The Web of Teachable Moments

Confession–my first week of back to school has resembled scenes from Animal House rather than Little House on the Prairie. Yes, I have felt like I’ve been in a never ending frat party. I have two rambunctious boys plus a studious girl (yes, she gets it from me). The quiet one room schoolhouse does not apply to me and I do not want it to. I repeat, for my own sanity, I do not want it to. After all, I chose homeschool to cherish the teachable moments with my children and to let them deeply pursue their passions and interests.

When I think about this week versus the summer, I think about what has changed. During the summer there was camp and other fun learning activities I planned. But I was LAID BACK , not focused on a curriculum and staying ahead. I embraced the the day and focused on teaching in the moment. I sat back and kept my mouth shut while they independently researched and designed their own projects. Instead of creating teachable moments, I took advantage of the teachable moments that presented in our lives.

Today I was greatly reminded of teachable moments while trying to get everyone ready to go to a friend’s house. This animated depiction on the creator of Legos captivated all three of my children’s attention for 17 full minutes (Lego 80th Birthday Animated ShortAfterward it sparked interest in Latin roots (Lego means “I built it”). It also created a discussion on the country of Denmark and also how Legos get shipped worldwide. We also began discussion on character–the Lego creator’s perseverance, vision, and positive attitude is what lead him to continue to develop a high quality product over the years. He did not give up in troubled times, but found ways to turn a negative into a positive. He always found a way to keep his vision alive to deliver perfection to people.

This short detour reminded me of why I am homeschooling. The spark in their eyes as they learned historical background of their favorite toy ignited a development of a Unit Study that will incorporate several subjects. We are going to learn more about Denmark, how things are shipped globally, some more Latin roots, and more in depth history of Lego development and design. My son is also obsessed with learning animation so we may also branch into animation at end of this unit.

It is easy to take a concept your child is interested in and develop a unit study. Use your imagination and creativity along with your child’s and watch their love of learning soar!

About Jennifer Walker, MS

I currently blog about mindfulness, meaningful life-learning, Montessori and Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
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