Witnessing the slow but complex process of germination of each seed, from planting to its first seedling emergence has made such an impact on not just seeing the beauty and magic of nature but also it’s close similarity with people, particularly people who are considered seedlings-our children. Our role as the adults in our children’s lives whether it be parent or guide or mentor is not to create a particular kind of child. “Instead, our job is to provide a protected space of love, safety, and stability in which children of many unpredictable kinds can flourish.” * Just as we cannot make plants grow but give them the proper amount of sun and water in the right environment to allow them to grow when they’re ready; we can’t force or make children learn, but we can let them learn if we provide them with the right tools, approach, and environment. Giving them room and time to flourish.
Have you ever seen plants, beautifully arranged in a vase? They’re beautiful to look at but not for long. Cut flowers soon wither and die, much like spoon fed information, regurgitation of facts just for a test-soon to be forgotten.
What if instead children were responsible for their education and cultivated it themselves?
Tending to their own garden with love and passion. Growing the plants they would cherish and that would sustain them throughout their lives? Imagine their excitement! Imagine what they would grow!
Let them feel the beauty of creating, growing, and learning something all on their own without anyone's agenda standing in their way. Without someone protecting them for injury
If children were given the opportunity to choose their own seeds, plant them, tend and cultivate them themselves with copious amounts of curiosity, love, and passion to make it grow and flourish-imagine what kind of garden they would have.
Let the children plant their own learning garden. They are the best gardeners who would know how to care for their own learning garden.
Don't cut or force them, let them thrive.
*Allison Gopnick, The Carpenter and the Gardener.