Children are young masters of flow and young masters of learning. No matter into which culture they are born, no matter their gender or economic status, for young children, playing and learning feels the same, and flow is perfectly natural. The more children can play freely and spontaneously, the more they learn.
The state of flow can be experienced while playing with sticks and pebbles, or with expensive toys; it can be accessed while playing an instrument or baking a cake. Flow turns each activity into a very personal, empowering learning experience, and it makes learning fun and exhilarating!
During children’s spontaneous play each step seamlessly flows into the next, even when an activity is strenuous. Have you ever observed a child eagerly building a sandcastle, climbing a tree, or crafting a doll house out of a shoe box? Time is forgotten, and small and big decisions are continuously made in a state of knowingness, willingness to risk, to be creative, and to experiment. In flow, children learn how to learn and practice focusing on a self-chosen task.
Children in flow take charge of their experience and set their own meaningful goals. This kind of state is very similar to what adults experience in their most fulfilled moments and their highest achievements in fields such as dance, sports, music, chess, and any hands-on activity and movement that requires creativity and concentration. Inevitably, flow is also a state of optimal performance. If nurtured in childhood, learning in flow will naturally continue into adulthood.
When we allow children to be in flow, we provide access to the potential of their mastery. Mastery is an expression of flow and is developed during flow. An advanced skill level takes more than thinking, reading, hearing about, or just wanting something. Proficiency takes practice, and the most powerful, effective practice is done in self-chosen flow. It takes deep, focused engagement flow to become fluent in any skill. Flow cannot be forced or directly instructed by a teacher or parent; instead, it must be allowed to expand. It needs a place to be.
Flow To Learn will help you discover, cultivate, and celebrate moments of flow. You will be surprised at how patient, resilient, and masterful your child can be, when they find an activity that lights up their spirit!