Monday, September 14, 2015

Playing with puzzle pieces

“Why did God makes wasps anyway?” was the question of the day as a few students helped me bundle up apples falling and attracting them in large numbers at the edge of our property. The question seemed to be asked believing that there was no possible answer that could place these stinging pests as part of something good for us. As we carefully boxed up the fruit to make them go away we talked about God’s design in creation, pollination, controlling other insect populations, and other details. One of the students came back to me this morning and shared with me that she learned on the weekend that a wasp nest can catch five tons of insects in one year. I don’t know if she is correct, but I am excited she chose to look in to it and share her findings with me.

Those in education call this inquiry learning – following the questions and learning opportunities life presents. Children are keen to figure out their world and makes sense of it. In the normal rhythm of our daily activities we have so many opportunities to guide our students to understanding, rather than simply “dumping” information their way. In addition to gathering facts, figures and processes, students are busy building their way to an overall means to put all the puzzle pieces of knowledge together in a meaningful way. This includes answers to questions like: What is good? What is valuable? What is important? What is true? For what purpose did God make ____? Giving our children a means to “put it all together” is one of the best tools we can give them to navigate the wide ocean of information they have available to them.

I am thankful for the ability Christian education affords us to make our students master puzzlers. With the help of adults around them committed to the truth of  God’s promises, students are able to not only absorb content, but to connect and arrange what they learn in a way that shows biblical wisdom.

Perhaps I’ll have to change my yard duty instruction. “Watch out for the wasps. They may teach us something about God.”


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