My two oldest kids really love to learn. They both have their favorite subjects, their not so favorites too ~ but for the most part, they are pretty happy when our kitchen table (and every other surface in the house) is covered with opened books, papers, markers, worksheets etc.
Then, I have my little man. He enjoys learning. It’s just a little different. He learns things like: Can I lay on the dog without it getting up and running away? If Momma is busy answering another child’s Math question, how far can I get before she notices? If I’m quiet, will I get farther? Exactly what does she mean when she says STOP!? Does she really mean it’s OK take one more tiny step away? If I pull hard enough, will this whole thing come down? Is there anyway to make it look like I had nothing to do with this? Just how far can I push Mom today?
He’s ‘the baby’ and therefore has gotten away with wayyyy too much. He’s also very, very cute. He uses both to his advantage way too often.
This week, during the brief rain fall we all watched out the windows and listened to the raindrops. We talked about clouds, evaporation the whole water cycle. We learned a bit about plants and water supply. We read a rainy day poem. We felt both cold and wet on our skin… and smelled the fresh rain air. Thinking they were all properly inspired, I asked the kids to each do an art project relating to the rain. We chatted a bit and left the directions pretty open with ‘just as long as it has to do with rain’. There were papers and paint and glue, markers and chalk, scissors and stamps and pencils strewn everywhere. We sat in front of the big sliding door, blinds wide open watching the lovely falling rain.
My first clue that one of them was not super into this whole thing, was when I noticed ‘little man’ wearing my sunglasses, not making any art, of any sort. He stated simply, ‘it’s not raining in my imagination ~ it’s sunny here, not a drop of rain! Can I go play Minecraft?’ I restated the assignment… trying to make it seem inviting, but probably sounding a teensy bit threatening. I should have known better.
From the others, I received…. colorfilled, whole page drawings of a bright lighthhouse in a raging storm, and a sweet kitty wearing raingear and holding an umbrella under a cloud and rainbow filled sky. How appropriate and lovely! And then, little man hands me his plain #2 pencil gray drawing…. one side, ‘a dead man…. in the rain’ and on the back side…. ‘an elephant, stomping on a man…. in the rain’.
And… now I am regretting the lesson we did a few weeks ago on Hannibal and the War Elephants. And that I ever let my kids know about Minecraft.
I think it’s time to get creative in my teaching and parenting efforts. And by that I mean, stow the iPads for awhile and spend some time reminding my kids/students that yes, there is a Principal’s Office they can visit and no, that doesn’t mean a trip to the boat to hang out with Daddy. Well, it might mean that ~ but it probably won’t be as fun as it sounds.