Monday, October 3, 2011
Take Time to Find the Connection
Last Friday, my daughter woke up sick with a cold. She was groggy and not much into school. We've been pretty good about sticking to our schedule, so I decided it wouldn't hurt anything to take a sick day and let the kids relax and have the day off.
But right about the time we normally start lessons, my son fired up the school computer and asked if he could put in his "dinosaur" CD. Okay, sure, I say, not thinking that it will last long because the material is a little dry. Just picture after picture of different dinosaurs with a few skeletons thrown in. Not in the least bit interactive.
Whoa. Next thing I knew, my sick girl was suddenly off the couch and in the library with us and both kids were carefully drawing the dinosaur they had up on the screen, then carefully looking it up in one of their books to get the name so they could label the picture accurately. And then it was on to the next dino picture.
Somewhere along the line, it occurs to me that I have a dinosaur pack that I downloaded this past summer. After giving the printer a workout, I was rewarded with some excited squeals from my son. Their favorite activity was the spin and graph.
Then out came the miniature toy dinos. And the school camera. My daughter took pictures (see above) while my son set the scene for her.
"You're the best mami!" said my son, followed by a giant hug.
And when I looked down at him, there it was in his eyes. The excitement. The joy. The connection.
Sometimes, we have to find that special thing that makes learning fun. Oh, yeah, it should always be fun, but occasionally we get into a little routine - which is comforting, don't get me wrong! - but maybe we get a little boring. Gasp! No! Did she say boring? Andale, m'ija, homeschooling isn't a perfect little world. But even if you aren't homeschooling. How often does your kid come home excited about what she's learning? Oy.
Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. And that means sitting down and thinking about what it is that intrigues your child. What sparks their imagination? What puts a smile on their face?
Find a way to help them apply what they are learning in school to the subject that most interests them. If they're studying geometry but they love art, break out the papel picado crafts and challenge them. Or maybe they are science lovers, but cry when you make them read a book. Pick up a copy of Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals and let them discover new countries, animals, and people.
The best part of living is learning something new about the things of which we are passionate. Sometimes we just need a little help connecting it all together.
Con mucho cariño...