Monday, September 12, 2011

Physical Joys: Spontaneity (and a Praying Mantis)

Today was the first day of our "B & Mom School" and the first section of the Teaching Your Children Joy book is on the Physical Joys.  With my faded memory of glancing through the activities over a year ago I thought we were going to start out with learning about the body and all the great things it can do.  Instead, Chapter One is all about spontaneity.

"Nature never makes haste."

My first instinct was to skip right past Chapter 1 and get a good jump into the next set of activities.  I feel like I, myself, am a fairly spontaneous person, and assume that rubs off on my children.  I'm not a creature of routine and will drop everything if something fun comes along.  Random is a well-used word in my vocabulary-we are always doing completely random things.  But that's not what the spontaneity activities teach.  For me being spontaneous often means escape.  For children, spontaneity means being 100% involved in their surroundings.   

"Get excited with children."

Today's activity was all about listening, watching, and following; having equal and active interest in what B and P were doing.

    Equal:  Get down on their level and see what they are seeing
    Active:  To teach them they have to be able to reach you.
                        (My BIG weakness is responding without paying attention.) 

What We Did:

1.  Shopping.  Normally I would put both kids in the cart, but today I let B walk.  The challenge for me was not rushing along.  He wanted to look at everything. "Look, mom!" "I want to see that, Mom."  "Whoa!  Mom, how does that work?" "Can we do this, Mom?" I lifted him to see what was up high, he got to touch and feel, we talked about what we were seeing.  It was very eye-opening. (So nobody thinks I'm perfect, impatience did creep in before we were finished.  But at least I was aware of myself hollering, "Come on B" & "Let's go, B)

2.  I let B pick one of his new purchases for today's school activity.It was random, but he was so excited to make this Shrinkie-Dink Saturn and hang it in his window.

3.  Mom's A+ for the day:  B & Peyton were playing outside when all of a sudden B started screaming.  I came running to find B hiding and Peyton inches away from picking up a praying mantis.  Moms, let me tell you-praying mantis' are UGLY bugs!!  But I could see that both boys were curious.  Against all my girl-y instincts I sat right down with them on the porch and we watched that praying mantis for 20 minutes or more.  We saw it's belly moving while it breathed.  We watched it stretch out it's legs and lift it's  body.  It jumped, explored, and then came back to it's original resting place.  We saw how it's arms look like they're folded in prayer and that it's head is a triangle.  We guessed what praying mantis like to eat and B said he wished all the mosquitoes and praying mantis' would go live on another planet like Jupiter. I was one second away from shrieking everytime it moved, but after awhile I just couldn't look away!


Being spontaneous is a little exhausting, but
I can't believe how much Teaching Your Children Joy is already teaching me...

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