Bright eyes. Lit-up face. Alert body. The world expands. You can almost grab the light bulb over the child’s head and hand it to her. Sometimes his whole body springs into action, ready to do, try, create. I really, really, really love being part of these moments—they are a gift for everybody involved. So it’s more than worth it to me to take notice of when and how learning happens:
When there’s appeal
When there’s beauty
When there’s humor
When the child takes some initiative
When everybody is relaxed
When learning doesn’t feel like learning
When everybody is having fun
With repeated exposure
With good tools
With incentives/tangible rewards
In my experience, there’s more than one way to create a spark. What works with one child, or for a particular subject, or at a certain stage, is not guaranteed to work across the board. I find that I have to be willing to continually evaluate, shake things up, switch things around, and generally get crafty.
So talk to me. When do you see sparks? When do they really start flying?