Several years ago I was caring for a 10-year-old while her mother worked and found she was way behind in her school work. So, instead of letting her vegetate in front of the TV, I spent at least an hour a day working with manipulatives, listening to songs and other tools to help her learn the times table. I had her help me in the kitchen baking so we could talk about fractions. She complained to mom that I never played with her. I was no fun.
In the car one day with both of them, I pointed to a traffic sign and asked the girl why it was yellow. She didn’t know. I helped her work it through by using the example of a traffic light. The mom yelled at me “Not everything has to be a teaching opportunity!”
I disagree. Strongly.
Childhood not only is the time when most learning happens, it is easiest then. It also is a time that sets up patterns for life.
We wonder why there are so many lazy people. So many people who drink and dope. So many people who can’t keep a job because they don’t have even the skill to report on time and be responsible. Children learn from the adults around them.
So, yes, every moment is most certainly a teaching opportunity with children, even when we are passive. They are watching.
We want a better society…..it starts at home. You are amazed how bad kids behave today…..it starts at home. You think the clerk at the store is rude….it starts at home. Be the example you want to see.