Childrens Books

Curious George: Life Lessons

When was the last time you stopped being curious?

Do you remember wondering, thinking and…?

Walt Disney quoted…when you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do…we keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious and the Curiosity leads us down new paths!

Spring cleaning…it’s time to dump things that haven’t been used or read in a while and put them away in the garage, give them away or sell them. We have all these Curious George books and the memories have started to flood in. There’s no way these books will sell for a dime in the yard sale. We keep them for the next generation.

We learned so much from George. George was our buddy when the kids were little. We had posters, lunch boxes, DVDs, books and toys from George. Thanks to George, we learn:

1. Adventure. Life is an adventure. Everything is worth trying in our big world. George travels the world with his friend and he never hesitates to try new things. Everything fascinates the explorer in him, the familiar and the unknown. George even tried to get on the hot air balloon alone. George learned his lessons by trying.

2. Practical experience and discoveries. George takes things apart; he studies them and tries to reconstruct them. George understands how things work after taking them apart.

3. Fun and fun to learn. George knows where to look for fun. He has no reservations about wanting to do things. He went to visit a chocolate factory and tried chocolate in all shapes, sizes and flavors. When offered more, George had had enough.

4. Helping hand. George is ready to rescue and help. He helped save a toy train for a young boy on the tracks. The boy could have been killed and the trained toy destroyed without George’s help.

5. Kind and nonjudgmental. George is friendly with everyone. He seems to bring trouble but in the end, he saves the day!

George shares his life with The Man in the Yellow Hat. This man embodies a best friend, mentor, comforter, teacher and provider. He is always there for him, in the bad as in the good times. He teaches George life lessons after every incident and never yells or judges. He is the parent that we can model.

Every child needs a mentor like the man in the yellow hat is George’s mentor. What do you think?

Along with his mentor, George has Hundley the unadventurous dog and his owner, the friendly doorman who always has a suggestion for George. There’s Chef Pisghetti, the owner of an Italian restaurant where the man in the yellow hat likes to dine. Professor Wiseman, a good friend of the man in the yellow hat and who likes to hear about George’s adventure. She is another great source of encouragement for George.

Through George’s community of friends, we learn the importance of a diverse friendship. George has friends who do not condemn his curiosity. He has friends who don’t share his passion but they still enjoy each other’s company out of mutual respect. And your children? Do they have friends who respect them and do they respect their friends?

In our traditional teaching world, students of all personalities and learning habits are put in the same classroom to learn and memorize facts and figures every day.

Do you think this form of learning has dulled the curiosity and creativity of our students over the years? By the time they graduated from high school; most students lose their Curious George learning habits. They are conditioned to memorize and regurgitate everything they have and don’t know exactly what they have learned?

Where are the learning practices and modalities? For example, how to balance your checkbook might be a skill, but not which of the following countries was the most industrialized during the nineteenth century?

While the market has produced an endless supply of children’s books over the years, the Curious George books by Margret and HA Rey are still holding their own after 70 years.

For fun, we’re going to watch the little children’s show tonight. We received a DVD from the library called Curious George Takes a Vacation and Discovers New Things. We sometimes discover simple children’s stories that can teach us basic life lessons and a great reminder to live a curious, adventurous and risky lifestyle.

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