Monday, January 30, 2012

Teachable Moments

I am not a morning person.  I have tried it all-- getting up and exercising early, going to bed earlier, you name it.  So far the best I can do is COFFEE.  My children are polar opposites in the morning.  I have the early bird who is up and showered and dressed and at the breakfast table with a bright, happy face ready for conversation at 6:05am.  While the other comes downstairs at 6:25am, hair dripping wet, quiet and hoping to not have to make eye contact or small talk for at least 30 more minutes- at least she doesn't growl at us any longer. 

However, a new phenomena has begun at breakfast.  After 12 years of plugging along, me fighting the urge to be the grumpy morning person I am, getting to school on time and in a ready to learn mode, breakfast conversation has become an important part of the time I have with my children.  We discuss their day, my meal choices for the week, sometimes the older sibling imparts some words of wisdom to the younger sibling, in short-- it has become fun.  And during these dark, lamplit-because-it's-still-dark-outside winter mornings, there are teachable moments.  Sometimes they are life lessons like how to deal with mean people, grumpy teachers or other social issues but sometimes they are more academic.

Last week, even though my choice of oatmeal for breakfast drew several groans, I served the oatmeal with lots of different topping choices:  brown sugar, pecans, bananas, apples, raisins, chopped dates, etc.  So while my children complained, they loaded the sweeter items of their choosing on top of the oatmeal to try to salvage their breakfast.  The dates spurred the conversation, "where do dates come from?".  With the help of a trusty ipad, we answered our questions.
They come from date palms
Date palms are typical to Northern Africa and Middle Eastern countries although they are being introduced in California
They are a staple of the North African diet
A typical date palm can produce 1,000 dates in bunches that weigh up to 18 lbs.

Leaving me feeling very fulfilled with the little nuggets of information I was able to teach with very little effort.

The next teachable moment came a few days later when our discussion of the XGames led to the question- "Why do they start so late?"  spurring a conversation about time zones. 
The XGames are held in Aspen, Colorado which is in the Mountain Time Zone.
What time zone are we in? Central
Which way does the sun come up? In the east
So where is it light first every morning? here
And some of the intricacies of how the business world needs to operate and the need for time zones.

Rest assured, these conversations did not any where near cover in full the topics we discussed BUT the quiet time we spend at the table has provided the opportunity.  The opportunity to share questions and answers, teach them to be inquisitive and seek information, and to know that there mother will TRY to help find answers to everything from life's problems to why the sky is blue. 

1 comment: