Only your child knows what your child is learning

This is a hard truth. I might diligently observe, I might ask questions and be present, I might think I know a lot about how children learn, but I will never *fully* know what a child is learning. They are the expert on themselves!

This is why documenting learning, in ALL settings, only gets us so far. We are sorely mistaken if we believe that we can accurately and completely say what a child knows and can do at any given time.

I wrote a while back about how, for those of us who either have to or like to keep records of our child’s learning, it might be interesting to involve our children in documenting their own learning.

Not only because this feels much more respectful, but also because we can document to our heart’s content but are we really creating a full picture?

The reason I think it’s important for children to document with us, if they wish, is that only THEY know what they are learning, and why something pulls them, and where they wish to go with it. As long as I watch and assess through my own adult lens, I’ll only ever have a partial understanding.

Our children know themselves better than anyone, and they know what they know better than anyone too. Perhaps leaning into keeping collaborative records, and constructing learning together, may help give us more of an insight.

I also recognise I need to be okay with our children not wanting to document their lives – not everyone feels a need to take notes, keep files, remember things. I always have – I was the child with the scrapbooks and diaries. My children – not so much, and that has to be okay. 

It’s okay to not have to prove your learning to the world. In fact, it can be an act of rebellion against a society that needs us to constantly work and produce to gain acceptance and feel worthy.

Which brings us to trust. I trust they know how best to learn, and how best to organise and retain what they’ve learned. I can’t assume my records are the final word on their inner processes and lives.

My children know themselves best, and they get to decide what to share with the world.

(this blog post is from an instagram post I published a while back)

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