Even though it’s probably early to think about these things for our daughter …. I wanted to ask to you about homeschooling or self-learning in general.
– Mom of a 6 month-old in Mumbai
It’s never to early to entrust your child with time, space, freedom and respect, and to
observe how she expresses herself, makes choices, and explores. Respond when she calls. Include her in your work and conversations. Include yourself in hers. Clear the way and let her roam, touch, bang and use all her senses to seek knowledge and experience. If you don’t want her to touch (or taste) it, keep it out of reach. Ensure that there are plenty of real things (e.g dishes, buckets, water, mud …) and not just toys that she can touch. Say yes often so it becomes natural. If you have to remove her, "That is unstable, let me find a stronger chair that you can climb" gives more information than "don’t do that." Much is conveyed by your tone, and babies often start understanding words sooner than they let on.
Challenge yourself to learn from her as much as she learns from you. Listen. Alfie Kohn writes about the hazards of “blurting out judgments of our children” – the reasons he lists apply to much more than the beleaguered “good job.”