You just have learn to recognize them when you see them. For example, fingernail cutting time. In our house, this can be a big deal. Our children are known for their over dramatic reactions, and clipping fingernails can turn into Emmy award winning performances involving the pain of cut nail. *Side note – They are not really in any pain, as evidenced in the fact that distraction techniques work to stop the drama. We do not cut fingernails to the quick. They are just being over dramatic.* A few nights ago, Daddy was cutting GeekBoy’s fingernails, and began to quiz him on multiplication facts. It worked as a distractor until they got to one that GeekBoy did not know how to work out in his head. I was passing through the room, and heard what was going on, so I pulled out the white board, and helped GeekBoy work through the problem. Then we did several others. He completely forgot what his father was doing.
Next up! BigBoy. He is too little from something like multiplication, but we are working on letter recognition. So I started to write letters on the board and before he even knew Daddy had started, his fingernails were all cut.
Last, but most assuredly not least, thePinkDiva, our newly crowned 5 year old. We’ve been working on simple math and reading, so I started of with some 1+1, and then we finished with a series of “_AT” words. Finally, she read the sentence, “Fat cat sat on rat.” all by herself. And again, Daddy was done with her fingers before she even realized he had started.
A teachable moment can be anything. It can be a lesson in morality brought on by a movie or tv show. It can be a conversation over the dinner table. Even a tick bite can be teachable. When BigBoy got bit last Saturday, after killing the tick, we – the mom and dad – learned more about ticks in the area and the possible diseases and what to watch for. Then when I found a tick crawling on my leg, I managed to capture it (after throwing it into the bathtub, recovering my wits, checking the kids for more ticks, and taking a picture so it could be more easily identified). I plan to use it to let GeekBoy do his own tick research. Even though I’ve identified it, I will let him take a stab at ID’ing it and see if he can figure it out too. We will learn how to identify species of bugs, and how to research bugs to learn more about their habitat. We will also learn about what to do if he finds one on him (call mom or dad!) and what not to do to.
It should be fun. A science lesson from a tick. Teachable moments.