Thursday, July 26, 2012

Those "Teachable Moments"

I don't go looking for "teachable moments."  Learning just happens.  It's an organic thing.  However, those big learning moments seem to happen most often...

in the car.

Today we were on our way home from M1's swim team practice.  M1 asked if we had to go anywhere else today (no) and then asked if he could earn some electronics time by doing a chore for me.  "Yes," I said. "You can wash the dishes."

M2 wanted to earn electronics time of her own by drying the dishes, and I agreed to that, too.

"Awesome!" M1 chirped.  "I'm finally learning! Good things have good consequences and bad things have bad consequences!"

About bloody time... I've been trying to teach him that for years.  Then M2 piped up again.  "Mom?  Can you even have good consequences?  I thought consequences meant bad things, like getting electronics taken away, not earning them."

Clearly the girl has been paying attention to what most often happens to her brother and electronics.  I'm cautiously optimistic that we can return his electronics to him after we move and he won't abuse the privileges.  Fingers crossed.

Anyway...

"Not quite," I replied. "A consequence is anything that happens because of something else.  But the word often has a negative connotation."

I love using big words with my kids.  I love that they don't even try to pretend they know what they mean; they just ask.  "What's connotation?" were the next words out of M2's mouth, echoed shortly after by M1.

After I explained what connotation meant, they had a lot of fun coming up with words on the way home.  Fluffy has a positive connotation; ugly has a negative connotation.  After a few minutes, they asked why connotations were important.

"A lot of it has to do with writing and speaking.  Connotation helps you pick just the right words for what you're trying to say.  It's just one of those literature terms."

"What's literature?" M2 wanted to know.  I explained.  She was still curious.  Awesomeness.  "So are all books literature?"

"Well, no," I admitted.  "Some books just aren't.  And there are things that can separate brain-candy books from literature.  All books have some elements of literature, though.  Like the parts of a story."

M1's eyes lit up.  "I remember the parts of a story!"  At that point, he launched into an explanation of problem, rising action, climax, and denouement/resolution and even broke the book "The Chocolate Touch" into all those parts.  I was proud as punch.

Literature?  Why, yes.  We do that here.  Sort of.

1 comment:

farmwifetwo said...

I'm still trying to pound that thought through my nearly 13yr old.

Only problem is, he's too big now to lose those priveledges... but you'd think after all the years before... Last night he was pissy and looking for yet another fight and told me I couldn't yell at him and he just kept yelling... and I just simply told him I wasn't fighting and walked away. He wanted an answer and didn't want to hear it. That just pissed him off more. I have to watch b/c when he finally gets annoyed enough he takes it out on his severely autistic 10yr old bro who's 2.5" TALLER than him. Always has which is why he'll never look after him alone.

So, I finally had to tell the school what was going on in June - I've been documenting forever it seems - that we're reverted to the days of him being 6 once more. Unlike the Risperdal of those days the Adderall only helps with the concentration.

He's fine at school but he's entertained. He's nasty at home and will tell you, you can't rat on him. A sociopath in the making... the Counsellor is coming in the fall to the school.

Just when I thought I was getting ahead.. and I have he's caught up speech, school and a lot of his social skills... autism and ToM ganged up once more thanks to puberty.