Learning from Jelly Fish

jelly fishI want to explain my thinking on parenting and education to you since coming to embrace this educational philosophy and I want to do it by telling you about our recent camping trip. We went to Breezy Point Beach and had a campsite literally ON the beach. It was amazing. The water was warm and we were in HEAVEN. As we put our feet in the water and began to get in, we noticed a jelly fish, and another and then another.  Before long we were just sitting in the sand looking at the water.

Well, the next day, we found another beach at the campground that had been netted off so sea creatures couldn’t disturb our time in the water. We were so happy. We set up our umbrella, and all run to the beach. We’re splashing around, and then a JELLY FISH! There was a hole in the net and jelly fish were sneaking in. Well, my son got his bucket and started catching them and studying them. Then he would carry them to the unnetted area of the beach so he could set them free. My 7 year old, went out into the water, CATCHING jelly fish. They sting. They are dangerous. But he was so focused. He spent hours and hours, catching all types of jelly fish. Before long he would have small crowds of people around him as he talked to them about what he was learning about the jelly fish. He caught some that were eating a baby crab. He caught different color ones. He caught big ones, small ones. He caught some that were injured. He named them. He would just sit there and observe how they moved.

Was I nervous? Yes. Did I want him to stop? Yes. But he was following his interest which is his insane passion for animals. He was learning, exploring, experiencing, all without my interruption of his own designed learning process. I would ask him questions about what he was learning, but that was it. I did not interject or try to “protect” him too much. This is the epitome of what the school stands for. He NEVER got stung. My heart was in my chest the whole time and I stayed close in case he needed me, but other than that, he was free. This is the type of learning experience we are creating for every student that comes to the Living Water School. If this is what you want, you have to be brave, patient, full of faith in God’s ability to protect your little one and then be willing to set your babies free.

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