Instill a Sense of Wonder, Curiosity

I’m almost sad to write it, but I was that student who slinked down in her seat, afraid the teacher might call on me. I was the kid that never raised her hand. I was the kid that was so insecure that I thought when I had a question, I was a bad person, a dumb kid, a stupid girl.

I thought not knowing was a really, really bad thing. And, even when I knew the answer, I often doubted myself and never tried to give the answer.

I’m not sure how that happened.

And the end of this story is kind of comical, really. By the time I graduated high school, all I wanted to do was ask questions — as a journalist. Then I became a journalist. I did that for more than a decade — learning a valuable lesson in life.

We must question. We must seek. We must explore. We must critique. It is not enough to just be fed answers. It is not enough to assume what we are told is correct.

Besides teaching our girls to be the kindest human beings possible, I want them to be questioners, seekers and explorers.

I never want them to feel shame for not knowing an answer.

So when I read about creating an “I Wonder” board in the book, “The Rhythm of the Family,” by Amanda Soule, I pretty much immediately made one for our family. The thing about parents and kids’ questions is that we don’t always have the answers and, therefore, we tend to brush their questions aside, making light of them. And yet they are so essential to staying awake and being mindful of what our children need from us at any given moment. This board takes those questions and highlights them as being so important. To me, this board says, “I care about what is important to you right now. While I do not have the answer, I value that you are curious.”

Now, I’m creative — witty, even — but I am not crafy. That’s why this blog doesn’t take the avenue of many others in terms of crafts to do with kids. We do them, but they are not my area of expertise. This blog will never have many projects that use a glue gun or sewing machine. This blog will always have projects that use your mind, your imagination and your heart. But, sometimes, crafts are necessary. At least the easy ones.

To make your own “I wonder” board simply take a bulletin board, cover it with fabric like this. Attach a few ribbons, if you wish, and then start adding questions. That may even be more than you need, really. You could do this a million ways — such as an I Wonder jar, or an I wonder journal. Whatever you need to do to make it easy and achievable for the whole family. We keep our board in our dining room/art room combo next to our hot chocolate bar for convenience.

This project was easy and I cannot stress enough how awesome our I Wonder board has been in our lives as a family. At various times in our day, the girls — or I — end up asking a question. A question that we really are curious about or a question that is just silly or a question that is plain old something we should know but do not!  

All questions that anyone has goes on the board no matter how ridiculous. All. I’ve even wondered why our noses run so much when it’s cold outside …

Questioning what happens around us is essential. It is remarkable how often we don’t double check or question or doubt how things are, how things have always been and whether what we’ve been led to believe is even true.

Seek. Explore. Question. These are the things we value in our family.

These are the things our Wonder board promotes.

Now that the questions are adding up, we’ll be finding time to research some of them. Others, we’ll just relish in the unknown.

Because we don’t always have the answers in life, do we? And that is perfectly, wildly, most amazingly wonderful. Isn’t it??

21 Responses to Instill a Sense of Wonder, Curiosity

  1. Mom says:

    I like!!!!

  2. Jena says:

    Thank you for this inspiration, Shawn. We’ve been more and more playful lately with these things–conversations like “Top 10 things you couldn’t do without” and “Name 3 things you think describe our family (Aviva said, ” unscheduled, unreliable, uncoordinated, and socialness”!!). I’m going to run with this idea and see if it sticks. xoxo

  3. awakeshawn says:

    Great ideas, Jena!! Now that the girls are getting older, I can see a lot of playful conversations in our future!! xo

  4. […] by Ginger Carlson. {She has a great section on storytelling. As well as Yes Days. And asking questions. […]

  5. The Hook says:

    What fun would life be with all the anwers?

  6. Wanda says:

    Great idea!!! We usually hope to remember the question to seek answers at a later time…but we forget so many and it’s such a shame. :(

    Thanks for sharing it on “Fridge worthy Fridays” as I wouldn’t have found it otherwise.

    • awakeshawn says:

      Thanks, Wanda! Someone else must have posted it on Fridge Worthy Fridays … that’s fantastic. I love, love, love our wonder board for the very reason you mention — so I don’t forget their fun, interesting questions.

  7. Pam says:

    This is fabulous. I love the idea of it. So many questions go unanswered not because we don’t think they are important, but because we forget. A place to store them is just what we need.

  8. […] you share a little bit more about your Wonder Board? See the original Wonder Board post […]

  9. […] Instill a Sense of Wonder, Curiosity {Awesomely Awake} The Increasing Burden Placed on America’s Public Schools {Vollmer’s List} *Click through to see this interactive list: […]

  10. beth says:

    I was so excited to see this. I had just been wondering if my girls would ever know how to find answers outside of google. We usually hit the search engines before we (I) forget. This is perfect for remembering those questions to take with us when we go to the doctor, zoo, grocery store or even church!

    I’m thinking I might make a board and use post it notes. Then have a ‘discovery journal’ to add those post-its to as we are getting ready to go to places where they might find the answers. They can ask away and write their discoveries. Definitely a good introduction to journaling for the girls too!!

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’m so glad to be following your blog! :)

    • awakeshawn says:

      Beth — That’s a great idea to use the journal aspect. I plan to introduce a ton of journaling ideas once my girls are a little farther along in the writing process. They are just in Kindergarten but I can see using journaling as a great tool for many things very soon!!! Thanks for visiting. I’m happy you found my blog as well. : )

  11. […] via Emily on Pinterest Wonder is often the catalyst for change, new ideas and solutions… […]

  12. […] girl. My amazing friend Jena sparked the concept of this project in me when she commented on my Wonder Board post about how she has conversations with her daughters about how to describe their […]

  13. […] well, again. Whatever the reason, the best way to play is to sit nearby or play alongside just by asking questions. Engage their minds, their spirits. Get them thinking differently. Get them wondering. Ask […]

  14. […] things they do. The rest of the time, I listen to their ideas and explainations and they make me wonder. Call me […]

  15. […] And oddities that we bring back for our Wonder board: […]

  16. […] by Ginger Carlson. {She has a great section on storytelling. As well as Yes Days. And asking questions. […]

  17. […] search for things in the woods and wonder about it all. What kinds of insects might live in that rotten, fallen tree? Where does that trail […]

  18. […] Did we take time to explore her interests rather than just acknowledging them and moving on? Did we wonder in awe about the world around us and just marvel at the amazing […]

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