"There is no greater education than one that is self-driven."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
My children absolutely love science and it's no surprise - children are the ultimate scientists. Their natural curiosity for their surroundings is something to admire.
A child's thirst for knowledge is not forced, it is simply woven into the fabric of who they are. Following the lead of a child's passion supports their love of learning, their confidence, their development, and mental health. We advocate for child-led learning and there's many reasons why.
As adults, getting the chance to explore our passions is often felt like and seen as a luxury, instead of the absolute necessity that it is for our very being.
What could be standard practice, often placed as a self-care goal.
How many people want to try something new but the initial reaction is self-doubt instead of self-confidence? The courage of a child.
How many people have passions abandoned with fear of not being enough or ridiculed?
We all develop our deep thirst for knowledge in the areas we hold interest in.
It's a calling from the soul - to explore. Children intuitively know this.
Through vital years of development, we can be stuck on a path, flooded by information that we didn't choose to seek out, before there is a chance to take another step forward. Then what?
When free to step along our path again, like an awakening from a deep sleep - what is next?
Society's expectation is your plan set out. The blue prints can't be there if you haven't had the chance to draw them.
Why do many feel the need to seek fulfillment? To find themselves?
Never really lost - just the essence, the inner child, coated in layers of outside influence that wasn't asked for or deserved. The reaction of finding one's self, is to break free of those layers. To break away from restraints because the essence spent too long in limbo.
It isn't so much as finding something new as it is remembering something old.
It needs to reconnect.
Well into adult years, the shedding continues as it embarks on adventure because the essence of a child is adventurous.
Supporting children's passions with respect for whatever they may be is the most powerful tool we can gift them with from the beginning. We don't have to understand why they hold their interests or even agree with them. We can simply offer our support and a foundation to let them make informed choices and explore their dream(s).
Whether home educating, at school or outside of the educational systems - the ever evolving curiosity of a child can bloom into the most magical gifts. It could be a passing phase, a core moment of time with huge impact or it could become their life's work. If they have the chance to follow their interests and discover where they may lead - their opportunities are truly endless.
Let us nurture children's curiosity, instead of undermining it.
Let us make children feel heard and seen, instead of invalidating them.
Let us support children's experiments, instead of rejecting them as mess.
Let us raise generations of humans with self-confidence in their abilities, instead of instilling doubt and diminishing courage.
Let us provide an environment that is supportive, instead of dismissive.
Let us connect, with empathy and gratitude.
Let us watch on with pride as our children explore the world as young scientists and recognise that you too have the same sparkle in your eyes when your essence shines through in your passions.
It's in that sparkle we can nurture our inner child and offer the same respect and support, not only for our children, but anyone in our lives.
It's in that sparkle we can rid childism and build community.