Lets Learn About...Things to Drive! (Curious Toddler Book Book 3)

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This certainly beats relying on documentaries on TV or turning to books or online videos for answers to her questions. When a routine activity gets to a point of being monotonous, encourage your child to look at it from a different light and find new ways to make it interesting.

For people who are constantly curious, there is always something new to learn, discover and understand — even if that something has been done over a dozen times. Find out how children are encouraged to be a life-long learner, among other life lessons, during their time at MindChamps Nursery. Schedule a visit to your preferred centre now!

9 curiosity killers | Parenting

Tel: 02 Skip to content 8 Ways to Encourage Curiosity in Children An essential component in education and in life, curiosity drives us to learn new things and discover how things work around us. Be curious yourself Your children learn best from observing what you do, so do take this chance to role model and pique their curiosity. Let them pursue their interests Drawn by her curiosity, your child will show interest in certain activities and topics.

When I try to see things as they do, my patience is increased. As adults we often miss and remove the magic of everyday adventures because we aren't open or are more scripted into our ways of doing things. They will learn the proper reasoning better if they are able to have some freedom of play. Again, there were so many great nuggets of thought and understanding.

I'm sure many were missed but I hope that many also found their way into the gestalt of my mind and mothering. People as a whole are only as smart as a society is comfortable with. In prose style "How Children Learn" reminds me a lot of "The Omnivore's Dilemma", in that both present some pretty depressing news with a great deal of compassion and hope.

John Holt wrote this in the 60's and revised it in the 80's a few years before his death, and it's alarming how many of his criticisms of education are still applicable decades later. But it never comes off as polemic or divisive, just concerned for the min People as a whole are only as smart as a society is comfortable with. But it never comes off as polemic or divisive, just concerned for the minds of children and the adults they become. His overarching conclusion is that children don't need us to learn most of the time. Presented with an interesting problem, a little kid wants to solve it.

The issue is adult meddling and often good-hearted attempts to help kill this impulse. Past a certain age kids give up on trying to learn anything that isn't necessary to succeed. The logic behind school is that it's supposed to turn people in to well-rounded, intelligent human beings. The trouble with that is that no one agrees on what it takes to be well-rounded. Most of us aren't and never will be. Most cultures with public education aren't overrun with renaissance men. People specialize, it's part of what civilizations are built on, so much of what's learned in school is water off a duck's back.

What he says early on and pushes through the whole book is to trust kids. Lack of trust can erode entire civilizations, and in kids it corrupts their ability to work things out themselves. The problem he even acknowledges is that giving kids the respect and trust to figure out problems on their own is intensely frightening at times. Apparently being a parent who raises a bright, self-motivated, intelligent kid is a combination of being really easy and incredibly terrifying. Oh well, it's scary regardless.

Jun 03, Leif rated it really liked it. This is kind of a sequel to How Children Fail. In this book, Holt examines how very young children infants to toddlers learn, and what that has to tell us about how humans are hard-wired to learn. Holt doesn't spend as much time in this book talking about the specific failings of the educational establishment, but he doesn't need to: the indictment is clear when one considers how humans naturally learn, and then contrasts that with how schools attempt to teach.

Holt's theory is that schools, i This is kind of a sequel to How Children Fail.

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Holt's theory is that schools, if we are to have them, should move away from concentrating so much on clever methods for teaching and instead focus on how people learn and facilitate it. This, of course, would require educators to check their egos, which isn't likely to happen soon. Be warned, though: the problems in education that Holt addresses in the 60s and in his s comments on his own work and writing are still alive and well; in fact, they are for the most part a lot worse now, and seem to confirm some of the theories Holt expressed here about where education was headed if we didn't make some changes.

Aug 18, Angela rated it it was amazing. John Holt has some really fascinating observations from working with children that really reflect my own experiences with my kids. Children learn through games and play. They seem to learn spontaneously without being taught like Holt makes the point I learned it's important to sort of "watch myself" and not interfere with my kids learning process.

I need to let go and let them discover on their own or gently guide t John Holt has some really fascinating observations from working with children that really reflect my own experiences with my kids. I need to let go and let them discover on their own or gently guide them on a path to self-discovery.

Holt points out that many children have learned to read without being taught by phonics or whatever "piecemeal" method. In fact, many children "teach themselves" just by being read to. If they ask a question, it's better to just tell them the answer without a big long lecture. I never knew this before, and was worried I wasn't "teaching" my daughter enough; but this approach seems to make so much sense for us. Jul 25, Carol rated it really liked it Shelves: education. This is my first book by Holt. I'm aware he has a large following.

I can understand why. The man has a gift for understanding children and how they learn and navigate the world. The genus of this book is it's timelessness. Written in the 60's the book is still accurate today. Holt said that children do not need to be taught because learning is human nature for children and they have their own unique way of doing it. I'm a believer. My son taught himself to read and do simple math at a young age This is my first book by Holt.

My son taught himself to read and do simple math at a young age with no intervention from myself other than to give him time, space and the tools books should he care to use them. What's particularly sad is how traditional schools are moving in the opposite direction. Even back then, he sees the dangers in mass testing, large classrooms and instruction that provides little room for improvisation and creativity. Highly recommended for all parents or anyone who cares about future generations. Jul 06, Kristy rated it it was amazing.

Pretend Play

This was the first time I've read a John Holt book, and it was definitley worth it. I'm looking forward to reading How Children Fail next. There was much I marked, and many pages I dog-earned to return to in the future, but I will at least share his ending comment: "What we need to do, and all we need to do, is bring as much of the world as we can into the school and th eclassroom: give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; This was the first time I've read a John Holt book, and it was definitley worth it.

There was much I marked, and many pages I dog-earned to return to in the future, but I will at least share his ending comment: "What we need to do, and all we need to do, is bring as much of the world as we can into the school and th eclassroom: give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; and then get out of the way. That may sound idealistic or to simple, but after reading his experiences and what he has learned, you may change your mind. Jan 14, Basirat Atif rated it really liked it.

I give this book a 4 star. As a teacher, this book really helped me understand children better and I have tried a different approach in class room after reading this book and did get some positive result. The whole point of the book boils down to; trust and appreciate a child and he will do wonders. Even as grown ups, we don't like to be forced into learning or believing something so how can we expect children to do that. The only little problem I had with the book was it sometime leaves you wit I give this book a 4 star.

The only little problem I had with the book was it sometime leaves you with many more questions. But over all, I loved it a lot. I would definitely recommend it to all parents and new teachers. Children do learn best when they are appreciated. Jun 02, Helen rated it really liked it. It's the sort of book that, if you read it properly, has a permanent effect on the way you think. For me, a reread, so not quite so shocking and fundamental, which is perhaps why I've only given it four stars. It feels impossible to argue with most of what he says.

Really, anyone with a youngish child should read this and How Children Fail, and should keep it in their heads when they talk to their children. Aug 12, Camille rated it it was amazing. This book has had the greatest influence on me and my family. My husband and I are striving to stop correcting the kids and have a renewed respect of their ability to learn. No book I have ever read has given me a better direction to provide an environment for learning. Watch out!!

Be aware of the "Teacher Devil" in you! Sep 20, Teri rated it really liked it. As a tutor, i am always awared of how over-pampering we have on our child nowadays. The book uses some year long research echoes my hunge. I remind myself the value of keeping a child's pride and dignity in learning, more importantly their spirit of independence in Learning.

Our school, esp asian schools, are destroying it. Jul 16, Celeste Batchelor rated it it was amazing Shelves: 5-pillar , non-fiction , home-education. Oh how I wish I had read this book when my children were young! I would have done things very differently. A must read for home educators. Dec 05, The rated it really liked it.

John Holt says the essence of his book can be boiled down to two words: "Trust children. We trust that children will make not only good choices, but the right choices with regards to where they are in their personal development, that they will engage in behaviors and follow curiosities th John Holt says the essence of his book can be boiled down to two words: "Trust children.

We trust that children will make not only good choices, but the right choices with regards to where they are in their personal development, that they will engage in behaviors and follow curiosities that maximize their ability to learn about themselves and the world around them and how it works. And the basis of this trust is that children are fundamentally competent to be themselves without any additional input, guidance or motivation from parents or other adults, who at best can merely replace the child's ego with their own. Where lies the magic such that an "animal" child is transformed into a "human" man without the benefit of practice or routine in these modes of thought and action?


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Holt believes that children want to learn, and that their behaviors and choices are fundamentally aimed at learning about the important functional relationships of the world around them. They choose their own goals based on their own interests and then determine what preceding knowledge they must obtain to secure their goals.

The schooling method, of which Holt is skeptical, involves sequential learning from the basic to the complex, with no object for the instruction other than to master the material. But this is not interesting to most children, because the learning is divorced from a meaningful context ie, a problem they personally want to solve and the structuring of the learning often serves to highlight to a child how little he knows about a given field, an unnecessary bruise to a young person's self-esteem.

The result is that children often invest a lot of energy in avoiding learning, rather than engaging with the material, and what they practice is denying their own values and interests rather than gaining competence in knowledge and systems they have no desire to learn. The ego is so central to Holt's understanding of how children learn that it almost defies explanation how absent this concern is from most other pedagogical methods!

Where did people come up with the idea that the student's own fascination with the subject or lack thereof is irrelevant to the problem of learning? Why should we think it is optimal to follow any path of instruction which ignores this fundamental element? And who is truly being served by such an approach when it clearly can not be the child himself? A related danger that Holt discusses is attempts to trick children into learning things, by teaching them without them noticing they're being taught.


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If the idea is to teach people even if they don't want to be taught, and if doing so creates resistance to learning, then it does logical to try to sneak and cheat the information into children's minds. But is that respectful, and should we imagine anything else but more failure from continuing to build on such flawed premises? Holt's warning is again startling. Children are not aliens who think completely differently from adults.

They are simply differently capable people, and their human capacity for reasoning makes it obvious to them, even when they're very young, when they're not being treated on the level. How disrespectful to treat another human being this way, with so little concern for their own values and well-being! Imagine trying to "trick" an adult into learning something without their permission or interest, by asking questions one already knows the answers to, or insinuating that something they don't consider important is actually quite so.

Such a person would consider it demeaning to imply they can't figure out for themselves what deserves their attention and what does not, or that they're not sharp enough to know they're being fooled with, and so it is with children. This is a rich and dense work with many pithy observations I wish I had highlighted the first time through. The author clearly admires children for their potential and their capability alike, and he helps the reader to see children not as helpless, but as empiricists, experimenters and practitioners.

The hardest thing for parents and teachers to internalize from this work is the need for them to exercise self-control in light of their penchant for thinking their intervention's in the life of children are so critical to the children's thriving. It appears to be just the opposite! Dec 06, Snow rated it it was amazing Shelves: parenting. I really liked the book. It changed my view for education and how children learn all together. I definitely lean more towards homeschooling after this book.

Feb 16, Alexis rated it really liked it Shelves: homeschool-resource. This book takes me way outside my comfort zone, which four or five years ago would have been a very bad thing. The Me of the past, upon reading Holt's work, would have confidently launched into a lengthy diatribe indicting Holt for a litany of agregious offenses not the least of which would have included a failure to be pragmatic, academic laziness re: his utter disregard for quantitative research , and just plain ol' utilitarian naivete.

The Me of today, although still resistant to some, if no This book takes me way outside my comfort zone, which four or five years ago would have been a very bad thing. The Me of today, although still resistant to some, if not most of Holt's foundational pillars; qualitative research, individualism, etc. In fact, the Me of today is more likely to see my opposition to Holt's thinking as my own weakness, manifest as my unwillingness to step outside my comfort zone into a messy world fruaght with unpredictable variables, and a great many wonderful experiences made better by the fact that they are quite simply out of my own control i.

Contrast this with the Me of the past that would have held the twin values of order and efficiency as paramount. Quite simply, the me of today longs to be comfortable with Holt's messy, liberated, unfettered model. That said, I remain unwilling to follow Holt blindly into an affair with qualitative research, yielding all my aforementioned confidence in pragmatism and order. The first chapter while making some important points regarding the limitations and dangers of qualitative research and its propensity for generalization fails for me because it does not do what I believe Holt intended it to do; that is, establish that quanitative research is bad and only the more time consuming qualitative research is of value.

The Me of today agrees that where possible individual analysis is far and away superior to broad brush generalizations. However, the pragmatist in me remains. Assuming status quo paramaters; in a country whose population is in the hundreds of millions, where educational decisions are made for the many by the few, and if government is going to continue to grow ever larger I am merely noting the facts, by no means do I endorse them Holt's methodology is quite simply not feasible. Except where educational decisions are made by the few for the few i. It should be noted that Holt builds his arguments against the quantitative researcher as the proverbial house of cards.

His vocabulary is dependent upon the quantitative researcher. Holt should have at least considered thanking researchers like Piage, whom he so easily discounts, for providing him with the framework and vocabulary with which to launch his opposing attacks. And yet, I maintain that I am very much enoying my reading of Holt's work. I found Holt's discussion of deliberate failure on page 54 to be insightful.

The picture Holt paints of the failures contemporary education remember Holt was writing in the s sadly, remain relevant today. Holt is completly on target when he notes that parents and edcuators must take great care to stimulate rather than "destroy a child's curiosity, and make him or her feel that the world, instead of being full of interesting things to explore and think about, is full of hidden dangers and ways of getting into trouble.

But my favorite point made by Holt, so far, came on page I believe the point he is trying to make is that labels for children are often self-fulfilling. I will quote at length from the book because I believe it is something that anyone who encounters children ought to understand. Not only did they use this as a way of finding out what they wanted to know, but they were conscious of finding it. The question is, do they use the method because they are bright, or is it the use of the method that makes them bright? View 1 comment. Dec 12, Mariam added it Shelves: owned , learning-about-learning.

I am still pages till the end of the book, but so far I am disspointed although I put high expectations on it, and maybe the problem is in me not in the book. The book first chapter states a comparison between two different, contradicted ways about learning about children. The first is pure scientific, heartless and harsh one, the second is the caring and loving way, and only caring and loving. He came to a conclusion by the end of this chapter saying: It's only in the presence of caring and l I am still pages till the end of the book, but so far I am disspointed although I put high expectations on it, and maybe the problem is in me not in the book.

He came to a conclusion by the end of this chapter saying: It's only in the presence of caring and loving adults that children learn what they can learn or reveal to us what they are learning. The following chapters John Holt is this caring and loving adult. He shows through his diaries encounters with kids, either his children, his friend's children, or his students sometimes, and try to state through it the answer of the question "How Children Learn".

And so far I agree with most, if not all what he says. I too believe that children are natural learners and we do alot of harm to them when we force on them what we want them to learn, instead of letting them pursuing their interest and giving them the room to grow and explore. I too always look at children with impressive eye and consider them my mentors. Through the book I felt that he was passive parent, yes caring and so much loving but most not all of the time he watch and respond, he doesn't initiate or design a certain activity for kids to learn or to explore with them.

He doesn't give any ideas how to build on what we learn from children. Assuming and that's not true that we understood "How Children Learn" what should we do to help and enhance their learning journey. According to John Holt, Nothing, just follow some of his advises here and there on how to not correct their spelling mistakes, how to not help them of they are facing difficulties in a game because we might be hurting their dignity that they don't know how to solve things. Be loving and caring and provide them with resources, any resources you can provide and they don't need you.

They are natural learners and they will learn what they need and want to learn. I am not against what he says, but I feel like I need to know more what should I do. Maybe the idea that children don't need us was irritating for me. Another problem in this revised edition, that he changed his opinion completely about things he said in the first edition without saying "Why" and "How" he came to believe in this.

I am reading a paragraph about opinion , and while I am still thinking about it I find the opposite opinion in the next paragraph starting with " I realize now that I was wrong", how did you realize that John? I don't know. I felt like whatever I do I will not be able to understand or really help. This book left me confused more than I am confused already. Nov 16, Emily rated it it was amazing. I picked up this book from Amazon because I am planning on homeschooling my children. Without going any further in my review, I want it to be known that this book has revolutionized my thinking on children and education.

I always had a strong negative reaction to what's known as "the dicovery method," even as we were constantly presented with it in required classes for my education minor. My mind was truly opened as he explained case after case of how children really benefit, and in fact NEED, t I picked up this book from Amazon because I am planning on homeschooling my children. My mind was truly opened as he explained case after case of how children really benefit, and in fact NEED, time to "mess about," as he is fond of calling it. Another thing that really struck me was how he explained the process of learning.

Children are constantly in a state of testing what they know, but this process isn't necessarily linear. They are in a sort of state of uncertainty at almost all times. It takes a lot of testing to really know something, but once they know it, they know it. Forcing it into them by rote or when they aren't interested in it or have not discovered it for themselves is counterproductive.

One of the things that I loved about this book is that it had lots of real-world examples of parents and educators putting this into practice, and then Mr. Holt would comment on these examples. I am very much more eager to learn as much as I can about "unschooling" now than I ever was. This book I will credit in years to come with changing my mind about "unschooling" even though that term is not really used. This approach is different than anything I have seen or maybe it has just given me a new perspective.

I could go on and on about the things I learned from this book. There were so many things in this book that I was inspired to do. In particular, he talks a lot about children writing on their own. They may just make scribbles, but to them they are writing something important. This is better than forcing them to write something in a certain way perfectly. They are exploring and learning. It is ok for them to "mess about". So today is my youngest daughter's birthday, and I asked my oldest daughter to write a card for her sister.

She knows how to write some letters, but she mostly wrote lines of scribbles. By attending to the quality of their students' questions, they can get ideas about how to help their students develop better questions. What better cues are there for thinking up new activities or topics to discuss? Think of question asking as the goal of an educational activity, rather than a happy by-product.

Develop activities that invite or require students to figure out what they want to know and then seek answers. One easy starting place is urging students to use the Internet to ask any question that occurs to them—or arises in class discussion or work. Google can be a curious person's best friend. The ease with which we can look things up online is exhilarating—and it makes the urge to know feel good more often.

Of course, a class that invited students to ask questions without helping them seek accurate answers or acquire a robust body of knowledge would leave the educational task half done. The child who's genuinely curious doesn't rest until he or she has satisfied the urge to know. So to cultivate students' curiosity, we must give them both time to seek answers and guidance about various routes to getting answers, such as looking things up in reliable sources or testing hypotheses.

Teachers should encourage students to think about whether their original question has been answered to their satisfaction.

These techniques are the bread and butter of the autodidact. Students who learn to teach themselves something new are better prepared for lifelong learning than those who simply learn well from others. It doesn't mean much to value a quality like curiosity in children if you never assess whether it's present. What we measure is what we'll teach. In classrooms where teachers are deliberately cultivating curiosity, they should see more of it in May than in September—and they should see their own responses becoming more encouraging. Video recording is a great tool for this work.

Teachers should regularly videotape activities in their classrooms and score one another's students to increase objectivity and accuracy on things like individual students' level of interest, the number of exploratory gestures students use when encountering materials or objects, and the duration of each student's engagement with one activity. Teachers who keep journals of their daily work with students might go through them at the end of the year to see how many occasions they created for students to figure out what they wanted to know—and pursue answers.

Actually, Einstein was partly right. Curiosity is delicate, and it does need freedom and stimulation. But that's not enough. It needs to be fostered and guided by teachers who feel curious themselves, and who value curiosity. Curiosity isn't the icing on the cake; it's the cake itself. Berlyne, D. A theory of human curiosity. British Journal of Psychology, 45 , — Coie, J.

2. Eat dinner as a family.

An evaluation of the cross-situational stability of children's curiosity. Journal of Personality, 42 , 93— Engel, S. Children's need to know: Curiosity in school. Harvard Educational Review, 81 4 , — Garner, R. Renninger, S. Krapp Eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Gawande, A. Better: A surgeon's notes on performance.

New York: Metropolitan Books. Susan Engel is senior lecturer in psychology and director of the program in teaching at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. February Creativity Now! Tweets by ELmagazine. Buy this issue. Curiosity is essential to learning, but in scarce supply in most schools. Where Have All the Questions Gone?

To gauge curiosity, we looked for The number and types of questions students asked anything from "Where is the Sudan? Encouragement: A Key Ingredient What might explain the gap between the intense curiosity of young children and the apparent lack of curiosity among older children?

What Can Educators Do? Hire Curious Teachers Schools should hire teachers who've demonstrated that they're curious. Count Classroom Questions Teachers should record lessons or conversations in their classrooms and then count and categorize the questions their students ask. Make Questioning a Goal Think of question asking as the goal of an educational activity, rather than a happy by-product.

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