Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life's questions

I am a firm believer in leading a child to find answers for himself. I try not to answer all of the questions myself...even if the answer is obvious...and that's difficult sometimes. It takes time to discuss an issue rather than just give the answer. Sometimes it's so much easier to just present the answer and the "because I said so" and move on...but I try to stop myself as often as possible.

Then there are the questions that even those of us who are older and wiser can't answer. I think practice in answering the simple questions for themselves can help kids think through the tougher ones...discuss them intelligently...and make informed, rational decisions on their own.

Case in point: 
Today in our study of cells and organelles, Reeves asked, 
"How did scientists find all of these things if they weren't visible to the naked eye?" 

"How did they know to look for them if they didn't know they were there?" 

"Were there really people interested in studying cells when most people long ago were only interested in searching for gold?" 

And my favorite...and the one I simply can't answer...can you? 

"I wish I knew what all of these parts of a cell were really called...back before humans discovered them and gave them new names." ( A nod to T.S. Eliot's Jellicle Cats perhaps?)

How does one answer that bit of wonder?

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