For many, learning is taken for granted as something that just happens. There is a common belief that a child will know or will be able to do things simply because they have reached a certain age. Experience and science show that’s not how learning works, however.
All children’s capacities and capabilities are in direct relationship to the 3Es – the environment they are in, the experiences they have, and the conversations (engagement) they have with adults around them.
Whatever environment we are in (i.e., park, school, extracurricular activity, home), the experiences we make available to our children, such as climbing monkey bars, watching a fish swim, or playing a team sport, are enhanced or dismissed by the child depending on how we talk about the experience with him or her. The engagement we have about an environment or experience is the most critical element. Knowing when and how to engage can make all the difference in the world.
What stays with a child in their hearts and minds is dependent on what the adult said and the tone of voice used in the moment of learning. Whatsoever it is the child learns first about a person, place, or thing is the memory and feeling that will stay with him the longest.
Learning opportunities are everywhere; in every breath we take, until our last. The challenge is whether or not we, the leaders of our children, take advantage of opportunities to share our knowledge, our wisdom, and our joy with them.