Sunday, July 22, 2007

Saturday Quote

“Years later, friends of mine told me about one of their children, a girl of seven or eight. She had asked, begged, pleaded for a regular bicycle. They had given her one, and now, months later, she had not made the slightest attempt to ride it. What should they do, they asked. Try to teach her? Offer to help? Put on a little pressure—what’s the point of having a bike if you never even take it out? I urged them not to do this. Remembering my own skiing, or the remark of an old state-of-Maine lady and lifelong teacher that children learn to skate in the summer and swim in the winter, I suggested that this child was perhaps learning to ride that bike in her mind, and that until she had ridden it there, there was no use trying to make her ride it anywhere else. Perhaps she was watching other children, and thinking, thinking about what it would feel like. Some time later they wrote me that after many more months of not touching the bike, one day the child had taken it out, ridden it on the grass a bit fallen off once or twice without damage, and then gone riding off down the street with no trouble and had been riding ever since.”

Instead of Education by John Holt

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