Lost words

I haven’t written a blog post in months, my winter was ok, but on reflection, I think during terms 3 and 4, I was in coping mode and had so little headspace to think and reflect, I felt I had nothing to say. The Easter break, getting back to my regular swimming routines, a bit of travelling around and seeing people and the sunshine has hugely boosted my energy, thinking capacity, and mood.

This first week back in term five has been a delight with the children. This week we have been bug hunting; it is a gentle activity to do, it encourages children to notice, slow down; it’s a mindful activity. It’s also a helpful activity to link to feelings and emotions. There are often comments about being a bit scared of specific bugs and noticing what bugs do when they are afraid of us. We talk about how we feel and how we know when we are scared and what we do. One boy told me he was scared of spiders as they might jump out at him, and if they are hairy, they are poisonous; I reassured him we wouldn’t find a poisonous spider here. For this boy, telling me something scared him was a positive step. Until now, he often shows that he is strong, nothing scares him, and we were able to talk about how it is ok to be scared and what we can do when we are afraid how it can be important to notice when our body is telling us we are scared.

I noticed with lots of the children and their friends that joined in was the lost words. They didn’t know the names of bugs; some children thought flies were bees, another child thought worms were snakes, children thought a dandelion was a sunflower or a buttercup, children didn’t know the name for a slug or a beetle. At first, I thought this was one small group, but then I saw it repeated in 8 schools over the week. It has made me wonder, is this unique to the children I am working with?. I wonder if this is Covid related?. Is it due to the enormous amount of time children have missed out on their last year of the nursery? Or the lack of opportunity for them to be outside and explore the awe and wonder around. I would be interested to know if others have noticed this.

For the next few weeks, we are going to continue thinking about bugs, learning names of bugs and flowers and what we see around us; I am hoping to replace those lost words for the children.

4 thoughts on “Lost words”

  1. Thank you for your compassionate, reflective and interesting post…perhaps we all lost some words during the stresses of the past year…a good reminder to us all…but especially those who care for children. I am going out today with a new focus – to appreciate nature with awe and wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You might be interested in the book lost words, by Rober Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, which was inspired pre covid by the fact that certain common words of nature are less known to kids these days. Words like conker, otter or kingfisher. We saw a beautiful performance of the book at a festival. Would be a good teaching book I think.

    Like

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