Friday, March 28, 2008

Part-time Teacher

I'm not a homeschooler, I don't plan on homeschooling and even if I did homeschool I would not be very good at it. I get way too frustrated when my children play dumb. However, I think our daily lives present many opportunities to teach our children and I like taking advantage of them. Please allow me to give a few examples.

I have a four-year-old daughter who's forte is language. That definitely gives me an advantage. Every season I have wonderful chances to explain things to her. With flowers blooming everywhere I'm able to tell her specifically about daffodils and cherry blossoms. When we drive in the car, Tabitha yells out, "Look at all those daffodils, mom!". She did this just yesterday and I thought to myself, "I was over 25-years-old before I could distinguish a daffodil from a crocus, yet here's my four year old telling me." If that wasn't impressive enough, I will continue this story. We were on our way to a friend's house. She watched Tabitha and my 2-year-old, Seth so I could take my youngest to the doctors. When I returned, my friend informed me that Seth looked out the window and shouted, "Daffodils!". She was impressed that "flowers" wasn't specific enough. I was impressed, too!

This morning presented another learning "session". I looked out the window of my breakfast nook and was tickled to see a FAT red breasted robin. I called Seth over to show him. The robin quickly flew away, but was replaced with a couple of beautiful cardinals. One was red and the other not so colorful. I oohhhed and aahhhed at the beautiful bird and pointed out some distinguishing features. I said, "can you say cardinal?" He dutifully repeated me. Time had passed and he looked out the window. The birds were gone. He kept asking where the cardinals were. It warms my heart to know that he can learn these things at such a tender age. If he builds on this foundation now I wonder what kind of bird watching he'll be capable of as a teenager and even further along I wonder what kind of amazing things he'll be able to teach his own children.

Learning is not only about knowledge, but experience also. I think that children should be given the tools to explore their creative side as well. A few weeks ago I bought some supplies at a very cheap price. Each child received a ¢.44 plaster character and a paint brush. I was the one who dipped the brush in the paint between colors, but they chose which one they wanted and how they wanted to express themselves. I ended up with three beautiful "above my sink" window decorations and they ended up exploring their creative sides. I'll close with a few pictures.

Tabitha and her horse:

Seth had a car:

I think Patricia got more paint on herself then on her ladybug:

Their bright new home:


Fab said...

Michelle - Great artwork and story.

It's great that your kids are getting specific with their language instead of calling everything by a general name. Most of us don't give kids enough credit. At very young ages, they'll learn the differences if you tell it to them.

Both of us grew up where kids were just considered annoying little brats, so we kind of missed out on all those little lessons.

Well, praise God that He's given us a chance to stop that pattern. My biggest prayer is that I don't get upset with my kids for having life so easy, yet they complain LOTS.

glassgirl said...


Great update! I also love that the kids are interested. Sometimes even when you tell them names of things, they might not care. Yours obviously do care.
My favorite is the one of Patricia. I already see an artist blooming. Look at her intensity and focus on that paintbrush and ladybug. She really is painting!!!