a quiet time to read
tomatoes to anticipate
siblings that love to spend time together and plan trips together
Have a great weekend!
Listening from the kitchen, I could hear the conversations taking place in the next room among the children. The older team was sending their younger brothers and sisters out to do some collecting. They had gathered together discussing the differences between sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. After a few instructions, the hunt began.
This summer, my 8th and 9th grade daughter and son have the responsibility of teaching a science course to their younger siblings. The curriculum is called Considering God’s Creation. Filled with creative projects and coloring pages, the children have fun learning about the universe, earth, plants, animals, and so on.
Not only does this help take pressure off me, but it also enhances the course experience for the children. One of the best ways to nail down understanding of a subject is to teach it. As the younger children are learning, the older two are getting an excellent review in preparation for their more difficult courses in the fall.
Although this method does not come without obstacles, the intrinsic growth by interaction, family relationship, and practicing communication skills far out weigh the object lesson. First of all, the younger siblings don’t naturally want to give the young and inexperienced “sister and brother teachers” their attention- but what a better way to learn! By staying close, yet out of sight, I am able to help monitor and listen for behavioral issues that need tending, stepping in, only if needed. In addition, the “teachers” have a great opportunity to work on developing their own skills (building character all the while). It takes work and practice to be able to hold the young students attention and present information in such a way that they understand and retain.
With enthusiasm, the kids came running back with their chosen rocks and sorted them into various piles. They examined each one, and I could hear the ” oohs” and “aahs” from their supportive siblings as they took note of the unique characteristics of the rocks they had compiled together.
You don’t have to wait until your kids are older to try this. Nurture the ability to learn from each other! Every age thrives on having responsibilities and being a much needed part of the team.