Conversations with Children: The Wonders of Research

Me and The Boy

Both my boys are somewhat enamoured with the music of Jurassic Joe. You’ve probably never heard of him. If you’ve got young children, that’s a real shame because his music is all about dinosaurs, and it’s equal parts fun and informative.

Jurassic Joe is the reason Big Brother can tell you the difference between a T-Rex and a Giganatosaurus.

So we were listening to “the dinosaur music” in the car the other day when Big Brother pipes up, “I think Jurassic Joe must have been alive when the dinosaurs were.”

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Because he knows so much about them.”

“Well,” I said. “I don’t think he was alive back then. But I bet he did a lot of research.”

“Research? What’s research?”

Only one of my favourite things in the world… I thought, and wondered how the word had never come up in conversation before. “Research is when you come across a topic or an idea that you find interesting, so you read about it and talk to people about it and find all sorts of information about it. Research is searching for information so you can learn about something.”

“Wow,” said Big Brother. “That sounds awesome. That’s the best thing ever!”

“It is! Mummy loves researching things.”

“Can I research something?”

And a previous conversation re-played itself in my head. A conversation from the day before when Big Brother explained to me in no uncertain terms that he didn’t need to go to school anymore, because he already knew everything that happened there.

“Yes,” I said. “You can research whatever you’d like. Whatever you’re interested in. Research is one of the best ways to learn anything, and you can do it your whole life. In fact, research is one of the reasons you go to school.”

“It is?”

“It is. At school, you’ll learn about a lot of different things so you can find out what interests you and what you’d like to research. Plus, they’ll teach you how to do research.”

“Really?” His eyes were wide.

“Really.”

He was silent for a few moments. Thinking. Then he piped up, “I want to research buildings! And remember how you bought me that colouring book with buildings from all over the world? Well, I can use that to start researching buildings. And the whole world. And I’m going to research the whole world. And sea dragons!”

“That sounds great,” I said.

Another minute of silence. I could hear the cogs in his mind whirring, processing, wondering, dreaming.

“What am I learned to research at school right now?” he asked suddenly.

“Well, you know how you want to research buildings?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“One of the first ways to learn about buildings is to build them with blocks. That way you learn how to make buildings stable, and how to make buildings look good.”

His whole face lit up. “And I know how to build buildings really, really wellI’m great at building with blocks! Wow! I’ve already learned Level One research on buildings!”

I smiled, but didn’t have time to reply before he was off again.

“And do you know what Level Two research on buildings is?”

“What?”

“Drawing them! And I’m really good at drawing buildings! So I’ve already done Level One and Level Two research on buildings! I wonder what Level Three research on buildings is?”

“I’m not sure,” I said.

“Wow,” he said. “I love research.”

“Me too, Sweetheart. Me too.”

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14 Comments

Filed under Life With Kids

14 responses to “Conversations with Children: The Wonders of Research

  1. Nicole L. Bates

    What a brilliant young man! I am so impressed by him and I’m going to have to follow that link to Jurassic Joe! It sounds like something my son would love! Thanks for sharing these snapshots of your life and your family, Jo.

  2. That is just the best — love this conversation. I hope Level 3 of research about buildings is even more awesome than Levels 1 and 2. And I hope he always has something he’s excited about investigating. I agree with both of you, research is awesome and one of the best things ever 🙂

  3. I always love your conversations with the boys, they are precious and oh-so very wise for their age. 😀 Can’t wait to hear what the next step is.

  4. I could actually see that conversation, with him squirming about, getting excited and you riding that train. So great.

  5. Level 3 is making buildings from other materials – snow, or sand, or branches from trees, or blankets and pillows.

    Does anyone know what level 4 is?

    • Him and his school friends have built a “shelter” in the school yard, made out of branches and sticks and stones, and anything else they could come up with. They’ve got a roof and a fireplace and a couch and a verandah. Maybe he’s ready for level 4. 🙂

  6. Kate is

    That is adorable. I love your conversation.
    On an interesting note, did you see the stats that said one in four people believed we lived with dinosaurs. Thank goodness for research.

    • Oh my goodness, Kate, I did see that research. It’s crazy. And this is what comes of a world where research is something to be dreaded rather than enjoyed.

      Thanks for reading!

  7. And all praise to you for introducing a love of active learning in such a sensitive way, prompting Big Brother to find answers for himself. (The right answers, of course!)

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