Friday, September 12, 2014

Learning Together - a little of what you fancy

One of the skills I believe is important is social confidence. Some children are naturally confident and others struggle with confidence but I want to know my boys will be equipped with social confidence to see them through different situations.

So this week rather than a 'homework activity' I'm going a bit 'real life'!

Bounce needed a new reading folder for school, which you get from the office. So in we went together. Rather than me asking it for it, paying, sorting it out.... I got him (with coaching and encouragement from the sidelines) to do it. We started with a 'good morning R (school receptionist)', 'Can I please get a reader folder'.

I did the payment as it was on EFTPOS but he also wrote his name on the folder. Of course I would have like to do that myself with fancy writing and what if he made a mistake?? but all of the greetings, asking for what you need, taking responsibility and thanking are special skills that I want him to develop.

If I was held up getting to school one day or there was some other situation arise then I want to think he will have the confidence to go to the office, speak clearly and ask for what he needs. Small situations provide good practice for him to relate to adults, communicate well and feel heard.

Photo Source Here
And for a little more, we went to the markets yesterday afternoon after school - sorry boys we're not walking home to do homework we're going out for a treat - when we got there I told them they could have up to $5 to buy a treat.

In this situation I want my boys to practice these skills:
  • decision making - it is a smallish amount of money for them to handle but they can choose from a large variety of options. Looking at options, narrowing down favourites, checking and re-checking is a little tedious and not for the frazzled or time poor but it is a helpful skill to exercise. All through life there are times to make choices and learning to do this and live with the consequences after you tried the first mouthful is an important skill. (Been caught out on choosing something that looks good but tastes disappointing? Yeah, me too!)
  • dealing with money and change - I would expect Flip to be able to tell me how much change he will get from his choice and Bounce is still working out what is less or more than $5 by looking at the prices, reading the amount to me and deciding if the dollar number is less or more than 5.
  • social confidence - waiting your turn, speaking loudly, saying thank you, handing over money... these are all important activities that children don't get to practice that often in real life contexts
Of course this is also fun, it's a treat, it's building collective family memories and I am very blessed to be able to do these things so easily with the boys.

What about you? Do you encourage your children to take the lead in shop interactions or making requests of adults at school/ kindy? It's easier just to do it myself I admit, but I get such a feeling of delight in seeing my boys take these things on and have success and positive feedback from adults in our community and in the long run these are real skills I want them to have.

Learning Together a series for primary aged children and their parents - activities that break up homework monotony, promote skills and create positive experiences together.

love you more than a sweet treat for mummy too xxx