The boys and I started reading The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong today. What I loved most today was that in the first chapter of this book, the kids are let out of school a whole hour early if they promise to wonder. They are to wonder why the storks do not come to their town, even though they do nest in several surrounding towns. This “wondering journey” sends them on adventurous pursuits of wheels and ultimately unites their entire community.
It reminded me of another book I read recently with Isaac, The Trumpet of the Swan. Every night, Sam Beaver, one of the main characters writes in his journal and ends his entry with a question to think about as he falls to sleep. What a great habit to nurture! His question of wonder – “How does a bird know how to build a nest?” – and his overall intrigue with birds and animals makes many things happen.
Not only do I intensely desire our kids to be people who wonder and question, but I want to be more like that myself. Too often, I just accept what comes at me or push forward to the next thing rather than pausing to think and wonder and question. How much richer our days would be as a family if we all could allow ourselves to wonder – learning and change would be meaningful, probably almost magical, in a sense.
My husband Don says, “Curiosity is a thousand times more important/powerful than information.” I want to keep remembering that, for myself, and especially as a teacher of these precious little minds and hearts.