Saturday, January 16, 2016

Love of Learning

My job as a mother and as a teacher is to inspire my kids to love learning.  My goal as a teacher is to help kids fall in love with Science.  I want to create kids that want to learn for the sake of learning, not so that they can pass a test.  Curious, self-driven learners are who are going to be the innovators and the leaders, not the kiddos who ace the test and forget the material five minutes afterwards.

I've noticed a lot of people ask me "Is there anything you can't do?"  Yes, there are lots of things I can't do, but there isn't much I am not willing to LEARN how to do.

This past week for example, I learned four new things:
  1. Use a saw and drill--not really skilled with that, but a few you tube videos and a little self confidence and I can install a cat door.  
  2. Decorate a cake a certain way--like a lemur?  Maybe not at first, but some practice, tutorials, failed attempts and trial and error and I can get it done.  Was it perfect? Nope, but it sure tasted yummy!
  3. Crochet a cool new pattern for an ear muff with a cool flower?  Maybe not, but it is easy to pull out the wrong stitches and try again.  After four attempts, I got it right and it looks really great!
  4. Make a music video for school?  I had no idea!  I took about 300 video clips of kiddos and used iMovie to put them together.  The finished product isn't perfect, but it is good.  My next movie will be better.  I went from not knowing how to turn on an iPad to making a pretty awesome video in a week's time.
While some things come easier than others, I'm not afraid of hard work to succeed.  I am not afraid to mess up and have to start again.  I am not afraid to fail and ask for help to figure something out.  I pray to God that I am teaching my kiddos at school and my own at home that failure is a part of life.  Learning is a part of life.  I will never in my life have to take a test on how to crochet or how to install a cat door, but I learned a new skill.  I enjoyed it.  It was fun.

When kids at school complain about math or history or science I explain it to them this way.  There are so many things you might love to do.  It's our job to expose you to a whole bunch of different things--math and history and science--so that you can find out what you really love.  Once you find that thing, you can focus on that in college or in your career.  It is so much easier to go to work everyday doing something that brings you joy.  Maybe one of you kids is the next math genius, but if we let you stop math because you didn't like learning times tables, you would live out your whole life missing out on something you were just meant to do.

What is your philosophy on learning new things??

Bethany at 6

Bethany, you are an amazing girl.  I can't wait to watch you continue growing and changing.
You love hairstyles.  Your hair is long and you love fancy braids and updos.  We look on Pinterest for ideas and you love to give mama a challenge at 5:30 in the morning. 

You love snuggles and being rocked.  You will always come in for morning snuggles, but occasionally you have bad dreams or feel crummy or say to me "I just need to hold you tonight" and you sleep in my bed.  Oh my word it is so wonderful!  You are still,you don't snore, you are just sweet and wonderful.

You are an amazing eater.  You will try anything, including octopus!  You love things no one else in the family likes--capers, pepperoni, hummus and Roquefort cheeses.  You take seaweed to school, eat casseroles, ostrich. . .you name it and you'll try it! 

You are super artistic like your brother.  You love to draw and color.  You are loving kindergarten and learning how to read.  It drives you crazy that brother and sister can read and you can't.

Your favorite show is Zaboomafoo.  We had hoped to get a lemur for your party, but Dan's lemur died.  He brought a monkey and other animals.  You didn't even flinch when he asked you to hold the four foot alligator.  You are so brave!

You have tow best friends, Adeline and Sydney.  Adeline is your best friend all day at school and Sydney goes to after school so she and you play a lot there.  I am so glad that you are making friends of your own at school.

You started dance this year and like it a lot.  You want to be in the nutcracker next year.  Right now you only take one class a week, Jazz. 

You were in your first plays this year: the school musical and Winnie the Pooh.  The acting bug has hit and you've tried out for several other plays in Act for youth.  I am so glad that you enjoy being up in front of a crowd.  Public speaking is such a wonderful skill to have.  You also keep a great attitude no matter what part you get or don't get.  That positive spirit is so admirable.

You are almost past needing loveys.  Anything soft will do to hold on to while you fall asleep.