Teachable Moments

Good early morning to all!  Have you ever had an idea so obvious- you felt like you were slapped in the face with it?Yesterday- that’s exactly what happened to me.  The idea for this article came from the sky- literally!  Once it hit me, I knew what I wanted to write.  What you will find inside is a real key to education seldom discussed.

Yesterday, I took a walk with Luke.  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.  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.

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 young 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.  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.”  I like quick hitting assignments.  If, for example, you are at a basketball game for two hours and you take three minutes or less for a teachable moment; odds are you are still going to have a ton of fun.

If you liked this article, please remember to pass along this blog through Facebook or Twitter.  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!

One comment

  1. nina says:

    Yes, as we get on with everyday tasks there are many teaching moments that we can have fun with.