I am a planner by nature, and with the advent of pinterest, I once found myself planning a year-long curriculum of preschool. Our lesson on the moon, for example, involved reading a book, talking about the dust and rocks on the moon, and bouncing on the trampoline to simulate moon gravity. We followed that plan for quite a while, but we didn’t really need it.
The kids have strong interests, and while I might like planning out a lesson on the moon minute by minute, the kids don’t like me telling them what to do. In fact they were ornery and uninterested in my lesson, I was frustrated with their lack of participation and enthusiasm (I mean, come on, I just want to educate you about this fascinating object that inhabits the night sky, just sit down and listen!), and we gave up on the whole preschool thing after a couple of months.
I’ve kind of learned my lesson. Now, I try to just ask them, “What are you interested in learning?” Then we go learn about that thing. I give them my time, and I let them fill it with ideas. The other night we played with a candle and talked about why fire needs oxygen, that it is the wax that is burning to create the fire, that you can relight a candle by touching a flame to smoke, and how wax is solid at room temperature, but liquid at higher temperatures. Just a warning: you have to be prepared to hear “why” a lot, but that’s the fun of it!
Planning was stopping me from really learning with my kids…not the lack of planning, but the planning itself.
What about you? What stops you from learning with your kids? What interests your kids?
See this post on the After School Activities Link Party: