Sense of Wonder

This summer, Laura Sedlock, the new Director of our Pre-Primary Program, opened our Summer Institute with this quote from Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder: 

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
— Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

Today, our twos began their year at Blue School, and our teachers began to build companionship with them in partnership with the parents and caregivers in their lives. We are lucky and grateful to offer a program that allows our parents and caregivers the chance to spend this time with their children in school. In so many ways, entering school can mark a moment or threshold in development in which children trot off to become social and question the world with greater independence. But here in the twos program, we intentionally build the foundation for this threshold over time, and this allows our grown-ups precious moments, days and hours to watch that transition take place, to see the child they share their days with connecting and working things out with other kids, and observing what kind of learner he or she will be. 

In parallel, we are working on grown-up routines in the twos program, i.e. what do we notice about the children's conversations? How do they connect? What fills them with delight? Which materials afford the most agency for children to think through ideas? How do they learn to take turns, share, explore? Our twos program demonstrates how Blue School values the ideas and choices of our young people from the beginning -- by allowing children to explore a rich environment and experiences carefully designed by their teachers, and to discover answers to questions alongside the adults in their lives. 

We encourage you to take a peek into the twos room on the 3rd floor now and again this year, where you will see our youngest learners engaged in deep investigations, and our grown-ups working hard to show the twos that school is a place you can be joyous and excited, a place where you are encouraged to explore and to find mystery in our world, a place where your sense of wonder is your most powerful tool.

Posted on September 10, 2014 .