Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where is Thumbkin?

Today I was reminded of the importance of being quiet. Carson and I were going to Target to buy a birthday present for a friend, and I suddenly realized the car was silent. No music playing, no dvd watching, no phone talking, no conversation at all. I almost felt compelled to make some noise, until I heard Carson's sweet little four-year old voice in the backseat. He was singing, "Where is Thumbkin, where is thumbkin, here I am, here I am," and it was a sound I wished I could bottle. It made me think of how we cram so much noise into every day, that it is no wonder kids have processing problems. When we got home, I was telling my husband about Carson's singing and he told me research has shown that kids, and adults for that matter, need quiet time to "decompress" and process what they are learning. I remembered an article I read in the July 2011 issue of Real Simple, titled "Silence," by Holly Pevzner. In the article, Pevzner talks about how our world is getting louder and gives some advice on how we can find peace. In her quest for silence, she discovered that the seemingly lost art is a cornerstone for the Quaker faith. Katherine Schultz is the dean of education at Mills College, in Oakland and author of two books about the importance of silence in the classroom as a teaching tool. She is also on the board of a Quaker camp and says that often a member of the discussion group will encourage the group to stop and have a moment of silence. Schultz says the outcome is "an incredible shift in the conversation, because we start reflecting, not just reacting."

All this has me thinking...we need to have more quiet time.

While I was making dinner tonight, my boys were playing with playdough on the counter next to me. It was quiet in the kitchen except for Carson humming the tune of one of his favorite songs. Every once in a while, Jonah would ask Carson to pass a cookie cutter, or Carson would ask Jonah to help him open a playdough container. These little bits of conversation between their concentration were priceless...and I heard it all. I could have missed just turning on the evening news.

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