On his blog yesterday, C.C. Chapman talks about the importance of Quality Time. I think that topic is behind many of the ideas shared in his book and in the sketchnote above. One does need to take personal quality time but there is also a great need within us to have quality time with our families.
Near the bottom of the sketchnote above, you may notice this message: Never stop wondering and wandering ... always keep learning!
Wondering, Wandering, and Learning together as a family is a great way to spend the quality time we have together!
Looking for ideas to jumpstart, encourage, and inspire WONDERING?
Along with the great things they share all year, Camp What-A-Wonder is about to start!
Join us for Camp What-A-Wonder, a fun, free opportunity for parents and children to learn together during the summer. This year’s theme is “Uncover the Wonder Around You,” celebrating the many ways Wonder can happen anywhere, at anytime. Camp What-A-Wonder will take place Monday – Friday, June 17 – July 26, following a different theme each week!
Small kids, small responsibilities. Bigger kids, bigger responsibilities. That’s what I subscribed to as a mom, and it seemed to work pretty well, for the most part. We learned fairly early not to tie an allowance or money to household jobs, especially after that first time we heard, “That’s alright. I don’t need any money right now, so I’m not going to clean my room.” Ouch…our incentive backfired!
Jobs became part of being a member of the family and were not optional, just like me cooking meals and making sure there was food in the fridge. My kids got an allowance but that was to learn how to manage money, save for things they really wanted, and just have a little jingle in their pockets.
With summer coming up, kids help more with household chores. Some of the best early jobs involve setting the table, clearing the table, rinsing dishes/loading the dishwasher, and sweeping the kitchen floor. Yard work, trash duty, caring for pets – what responsibilities do you give your kids?
Have you ever considered doing this? Just returned from visiting my son who has given a shot to fulfilling his dream of having his own business. Great to see how happy he is, although he's working 24/7. He's "all in" and loving it!
Technology seems to have allowed more people to take that risk of starting their own business--maybe as something on the side, or available online-only vs. investing in a "bricks and mortar" type of business that has so much overhead. It also seems that technology has encouraged many cutting-edge entrepreneurs who are very young.
Read Wonder 945: Are You an Entrepreneur? and have a fun family discussion about the pro's and con's of being "your own boss." Be sure to watch the accompanying video for some interesting facts.
What talents and interests might lead you or others in your family to taking the plunge?
I had the distinct pleasure of listening to the EepyBird guys share their “discovery” process, and contrary to what many might think, it isn’t one great big aha moment that occurs in a flash. Instead, they described the need for perseverance in reaching success: the need to 1) be obsessive in following your goal, to the point of becoming “the expert;” 2) be stubborn, and don’t give up when things don’t work, because every attempt is a learning experience that moves you forward toward your goal; and finally, 3) be extreme—scale up what you’re doing because quantity can impact quality and allows you to break away from the pack.
Check out the video for today’s Wonder 940: WhyDo Some Drinks Sweat?for some fun experimenting with EepyBird. It takes them many, many experiments before they master something. In fact, they recommend giving an idea an initial quick try, and then moving to attempt number 10 where you have something that has potential but still needs a lot of refining. This stage is really the beginning rather than the end. By the time you’ve reached attempt 100, you’ve reached a level of mastery and are really onto your “discovery” and to becoming the expert.
This quality of perseverance needs to be nurtured at an early age. Most things that are worthwhile require a lot of effort. I know that encouraging effort versus rewarding/praising results is important for giving children that boost to keep at it, but I am interested to hear what others think and do. This is certainly a quality that is highly valued in the workplace, and when you think of inventors who face many failures before meeting success (like Edison), I guess we’d be in the dark without their perseverance.
And talking about perseverance, go back to Wonder, #697: How Far Can Butterflies Fly? to learn about the amazing perseverance of these lovely and fragile insects. Perseverance—an important characteristic for children to have when facing many daunting tasks, such as learning to read.
Please share what you do to support the important quality of perseverance in children.
As historic (and fanciful) as castles are, modern children today usually know something about them. Either from the building perspective, with towers and turrets, bridges and moats, to the royalty that lived inside and ruled. Many fairy tales and stories occur in or near a castle and the word usually conjures bigger than life images of mystery, wealth, grandeur, and power. Plan a trip to Europe or Asia and you will most likely want to visit a castle.
For the architectural perspective, David McCauley has authored several wonderful books, such as Built to Last and Castles. Were castles as grand as they seem? Were they areas of great comfort for the wealthy families they housed? What kinds of events were commonly held at castles? Balls? Feasts? Jousting? Knights? Did castles have bathrooms? Were moats for swimming or did they have alligators or crocodiles? Did people dress up all the time? They didn’t have televisions, so what did they do all day?
Libraries are loaded with books, but as Wonder 924: What Can You Discover at the Library? points out, there is much, much more. Aside from hardbound books, many libraries now have electronic books to check out. There are great selections of CDs and DVDs, and there is no rental fee! And as a parent with young children, my kids used to love the weekly story hour.
But out of that huge collection of books, how do I know which ones are right for me? That's a question anyone might ask!
Entering a library or a book store can be truly overwhelming. As a parent and teacher, I know that look children get when trying to figure out how to find a book to read. Do they go for the one with the colorful cover? Or the fattest book so they look really smart? What about all those books where all you see is the spine? Pretty confusing!
There are a few strategies that you can use to help your child unravel this puzzle and take charge. I use the acronym
FAT CAT to remember easy ways for helping children (and adults) select a book they are likely to enjoy.
F is for Fun, and books that are fun are sure winners.
A is for Author, and this is usually how I choose books for myself. An author whose style I enjoy is likely to write many books that I’ll probably find enjoyable.
T is for Topic. Children get hooked on something, like sports or dinosaurs, and they are eager to explore that particular topic. If you find an age appropriate book within a favorite topic, you’ve got a winner.
C stands for Character, and it’s interesting to follow the adventures of a favorite character. I tend to like the movies about Jason Bourne, and books are the same. Think about some of those favorite characters, like Curious George, Encyclopedia Brown, Ramona, or Dicey—all great reads.
A stands for Award winning. Your child will not like every award-winning book, but books that win awards have some great qualities, such as the Caldecott Winners or Newbery books. You can do an online search of these, or check books recommended by the American Library Association.
T,the second one, stands for Type. This is the genre, and although it’s great to have children appreciate a broad variety of books, they usually develop a preference for one particular type. It might be mysteries, fairy tales, folk tales, nonfiction, biographies, or poetry, just to name a few types.
These tips should arm you with great ideas for your next trip to the library. Print the attached bookmark to take with you as a reminder.
Fairy tales are a fond memory of my childhood and something I loved sharing with my children, but these stories may go deeper than the simple text of the tales. Not too long ago I was astounded to learn that aside from their universal appeal, some fairy tales may be founded in fact. Wonder 912: Can Fairy Tales Be True? taps into information from this article and is a great springboard for discussing the factual background and inspiration of many stories, not just of fairy tales.
The many versions of Cinderella made me wonder if the plight of a stepdaughter being mistreated by her stepmother was common enough that it rang true in many cultures—there are tales with similar situations and outcomes that appeared in French (Perrault’s Cinderilla), German (Grimm’s Cinderella), English (Tatercoats), Vietnamese (In the Land of Small Dragon), Chinese (Beauty and Pock Face), and Native American (Little Burnt Face) cultures.
The recent focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) has concerned me that education related to the arts would suffer, and in some schools and districts that is no doubt the case. Budget cuts, such as those continuing to occur, are often first felt in areas of arts and in sports/physical education and activities—areas often felt to be “extras.” Whether or not they are extras is a matter of opinion, but parents and families interested in supporting their children’s exposure to these areas have often had to supplement with afterschool programs.
However, a STEM focus (which some now are calling STEAM as a way of inserting the Arts), is not necessarily exclusive. In fact, as Wonder 904: What Is Pointillism? illustrates, these areas are often entwined and
inform one another. Maybe pointillism was the precursor to the pixels used for color printing and for the projection of digital images for television, computers, and photography.
Educators can "build STEAM" by choosing to integrate the arts into their STEM-focused instruction. The attached lesson is an example of how a high school instructor did just that.
I know there is a huge crossover with music as well. Where do you see the integration of the arts in our STEM-focused learning?
Spring Break is coming up and not all of us are able to travel to someplace exciting. But you can do something fun together, and explore new places …virtually! Use the Geography category in Wonderopolis to locate and “visit” a few interesting places. Then think of a way to celebrate that learning together.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Together, take a tour of the Windy Cityand then, in honor of the Cubs and White Sox, try to line up a baseball game at a local college or high school (they're often free); or rent a movie about baseball, such as the “Bad News Bears.” (Fix a little popcorn to make it a fun event. You know, Chicago has some of the best popcorn around!)
Where Does the Sun Never Set? Start by reading this Wonder and watching the incredibly beautiful video of the midnight sun. Celebrate your learning about the Arctic Circle by sharing a snow cone or shaved ice!
Learn about Venice in Wonder 744: What Is a Gondola? and together prepare a WONDERful Italian dinner. And don’t say goodnight—that would be Buona notte!
Don’t forget the Big Apple! Visit New York City virtually in Wonder 718 and then see how many great NY icons you can list together. Known for its great subway system, celebrate with a ride on your own community's public transportation system. If your community doesn’t have public transportation, take a bike ride or drive to view a famous spot in your own area.
You and your kids will be stunned--insects are truly AMAZING!!
Here are a few great ways to get children to focus on this smaller world underfoot:
Make a homemade magnifier using some simple common materials. This will help you examine things up close and it's fun to learn a little about the qualities of magnification.
1. You'll need: a container, such as a cup or glass; a few small items to place in the bottom of the glass; a piece of plastic wrap to fit over the glass and a rubberband to hold it in place; and water.
2. Make a dip in the plastic wrap before fitting the rubberband around the top of the glass. Pour some water into this concave area. You've created a lens that magnifies what you see when looking through it!
If your child is young, visit the library and read together Denise Fleming's colorful book, In the Tall, Tall Grass to take a look at different animals that inhabit a grassy area. For older kids, pursue their interest and curiosity with a library visit or an online search to learn more.
Ask those questions together and have fun WONDERing. Please contribute your ideas -- I'm eager to hear what you and your child are WONDERing!
Visit Wonderopolis today for the final 2011 health literacy and wellness topic featured as part of the Happy Healthy Habits series. Today’s focus is on medicine.
Today’s Wonder of the Day is: How Does Medicine Know Where You Hurt? Read this Wonder with your children and then discuss taking medicine. It seems a bit mysterious, but how does medicine know where you hurt in order to help you get better?
Sometimes we have to swallow a pill, which can be difficult for many children. Do your children have to take medicine regularly? Is there a way to make taking medicine less difficult? Watch this video clip to learn how to take a pill more easily. Sometimes the medicine is a syrup or liquid—it can be flavored but occasionally it tastes pretty nasty. To learn about getting shots, revisit this Wonder: Why Can’t All Medicine Be Swallowed?
Visit Wonderopolis every Wednesday in November 2011 to explore health literacy and wellness topics featured as part of our new Happy Healthy Habits series. Today, we're learning about growing pains.
Today's Wonder of the Day is: Do Growing Pains Hurt? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by discussing growth. Are your children anxious to get older and bigger? What happy, healthy habits can they develop to help them grow up healthy?
Visit Wonderopolis every Wednesday in November 2011 to explore health literacy and wellness topics featured as part of our new Happy Healthy Habits series. Today, we're learning about shots.
Today's Wonder of the Day is: Why Can't All Medicine Be Swallowed? Read through today's Wonder of the Day with your children and then put learning into action by discussing how medicine works and why they have to get shots from time to time. Do your children dread shots? How can you make the process easier for them?