I am running a little late with my posting this week.
For us, it seems our whole life is a group discussion. There are many opportunities to discuss with my children, who are mostly in core stage, a principle of truth or right and wrong. It is as if they are compelled to ask the why of things, well Cassie does and Andrew is wondering about things. They are close in some ways, but the two seem different, questions and wondering, that is.
Cassie is in the "Why" stage or as she is more likely to phrase it, "How do you know?" I find it challenging not to get frustrated by the constant questions. I should more wisely remind myself of the opportunity for discussion and learning, but sometimes a little silence is nice. I suppose if it was just her it wouldn't feel so noisy, but with the addition of three other voices wanting to be heard and acknowledge, it would be more easier to recognize. But in writing this it gives me a chance to ponder the opportunities I have with her and those times with her often brings in the boys too.
Andrew, while only 15 months older than her, is in that "7-year old wonder" stage. I need to pull that book off the shelf again...note to self. His statements are simple, "I wonder why....? Followed by, "Mom, can we go to the Library so I can get a book on..." Or can we go to ....com? Unfortunately the Library is often only a once a week trip, and so the wonder can often be lost by not seizing it right then. I suppose when Jeremy's rigid speech therapy schedule slows down, we will be able to do that more. And perhaps, if I wasn't driving the car, I could write it down to remind him when we get to the library next. Perhaps a digital recorder would work, so I could replay them to myself. I am a in the moment kind of person. If it isn't written, recorded or repeatedly brought to my attention, its gone. While our home is filled with books for just in case they are interested, for when they are older and for when I get to the time, there is just no way to be prepared for everything.
Jeremy and Seth both young are in a discovery stage. They live what they do and experience things fully. Like pudding last night. Little Seth was so was filthy by the time it was finished and my dh made a great statement about his eating pudding. He said, "Mommy (speaking for Seth) I experience my pudding!" And that is what those two boys do. They point, they ooh and aah. They "stop and smell the roses," or other flowers, weeds, insects. Anything that comes along their path. I try and make time to go at there pace. Especially on Fridays, when the older two kids are at the Options school (a one day a week school for homeschoolers with mostly electives at their ages). Fridays are at least partially devoted to what the little boys want to do.
While it may seem that I went off on a tangent, those stages they are in are prime opportunities for discussion in our home. The trick is to seize upon them or be mindful of them and go back to them. Or best opportunity for group discussion has been family scripture study with our central book and also during family home evening, a once a weekly spiritual family night. I hope to implement an opportunity every morning to have a little spiritual devotional time, but with our schedule, I am going to have to be more diligent. Though we do have scripture study it would be nice to go back to what we had been doing before Jeremy's therapy and preschool schedule started up this fall. One of the moms in the colloquium I attend shared with us what she did and that was to go through a little of the Gospel Principles Manual (those who are LDS would know what I was talking about) daily with her kids. I wonder if they have that available on CD?
So there it is, in a mostly core phase perspective. There are many opportunities all day to discuss with my family what I am doing and why, what I am reading, though they mostly look at my wide eye as if to say, "that's nice mom." But I find that more often than not, discussions come frome their curiosity at whatever level they are at, both spoken and unspoken. They have become wonderful opportunities to discuss life and the world to them and then patiently watch for signs that they want things more in detail. For Andrew it is often a time to go online or to the library and really find out more than just a basic answers as he often wants more information. Or there is Cassie, who really does just wants a strait forward answer, Then finally Jeremy and Seth, who love to learn the names of things in there world and basic descriptions of color and motion of things.