Teachable Moments with Little and Big Kids
June 9, 2021
Spotting the Little Moments
Our days are made up of millions of moments, many of them teachable ones for our littles (and even our older kids). Do you spot those moments, Mama? Or are you too fixated on staying on schedule or stopping the kids from killing each other (again) to use those moments?
Don’t feel bad if you get caught up in the crazy (we all do!). But this day, this moment, will you make the most of it? You may miss a few, but you have so many teaching opportunities and lasting lessons you can impart because you have them home with you.
Take heart as you read these teachable moments from experienced homeschoolers at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine:
Homeschooling Multiple Ages and Grades: Teacher Tips by Marla Szwast
Finding Faith Connections in the Everyday Moments an Interview with Karen Whiting
When We Stop to Draw the Roses by Sheila Campbell
And remember, Mama . . .
When you homeschool, you have the gift of time. Time to be a super model. Not the kind the world drools over. I mean the real kind—a model of the Lord your God. A super role model to your children, who are always watching. You’re not perfect, and you have been known to have a few meltdowns yourself, but just a little newsflash here: you’re not alone.
The women of the Bible had all sorts of issues going on, too, and some of the men whom God Himself called “friend” or had His hand of protection planted firmly on their heads made some really big blunders. At times, they displayed faithlessness and even arrogance. Some got so fearful at times they froze, rendering themselves what they considered useless to the Lord.
But He who sits on the throne had other plans for them. His ways are so much higher; they are unsearchable! Who can know the mind of God? He is merciful and faithful, compassionate and loving. He created His own, and Mama you are one of them. You love the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul, and mind—even in all your frailties and disastrous days where you want to throw your hands up.
What sets you apart? You may blow it, but you realize it. You dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and start over, recognizing all the while the One Who has built your faith from the start. Inwardly you know it is the Lord who picked you up, yet again. How patient He is! How true! You worship that King of kings. You revere the Holy One, the one true God.
And your children see this. They see the messes and how you “clean them up.” You are modeling Christ. You are applying His Word to your life.
You are a super model, Mama. You use those teachable moments to show your children what is important and how to build their relationship with their God and with others. And it’s the Lord who -as always- has His hand on your head today.
Teachable Moments are God Moments
The truth is that some of the most teachable moments are never planned, which is why we should take the Shema as our most important homeschool directive.
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
As Christians, if we are to believe in the sovereignty of God over all things, then we need to surrender our schedule to Him and allow any small, seemingly insignificant teachable moment to be fulfilled by Deuteronomy 6:7, regardless of whether it was on our lesson plan for the day. In some instances you will find out they weren’t small at all!
We live in a world that wants to make the daily schedule and to-do list the ruler of our days. Sometimes we can be so task-focused that we forget to be present with our kids amid what is really going on in their lives. To choose to be fully with them is, in a way, to imitate and model the incarnation of Christ by “lowering” ourselves from our lofty plans to enter fully into the child’s world of joys and troubles.
I have had to let writing lessons go unfinished due to a dead frog and have had wooly worms take the spotlight when we were supposed to be learning to draw the heart chambers. I have even ditched school altogether on bad days when someone just wanted to cry and share their grief. We can help make our children aware of the evidence of God all around them. They are also learning about the fallen world and the pain that goes with it.
This passage also establishes the importance of the leadership of parents that cannot be passed off to another. Parents are the primary vessel that can teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to a child. We must not let multiplication get in the way of that.
Teachable moments are not elective credits. They are critical God moments to pass on the fear of God to your children. The most advantageous action you can take is to teach your children diligently even in the little and unplanned moments. Impress wonders upon them; love through the hurt; and warn of the snares of the world in which we live.
Kerry Tittle is a mother of nine children and a 20-year homeschool veteran. She was the owner of ReformationKidz with her husband Rob until a tornado destroyed their home and business in 2014, taking the lives of Rob and two of their daughters, Tori and Rebekah. Kerry is the founder of Refined Family, which is created to encourage others to find hope in the gospel in the midst of trials.
Embracing Teachable Moments
Homeschoolers have a secret ingredient in education – we can use teachable moments to increase the quality of education and the love of learning. A teachable moment is when the student is ready and eager to learn. Such moments do not happen every day, but when they do happen, embrace it.
Teachable moments are times of relaxed learning.
We can embrace teachable moments, filling our children with meaningful learning in a way that fits their needs. As homeschoolers, we do not need to drill and kill, test and quiz excessively, and refer to grading rubrics as a sign of success. Creating an environment of relaxed learning helps children to learn more and allows the parents to homeschool with less stress.
Teachable moments are possible when the student is awake and alert.
You may wish that your children could start school at 6:00 am and finish by noon, but if they aren’t awake and alert, how much would they learn? Set reasonable expectations on when they get their schoolwork done. Keep consistent hours, so they do not become sleep deprived by random morning or evening hours. For teenagers, their sleep need actually increases during the teen years.
Safety and security increase teachable moments.
Children cannot learn when they are anxious or afraid. A safe and secure environment will increase the frequency of teachable moments. That is why the very process of home education can improve the love of learning.
Technology decreases teachable moments.
Rest and relaxation can increase teachable moments, but technology is the opposite. It can overstimulate the student’s young brain because of the bells and whistles of technology, gaming, and social media. As their brains adapt to this overstimulation, students can become bored when not using technology. Learning and playing do not provide the visual stimulation they are used to and learning decreases. We have seen that excessive technology in education does not work, but it even reduces those precious teachable moments. Read TechnoLogic: How to Set Logical Technology Boundaries. Parents have teachable moments, too. When you are ready and eager to learn more about homeschooling high school, I have free homeschool training and eBooks for parents on my website, HomeHighSchoolHelp.com/Freebies.
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is a speaker and author of more than 30 books about homeschooling high school. An expert on homeschool transcripts and getting scholarships, Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. Grab some of the complimentary homeschool resources from Lee and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
Look What’s Happening!
The Arizona Families for Home Education organization is hosting the Homeschooling Changes Lives – AFHE 37th Annual Homeschool Convention July 16–17. Visit www.afhe.org/convention for more information. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Look What’s Happening!
Christian Home Educators Association of California is having their Keys to Homeschooling and Curriculum Fair on June 10, 2021! Visit their website at https://www.cheaofca.org/events/keys-homeschooling-curriculum-irvine/ for more information.
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is now available for FREE online! Click the graphic to read it cover to cover!
Congratulations to Lynn Hutchinson of Pennsylvania, who won our April giveaway!
for the month of June
Owl Pellet Field Biology Kit
The Owl Pellet Field Biology Kit from Pellets Inc. is a great add-on activity for any science-loving household, whether homeschooling or not. The Field Biology Kit contains everything you need to dissect real owl pellets to find actual skeletons—including three pellets, a magnifying lens, plastic forceps, and a twelve-page illustrated study guide. The study guide provides an introduction about what owl pellets are and a brief explanation about owl digestion, as well as illustrations of the food web of an owl.
My younger son is ten, and while he was initially stuck on the idea we would be looking at “owl poop,” he quickly dove right in. The forceps are a perfect size for smaller hands, and he could use them to grab the smaller bones. I also grabbed an old safety pin to clean out the smaller bits of fur wrapped around some bones. This is a kit for just about anyone who enjoys digging for hidden treasures. Because there are drawings of the bones that are expected to be found, it was easy to hold the ones we did find to compare.
We dissected one of the three pellets, and it took us about half an hour once we got started to pull out all the largest pieces. This would be an excellent kit for a shorter hands-on science lesson to go with a food web, a bird, or a mammal study; however, it really can stand on its own without any additional lessons.
This is part of a review for the Owl Pellets Field Biology Kit. Read the full review on our site with much more information about using this in your homeschool.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN the Owl Pellets Field Biology Kit.
An Ordinary Homeschool . . . With An Extraordinary God
Deborah Wuehler gives us insight into her very ordinary homeschool, but also reveals an extraordinary God. Topics covered are guilt, weariness, financial burdens, expectations, too many activities, balancing it all, making learning stick, and more . . . don’t miss An Ordinary Homeschool . . . With An Extraordinary God.
Teacher’s Pet Publications, Inc.
LitPlans from Teacher’s Pet Publications give you step-by-step lesson plans, including teacher instructions and student materials, for a whole unit of study for a work of literature. We’re so sure you’ll love our LitPlans, we’re willing to give you your first one for FREE (a $16.95 value)—knowing you’ll be back for more. Check out our website for thousands of downloadable resources for over 900 K-12 book titles. https://www.tpet.com/litplans, Code FD20.
This freebie and more found in our TOS Annual Freebie Directory here:
Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
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