Monday, March 30, 2009

Finding Joy "In" Teaching

“Mom, when can I go to school”
I don’t know how many times I have had to explain to our 4.5 year old that she will be staying home with me and not going off to join most kids that spend the day elsewhere.
You would think this would bring any child great joy.
Not our “Gillie Gally”. If someone came in on the tail end to those conversations they would think someone broke her favorite toy or something.

Finding joy in being responsible for the schooling of your young ones isn’t always as easy and glamorous as the front of the curriculum books make it seem. I love my kids more than life itself, but due to my own confusions about the “right way to teach” It often shows in how I run our days. If I had to blame one fault of my own that stood in my way I would say “selfishness” keeps me from devoting more time to my kids and I am sure I am not alone.

But today was the dawn of a new found perspective that has left my heart overflowed with joy and encouragement to keep on this course.

Our daughter can add!! When searching for a Pre-K curriculum in the winter I noticed not many started in Pr-K and the ones that did taught numbers, letters, colors, shapes and the like I took a look at the Kindergarten curriculums. Most of what I saw started at the level that I had currently brought her to. Sounding out, letter recognition and counting. So I went for it. I figured I could give myself a good year to work on in case it went to fast at times. But I am proud to report 3 months into and she is adding. It absolutely blew me away because I was sure we would be working on this for quite some time.

The excitement in her eyes over what she did brought so much joy to my heart it seeped out into her willingness to learn more. Now learning has become fun. It was always fun for her but I was having trouble bringing my own fun to it for her sake. Sharing that moment of breakthrough melted away all my selfish desires and I was able to have a share a moment like no other. Now I know what I was missing and my selfish desires don’t seem so appealing to me.

Without any hesitation I offered to take her to the small store where she could pick out any treat her little heart desired for making me so proud and working so hard on her school work. After rewarding her…she added all day long. In fact she couldn’t stop adding. Watching me light up at her accomplishment fueled her desire to learn and please me.

Today was a great accomplishment.
Small but one for the books…one I can talk about for years to come…and one that has bonded my daughter and I for a lifetime.

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