Labor Day week is widely considered the end of summer! For us it is officially the end, starting today both kids will be “schooling at home”.
So it is was only fitting that we got to do something that was a fun experience that showed me yet again how learning can be done in unexpected places and without any actually planning to make it a learning moment. Those moments just seem to pop up and smack me in the forehead! As if God is reminding me (AGAIN), “I got this! Your kids will learn something new when you least expect them to! You made the right choice!”
Trips to Grammy and Papaw’s house are always fun, and now looking back I realize how great my parents are at making sure our kids are not just having fun but learning, making memories, and experiencing new things. Whether it be helping Grammy make homemade banana bread, going fishing with Papaw, working on those social skills with their cousin, and going all sorts of new places, all those experiences are LEARNING!
This time we went to a Kansas City Royals baseball game. Thanks to Hurricane Issac, we got hit by A LOT of rain and our game was in danger of being canceled or postponed. As it turned out the game the night before was postponed and we got to watch a double header. I am not a big fan of baseball, but this is one of those “I love my kids and I want them to experience things I did not” sort of events, so I smile and go. This is my third major league baseball game and, by far, the best experience out of all of them. It stopped raining, so it was cool. We had great seats. The kids are both old enough to actually understand the game and were interested in it, which is where the learning part came in.
Our almost 5 year old daughter was very interested in the game at first. She wanted to understand who was playing, how, and what they were doing and why. She quickly learned all the little songs and chants. She picked up on when to clap and even had pretty decent rhythm! By the time we watched the last 6 innings of the first game and all 9 innings of the second game, she declared in a very tired little voice, “Mom, I want to learn to play baseball” (and, of course, her daddy and papaw grinned from ear to ear when they heard that!)
Our almost 11 year old son had a great time. He already understands the basic behind the game, but had questions about some of the traditions, nicknames of the players and about scoring. So he was still learning, too. He got lots of fun spending time with his cousin and made some new friends as well. So all in all everyone had a wonderful time and the kids got to have fun and learn all at the same time.
Now, I get to prepare for a scary moment for me, the start of my daughter’s academic career. I know, it is seems odd that I would be worried since I have been working in early childhood education and childcare for years, but this is “official”. We are starting at the beginning! Not jumping in feet first in 5th grade and making sure our son has what he needs to be ready for high school and fighting against some of the “bad habits” of public school or discovering the gaps in the curriculum between his public school education and the curriculum we choose for him. This time we are starting from the very beginning. A clean slate, yes, but it is still scary. No one to blame but ourselves this time! I am trying to not get myself all worked up and worried…I know we made the right choice for us, but it is scary to “go it alone”. Wish us luck?
Tomorrow is our “1st day of Pre-K”. Has your child started school yet? Home school or public school? How did it go? Are they enjoying themselves and learning, too?
I hope everyone has an amazing school year!