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Genius, Stories from Childhood & Reading

By Zach Lahn on February 09, 2022

These are three additional lessons I added to my "go to" strategies as a parent. I hope they can help you on your journey.

1: Be armed with the Latin root of the word “genius.”

The fundamental belief at Wonder is that “each child is a genius.” Sadly, this belief sets us apart from other educational institutions.

Here is a quick read for you that will keep you seeing the light and spreading it to others.

2: Tell your children stories from your childhood.

Not just the pretty ones. Share the time you lied and got caught. Share the time you hurt a friend and still regret it.

There is power in passing on our stories of failure, mistakes, and regrets. Stories stick. And vulnerability begets vulnerability.

Our children will be called upon to solve their own problems at Wonder. Why? Because reading about moral dilemmas does not create wisdom. Life experience does.

Let’s help our children face life’s challenges with a reservoir of rich stories from which to draw. They are then armed to create better endings than we did.

3: Get caught reading.

A book. Just for fun and enrichment. Let your children hear you laugh, see you cry, lose track of time. The love of reading is contagious.

Wonder is a community of readers. We do not assign books to our young heroes because we know that zaps the love and intrigue of reading.

But have no fear. When set free to choose great books, young people certainly do.

If you want to get inspired, check out this partial list of books our learners chose to read last year:

  • The Jungle
  • The Illiad
  • The Giver
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Screwtape Letters
  • The Prince
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • 1984
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Flowers for Algernon
  • A Brief History of Time
  • Animal Farm
  • Heart of Darkness
  • Death of a Salesman
  • Catch 22
  • Madame Bovary
  • Lord of the Flies
  • A Sand County Almanac
  • Democracy in America
  • Man’s Search for Meaning

What are you reading? I’ve got some catching up to do.

[Blogs or portion of blogs may be adapted from the blog of our partner school founder and advisor, Laura Sandefer.]