tis the season

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's All About the Experience

One of my job duties at work is conducting training classes for people that work with young children. Tonight was the first in a series of six meetings on children's language and literacy development called Care to Read.

This first workshop is full of information on language development that serves as a foundation for future learning. The series focuses specifically on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

The teachers had a lot of questions about the most effective method for teaching children to read. That is not surprising given the fact that there are so many schools of thought out there. My answer? Regardless of what curriculum and approach to learning you use, the most important element is the experience.

Is it a good experience for the child? Did he enjoy it? At the end of the day, it won't matter if you didn't finish a book or read it exactly word for word. What will matter most is the child's perception and feeling about the experience. If it's a positive one, he'll come back to it.

One the way home, I thought about how this same principle holds true in almost every other area of life and development as well. For example, if your experiences of learning how to drive are positive ones, you'll be more confident behind the wheel of car. On the other hand, if your experience isn't so good and is full of harsh criticisms from the trusted adult with you, then you are going to be less confident and likely second guess your abilities.

What really counts and sticks with us throughout life is the experience, the walk, the journey. The desired outcome isn't perfection, just growth. And even the lessons that come in the midst of struggles carry a special weight because of what you went through to learn them. The experience.

You don't have to pray with the most eloquent words or sing with the most beautiful voice. God sees and hears you regardless. 


  1. Just what I needed to hear, Jessica! I'm struggling right now with helping my kids in their studies and I find myself losing my temper with them. I needed to be reminded of this, because this is what I have always desired for my children- that they would want to learn. It's so easy to get sidetracked with expectations! So thank you for the reminder to stay on course!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. If you ever need to vent or ask advice about the kids please let me know. This mom-business hard stuff!