‘expert’, or even their (gasp) mother says/writes/publishes something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the truth.

We talked about how we all have that inner knowing and if something feels right or if it feels wrong to us…THAT is what we need to listen to the most. We talked about how things can be misleading or misinterpretted and the most important way of knowing is our own gut feeling. Sometimes that inner voice says, ‘this feels true to me’, sometimes it tells us something seems amiss…and often it says, “I think this is right (or wrong), but I need to find out more before I make my own conclusions.”

I told them that I believe their truth would always be found if they go within. No one, no study, no institution can ever tell us all the truth. It is something we all must find for ourselves.

I hope they will listen to that inner knowing, educate themselves when necessary or when interested and feel confident to go against the grain if they feel it is their path.

Of course, this is just all my own opinion…you’ll have to listen to your inner voice to know if it resonates with you or not.

Reexamine all that you have been told in school, or in church or in any book. Dismiss whatever insults your soul. – Walt Whitman


…when thing just gel and the opportunity for real, hands on learning is at hand.

We had one of those magical moments over the holidays when my son asked how salt could melt snow.

It led to a research project where we discovered that salt lowers the water’s melting point and how the salt disrupts the water-vapor equilibrium. (Which, then led to more learning about definitions of words like “vapor” and “equilibrium”).

Then before we knew it, we were filling bowls of water, adding salt to one, writing out a hypothesis and a procedure and checking every hour to record our findings.

It was one of those moments where you just know something really fun has just happened. The whole day took a different turn than could have been predicted, the learning was fun and everyone was involved.

Those are the moments where I know infinite learning is really a great way to learn.

Our culture has become quite unchild-friendly in many ways. I believe it is important for our children to be involved in all areas of life. How else will they know how to be in the world?

Over the holidays, my children were presented with many opportunities to be the only children in the room full of adults and adult conversations.

It was probably not their first choice at times, but they were sitting in on many different conversations with people of all ages and backgrounds and presented with the opportunity to meet new people and interact in their own ways.

I sat back, observing them and realized what a gift it was for them to be interacting with many so many different people, having the opportunity to experience all kinds of social interactions and find their own place within each new experience.

I watched as they became comfortable with strangers, found ways to interact and share their interests and felt comfortable sharing things with everyone between twenty and ninety.

Our culture often excludes children from life and social situations. Children are sent off to school, they are told to play in other rooms, in some groups, children are excluded from life milestones like weddings and funerals. How will they know what life is about unless they are part of it and find their way in it?

There is certainly a balance of these things. While, I see the gift in them being included in the group of adults, there are also times when they are happiest going to another room to play their games or with other children. As infinite learners, I feel we have a lot of opportunity to balance these things for their benefit.

As other children are now back in school, I find that I’m once again happy with our choice to live the life of infinite learning where my children have the opportunity to experience a vast array of day-to-day life experiences, observe culture goings-on and striking the balance as we continue forward.