Do you ever get frustrated that a task is taking the kids so long to complete? It could be a life skill, a creative project or as it was for me today, an academic learning task. In our Bible study time this morning, the kids are recording something about Noah’s flood. They had over an hour yesterday and at least an hour today and they are still not finished. It was at this point that I recognised my need to focus on the process not the product.
- The product will be a Glog – which is really a digital version of our old poster project
- The process is all the thinking that they will undergo, in order to create such a project.
When I stop and think about how the kids have actually spent that time – they weren’t daydreaming, or wasting time – they were processing what to do and how to do it. That is learning.
Then this afternoon Naomi was sewing a pair of shorts. She is trying to cut her own pattern and be resourceful by using bits of fabric from the cupboard. But stuff happens and things didn’t work out quite like she thought – not initially anyway. My encouragement to her was for her to think about all the learning that took place to get to the place she was. Once again she didn’t just stare at the fabric and wish for a pair of shorts – she thought, asked questions, tried, fixed, and altered as she worked throughout the afternoon. That is learning.
Learning isn’t as measurable as we like to think whereas making something is measurable. What we need to understand though is that learning is going on behind the scenes – the end product is just the external manifestation of a learning process having taken place, but it isn’t the be all and end all of the learning experience.
This is a very important thing to remember.
Next time something takes longer than you think or when things don’t go as planned instead of getting frustrated with all that hasn’t happened stop and think of the learning that has gone on, the real learning. It is in the process of producing something that we learn.
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