Daily Schedule

Monday, September 21, 2015

Thinking Things Through

I saw this book advertised somewhere this summer, and knew I had to buy it and somehow work it into our weekly school routine. As Maria Popova from "Brain Pickings" writes on the cover blurb, the book is:

"Certain to give you pause about much of what you thought you knew, or at the very least rekindle that childlike curiosity about the basic fabric of the world we live in."

Can a Bee Sting a Bee? is a book made up of questions asked by real children, and thoughtfully, sometimes poetically, and concisely answered by experts. Doctors, scientists, philosophers, outdoorspeople, authors, musicians, etc. all give their answers in a way children can understand. Contributors include anyone from Philip Pullman, to Bear Grylls, to Noam Chomsky.

Today, I asked two questions from the book, and we talked about what we thought the answers were, before reading on. One was from the title (and, yes, it turns out that bees can and do sting other bees, for various purposes), and one was "Why are some people mean?" This brought about a wonderful discussion, and children thought deeply about this. Then they shared their ideas with their classmates. I heard, "Some people are just born that way", and "Some children don't have such good parents, and learn to be mean", and "If someone is mean to you, you want to be mean back".

Ask your children about these questions and others - great dinner-time conversation! I will be occasionally posting some of the more interesting and thought-provoking ones here, so stay tuned!

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