Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Talking" to our Kids

My husband recently came across an article that discussed a study which found that children don't only learn science in the classroom. They also learn from experiencing places like the zoo and from (hold onto your hats) talking with their parents. We had a good laugh over the irony in that statement but it did make me think about what my children are learning from "talking" to us. We don't use curriculum for literature, social studies, or science. We read a lot, and we discuss all kinds of topics with our children. We talk about the books they've read and about what we've read. We discuss politics, far-off places and religion. The newest issue of Popular Science is always a favorite subject (my boys love Popular Science but I highly recommend tearing out the ad section or your children may get more of an education then you want).

Dinner time is often a place for spontaneous discussions. Last night Thinker started us out with a random, "If water is just hydrogen and oxygen, can you split it and get oxygen?" That question lead to a discussion on hydrogen-assisted vehicles and then onto scuba rebreathers. That is a chemistry lesson no one is likely to forget! In my opinion this is the very best way to learn. I am amazed by the things my children know that we've never "studied". The thing is, until recently I never considered these discussions to part of my children's "education". I guess sometimes it's good to take a step back and look at the all the things you're teaching your children without even meaning to.

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