Children aren’t born knowing what we consider “accessible” to them. They find it out based on their experience of what’s around them, what we let them have access to and what they make of it with their own minds and hearts. Sometimes adults can expect both less and more of the child than he is capable of. They can give him material that Charlotte Mason would call “twaddle” and then expect him to be able to work with it on a level more suitable of an older student. A lot of teaching errors come from one or both of these mistakes.and
Probably the bottom line is that children aren’t dumb. They are as intelligent as we are, but their intelligence works through their hands and senses and creativity. So we don’t have to dumb down things to make them accessible. Perhaps we think that letting them explore with their hands and imaginations, and “play” with the experience, is dumbing down, but that’s just because adults have a limited idea of what intelligence is.Lovely to read about Willa's daughter, now a teenager: "Obviously she wasn’t [at age six] comprehending the full story but Shakespeare and Tolkien have continued to be big and joyful influences on her life."