This kind of reaction from babies and children shouldn't surprise me because in my family, wonder was always the motivator to learning. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle said, "All knowledge begins in wonder." Albert Einstein expressed it this way: "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." A child is born to learn, create and explore. Anything we can do in our schools and as parents to foster a sense of awe and wonder will create great learners. There needs to be a realization that rote memorization, worksheets and testing do not foster a love of learning or reading. For without wonder, there can be no true learning.
Now that I've experienced this fact with my own daughter and students, I realize that many children's stories, folk tales, fantasies and family traditions are meant to cultivate that sense of wonder. Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time, encourages all who wish children to discover and learn to participate. "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, 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." Some schools and parents don't read fiction or fairy tales, one of the great creators of imagination and wonder. Many day cares and preschools today focus on academics rather than imaginative play. Some parents believe that telling their children that there is a Santa Claus is telling them a lie. Yet avid readers, as well as television and movies watchers, know that "suspended disbelief." is a necessity. "I can't wait to come home and fall into a book." simply indicates
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