Last night my girls and I went for a walk (we went for ice cream and I figured if we walked I could eat ice cream without guilt). On the way, my four year old discovered dandelions. She was fascinated by them as we noticed them along the way. I finally stopped and picked one to show her the seeds and how you can blow them. She had some trouble blowing the seeds at first, but eventually figured it out. We talked about what was happening to the seeds when she blew them and what would happen next. She was so excited about them that she carried two home to show her dad. She also wanted to keep them but we convinced her that we could always get more.
This whole experience struck me because of how much she was learning and how much fun she was having. She asked question after question. She learned a lot about seeds and plants through our discussion. She explored the dandelions in many ways, blowing the seeds, touching the different parts, smelling them. When she finally managed to blow the seeds on her own she was so proud of herself.
I want her learning to always be this way. I want her to continue to ask questions and get excited about new things. Will that continue once she starts school in the fall? How long will it take before she looks at learning in a totally different light?
Do children naturally outgrow this joy in learning or do schools push it out of them?