Tot School – 20mo twins – Learning Without Teaching

This last week we have had grandparents staying with us.  There’s  a lot more sitting in laps, running around and just having fun.  Any structured learning has been put on hold.  We spent several days outside in the back yard.   We have a small see saw that the boys like.  They climb on and mommy frequently has to get them going by rocking the saw and I usually say see saw as they are riding up and down.  Very fun, very informal, very play.  This morning after all the company has gone home and we are left to ourselves and I was amazed at their newly discovered concept.  James had pulled over the basketball goal and it was laying on the ground supported by the rim.  Lance started shouting see saw as he ran over to climb on the post.  James followed  and climbed on the other end of the goal.  They both stood up and down over the post saying see saw. 

What this reminded me of is that as a mom, not everything has to be structured and God has given us the ability to learn on our own.  God has certainly given my boys very curious personalities.  So when I don’t think that  I’m teaching my kids enough, I need to remember that God has mercifully preprogrammed my boys to learn.  Learning does take on the form of formal, informal, academic, physical and spiritual.  When I look at each day, I’ve managed to work with them on one of those areas specifically.  It might not be the sit down and spend 30 min without interruptions, but the boys pickup more than I realize that they do.  It doesn’t surprise parents when kids get to the point of repeating what their parents say.  Parents aren’t sitting the kids down and intentionally teaching those words.  Most parents are aware that this will happen.  So why should it surprise me that they can learn concepts the same way too?

Which leads me to a very good reminder.  I’m teaching my boys about God by the way I behave and what I do during the day.  They are learning informally from me about what a wife does to serve her household and her attitude about it, what kind or unkind words I’m speaking to friends on the phone, grumbling about the kid’s behavior or encouraging better behaviors, praying at meals and other times of the day.  The list could go on.  So when I’m feeling that I just haven’t done my job as a mom, I need to step back and remember that my boys are indeed learning and informal learning is just as important as the formal academic lessons.

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