Teachable Moments

Teachable Moments

By: Cierra Trisch

One minute, something that comes so quickly but has the potential to truly change the course of your life. Just think about it, a time when a 60-second span of time impacted your life. In the last push of childbirth, a parent’s life is changed. The hours of labor don’t make a difference once the final 60 seconds come; there is an overwhelming joy that takes over. A life has been born. It seems like just 60 seconds later their little eyes close for the first time, and they wake seven years old. Then, you’re experiencing another 60-second moment when they touch a hot burner on the stove for the first time. In less than a minute your life is in freeze mode as your heart drops from their scream. Though they are ok, it takes a full day to recover from the scare they put you through. At 18 they’re walking the stage at their high school graduation, and you’re waiting for their moment to shine. As their name is called, you’re taking mental (and physical) pictures to account for every step they take to their diploma. In just 60-seconds they have become an adult. They have beat the odds. As your go through your day-to-day routine, don’t forget to take in each and every moment around you, and make those moments teachable.

“Teachable moments,” who even knows what those are? That phrase has been used more and more frequently in the educational world, but how do you actually make 60-seconds count? In your day-to-day life, make the collection of minutes that consume your day mean something; present those moments as opportunities to teach your child something new. Making something a teachable moment requires of you to take advantage of routine events that occur daily, as well as one-time events, and use them as tools to learn.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in thinking that your child’s success rests on your shoulders. Breathe. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Repetition is an important element of learning for all children, particularly those with special needs. It is helpful and necessary as children absorb new concepts about their world.
  • Feel free to disguise learning as fun! Learning experiences should be fun and interesting. When that happens, children will learn even more.
  • Capitalize on each child’s own unique interests. This promotes more intrinsic motivation to learn a variety of new experiences.
  • Music is great tool to introduce or reinforce concepts. What a child learns through music often stays with them better than had they not had a catchy song accompanying the learning.

Teachable moments can be found anywhere! Including when your child is:

  • Brushing their teeth
  • Eating a meal or cooking with you
  • Taking a walk
  • Taking a bath
  • In the car on the way to school or church
  • In the grocery store with you
  • Playing with friends
  • Reading with you
  • Going to bed
  • Changing their clothes

So next time you begin to get overwhelmed with how much your child still has to learn, remember nothing happens overnight. It’s when you utilize the 60-second opportunities that you’ll begin to see that those minutes add up. Look around your everyday world for wonderful opportunities that can be turned into teaching moments. Cherish the little things, and before you know it, you’ll be looking back on all of the moments that made your life worthwhile.

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