My son Will is special; he has special needs. He is on the Autism Spectrum and struggles with speech.
Often when I watch him I can see the gears in his head turning, but he can’t figure out how to get the words out to say what is in his brain. While I have never been peppered with the question, “Why?”, I can tell he is asking this inside his brain because he is always observing.
Though he can’t often tell me, I know he wonders about a lot. I believe this because he is always observing; in the car, on the sidewalk, at the store, everywhere! My husband and I have officially given him the “Worlds Best Traveler” award; because when we get in the car to go anywhere he hops in happily, and rides along looking out the window and truly takes in everything he sees. He never complains, and has never asked, “Are we there yet?”
I think this observation skill is the key to a strong Wonder journey. We talk about Wonder being a process of exploring and finding new information. This has to begin with observation...looking around and taking in all that there is to see. Kids are naturally curious, as they observe the world around them. Wonderopolis is flooded with student questions about everyday objects and everyday life because this is what they observe.
As classrooms around the world begin the school year, and a new journey of Wonder let us remember to give time to quietly observe. Observation is at the heart of all wondering.
After watching my son I’ve come to believe that observation is the “silent wonder” and the ultimate spark of curiosity in us all.