We did our calendar, weather graph, and counting routine. My little guy sat obediently at the table responding to questions and doing his work. I pulled out the manipulatives and taught the new concept. I was then tempted to put them away quickly so that we could move to the next thing. Oh, how often I rush them through.
You see, we had already had interruptions to our day.
It was piano lesson day (which is exciting because my kids love their teacher!) and we had a city employee out to try to find the source of a water leak on the property. So, it was one of those days and I just wanted to get things done!
But, as I began to sweep all of the pattern blocks into the zipper bag, my six year old protested and said that he wanted to "make something" with the pieces. I am grateful for the nudge (and not the sledge hammer to the head as I sometimes need) from the Holy Spirit because I have to admit that I don't always recognize these moments. Honestly, I have a bad habit of cutting off this organic style of learning and serving the curriculum...but I'm learning:)
After letting him design for a while and discussing the names of the shapes and which ones fit where and why, I pulled out...yep, you guessed it...the curriculum paper that we were supposed to complete. Seeing the word problems on the page, my little guy jumped up and went over to the game closet and returned with a felt Math game. I watched as he created his own word problems. One after another he created and solved on his own. This was SO MUCH FUN that he wanted to keep right on going. So, of course, I obliged. We never did complete that curriculum paper:)
I would say that it is real learning. At the moment that I handed over the reigns of learning to him, there was this spark that just kept growing. He was excited and pushing himself to solve more and more. And, as Mr. Toad will tell you, driving has an amazing kind of addictive quality to it. Putt-Putt-Putt.
This is just the beginning of a lifelong love of learning.
It doesn't always happen this way. Sometimes we just follow the curriculum plan. But, I'm learning to allow the kids to do some of the driving...and loving it!
Sometimes those moments are harder than others as the baby cries, a toddler flushes something down the potty, or some very active little guys scrape knees, etc.. But, it is where...
I am not suggesting that you use no curriculum (unless that is your calling). I do follow a curriculum. But, much like my daily schedule, I'm try to let curriculum be the training wheels to learning and not the master.
*I'd like to apologize for the quality (or rather lack thereof) of the pictures in this post. I just snapped these quickly with my phone as my camera wasn't nearby.