Wonder, Imagination, and Delight

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Wednesday was such a delight for me. Our younger daughter invited me to accompany her and her children to a performance at Nashville Children’s Theater. This theater is the oldest continually-operating professional children’s theater in the U.S. NCT began in 1931 (the year my daddy was born). How well I remember getting dressed up and joining other children from my elementary school for a school bus ride from Ashland City to Nashville to watch a Saturday morning performance. Those memories made it all the more special to experience a performance with our daughter and four of our grandchildren.

I rode to the theater between two-year-old Peter and eight-month-old Thomas and back home between seven-year-old Clara and five-year-old Wesley. Peter loves trucks, firemen, and tractors. I dread maneuvering around tractor-trailer trucks on the Interstate but to Peter they were a delight. Truck after truck was a fresh new surprise. One of the joys of being with children is experiencing afresh things that have become old hat to us. The wonder he expressed in his words and in his bright, fascinated face just inches away from my own delighted me.

I was the one to be surprised when we got inside. There was my cousin Viki who had come to the theater with her daughter-in-law and homeschooled grandchildren. I don’t know which of us was more surprised. And then, when we took our seats, what a joy it was to see most of them filled with homeschooling mamas and children and grandmothers.

We saw “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show,” which had come direct from Off-Broadway. It was fabulous! We watched  and listened as Brown Bear, Brown Bear; Mister Seahorse; The Very Lonely Firefly; and The Very Hungry Caterpillar became three-dimensional and came to life before our eyes. It was thrilling.

Three on-stage puppeteers and 75 puppets walked, swam, crawled, and flittered across the stage. From the moment Brown Bear lumbered on until the butterfly tried out its new brilliant, multi-colored, fifteen-or-so-foot wings, we were enthralled.

Along the way, we learned about how daddy seahorses and other fish daddies take care of their young. We learned about the life-cycle of butterflies, but, oh, how we took in that information! Lots of folks have ideas about how to teach children. I believe the best methods are filled with wonder and imagination. Think deeply about the verse from Proverbs below. It speaks of teaching knowledge. Consider the times that your children find learning anything but enjoyable.

An Acadian mother in Fort Kent, Maine, teaches her young children how to knit in August of 1942. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

It is okay if the way your children learn is far different from the way your teachers taught you or from the way others teach their students or their children. Those methods might not be workable for your children. You get to decide how your children learn best.

Wonder about and imagine your homeschool filled with wonder and imagination and delight — and imagine your children filled with wonder and imagination and delight, too.

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable . . . 
Proverbs 15:2a

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