Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures (Teachable Moments)

Good early morning to all!  Yesterday was very interesting to me for a couple of reasons.  The first is my blog idea for today literally came from the sky.  Once it hit me, I knew what I wanted to write about and I was excited.  The second reason it was interesting came after I looked at my calender.  Today, I am going on a field trip with Cameron to the zoo.  Though we’ve been to the zoo many times, I expect today to be different, in a good way, because we will be with his buddies.  I also realized my normal blog time would be taken up by the activity.  Therefore, I am writing this blog at 4:30am.  If you catch a typo or two, please forgive me.

Yesterday, I took a walk with Luke after speech therapy.  He loves these times with me because he’s the star of the show.  I love to let him lead the way and see where we wind up. Many times this means I have to carry him home; but I digress.  Sometimes Luke stops so he can point things out to me such as a tree, squirrel, or the occasional airplane in the sky.  It’s like he’s my little tour guide of the subdivision where we live.  I love it!

It was on one of these stops where today’s idea hit me.  I mean it really hit me because it was a falling leaf.  I stared at it for a second before I realized the many things I could do from a teaching angle.  A quick science lesson would be obvious for an older child than mine.  Luke is three years old so I decided to have him count some leaves on the ground.

Counting leaves is an example of a teachable moment.  As parents, we are surrounded by them every day regardless of the age of the child.  The trick is to recognize them and take advantage.  Last Monday, I blogged about ratios and how it affects a child’s education.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.  With leaf counting, I was confronted by a teachable moment at a 1:1 ratio.  When parents take advantage of these moments, learning explodes over time. Let me state this in a more direct way.  When we take advantage of teachable moments other parents don’t take advantage of; we give our children an educational “leg up.” Being a former teacher, I can speak to the disparities of intelligence with children before they ever come into a classroom.  Though I don’t want to go too far off topic with this blog, I will throw in the fact that the leaves were free.   

Here’s two ideas with teachable moments for sports fans this weekend.  If your child is learning about estimation in math, have them estimate how many fans are at the game/event.  The results can be found in a newspaper or online.  If they are just beginning estimation, perhaps estimate how many points will be scored.  If you are at the game/event and they are working on money concepts in school, have the child count the money needed before going to the concession stand.

 
My final piece of advice is to not go too crazy with teachable moments.  Sometimes, we have to enjoy events with our children for the event itself; not just what we can learn.  Also, too many time outs from an event for teachable moments can lead to “awwww (mom or dad) here we go again.”  Please remember, as written in last Monday’s blog, I like quick hitting assignments.  If, for example, you are at a football game for three hours and you take three minutes or less for a teachable moment; odds are you are still going to have a ton of fun.

Check back in this Monday for an education blog.  Also, please remember to pass along this blog to parents you feel would benefit.  I write these blogs to help teach what I have learned.  There are lots of people who could use a helping hand and would appreciate the advice.  Have a terrific weekend!      

3 comments

  1. Lauren says:

    Great topic! I love how you used the leaves for counting and can totally see Luke finding more leaves that you ever intended to count!

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