Yesterday was one of those days that everything went right!
The kids science class was going so well, I think they went half an hour over what was intended. When they were done, they all headed off to work on reading, taking notes, and making creative pages.
Hoping to give the kids some inspiration, I showed them examples of each other’s work. Well… it worked better than I anticipated! They were all busily working for the next two hours! After seeing the older kids notes, the younger crews pages started taking on a whole new look. No longer a quick drawing with a short sentence or two, Humphrey the whale has a pull tab to jump out of his pocket with an informative list of facts!
My two youngest decided they no longer wanted to be held back by waiting for me to listen to them read. They each picked up books on their own and started sounding out the words. I don’t think they are retaining much, but more importantly, for now, they want to be in the game and are excited to read.
Then to top it all off, my son came in to show me what he had been working on. Similar to one a cousin had made years ago, he was creating leather journals.
Two of our goals in raising children are to instill a love of reading and love for learning. Sometimes it might not feel like we’re making progress, but yesterday the fruit was evident!
Don’t let boredom set in this summer. Give them a little inspiration and who knows what might happen!
With school (mostly) done and the wedding approaching, the girls and I took time to do a fun craft project in preparation. The idea came from the Martha Stuart website: http://www.marthastewart.com/265315/butterfly-barrettes?xsc=eml_crd_2011_05_17
Our youngest daughter was delighted to be the flower girl in her oldest brother’s wedding this last weekend. She wore a fancy purple dress that her sister had made and a matching butterfly binder in her hair. She did enjoy the wedding, but the best part for her came afterwards when she learned the basket of flowers was hers to keep!
We made enough butterflies, so all of the youngest girls could join in the purple theme.
I remember so many times, when my oldest children were young, wondering if they would ever learn to say “please” and “thank you” without having to remind them. We would practice repeatedly while we worked, played, ate… “Thank you Mommy for breakfast.” ” Thank you Daddy for tying my shoe.”
I think that one of the most pleasurable ways to teach manners is at an afternoon tea. Of course, who couldn’t enjoy taking a break in the middle of the day to sit and chat over tea? When the children are young, it is fun to invite many stuffed animals or dolls, that way the children can help teach the “guests.” It is a delight to hear a four year old repeat to a teddy bear, “Would you care for some tea?” “Would you like cream or sugar?” and to have the child reply for the bear, “Oh, yes please!” and “Thank you so much!”
Even now that many of our children are older, there is nothing like sitting together with a cup of tea in hand. It seems to set the mood for some quality time. I still want my children to know, whatever the age, that I have time for them and I want to listen.