Saturday, 18 June 2011

Potty training as an analogy for education in general.

Well, at last Iona has begun potty training! It happened nearly 3 weeks ago, on the Monday. I'd previously tried to teach her to use the toilet, with a training seat on it, after the potty didn't seem to inspire her when she was very young. Meanwhile the potty languished in the bottom of the pile of soft toys in the living room. On the Monday morning she rediscovered the potty, said she wanted to do a wee on it, and did! Since then we've barely looked back. It took a bit longer to get the hang of doing poos in it, but she's mostly able to now, especially if I remind her where to do it. There have been a few accidents, so we've tended to put her in nappies when we're out, to be on the safe side, but overall it's been remarkably easy. She's basically potty trained herself!

All this seems to me a lot like the whole process of education. We prepared her as best we could by reading books about using the potty, talking about it, becoming comfortable around it, then when she was ready she just taught herself. In the same way, I think, especially with things like teaching reading, maybe I just need to learn to relax and trust that, if I provide every opportunity for her to learn, she will do so in her own time.

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