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Kids keep us young–and learning

Posted on April 9, 2015 | Comments

Children.  They are such great teachers.  My two favorites are brothers, Makiah is 7 and Kaden is 11.  Two days a week, they are in my charge for after school tutoring and creative learning activities.  It’s a win-win for all three of us.  Example:  “Ms. Cheryl, which praying mantis is the most vicious?”

I affectionately call Makiah my critter kid.  No surprise about his excitement when we saw our first praying mantis at the creek—a brown one.  Soon after, I spotted one near my car, took a photo, and sent a text to his mom.  That prompted his question about the most vicious praying mantis the next time I picked him up from school.

“Is it the pink, green, or brown one?” he asked.  I didn’t know they came in colors.  Of course he did and quickly launched into a detailed explanation.  “Which one, Ms. Cheryl?” he asked again.  I truly had no idea so I chose my favorite color which is how I pick horses while having fun at the racetrack.  Wrong!

Kaden is quite different from his brother.  He likes sports especially football and soccer.  I can hold my own when it comes to football which immediately scored points.  Soccer?  Didn’t have a clue.  After going to his games, asking questions, and doing my “homework,” I was ready for the World Cup.  We were both heartbroken when USA lost, and then Brazil.

Being with children helps keep imagination alive and well.  They can turn a tree house into a palace, an ordinary rock into gold, or the nightly bath into an ocean swim.  Children think nothing of daydreaming and waving their imaginary magic wands to make things happen.  They make conversations fun with their questions and comments, and sometimes just plain say the darnedest things.

Of course they learn from me too—thanks to my own education, life experiences, and some help from Google.  Never thought my phone would be such a valued teaching tool.  It comes in handy for research and to set the record straight such as when Kaden thought his kendama was the latest invention.  Nope.  Originally from Japan, this wooden toy arrived in France via the Silk Road in 1777.

Since I didn’t have children of my own, no doubt my experiences are similar to what grandparents have enjoyed for centuries.  Even though I may be a little late to the party, I’m grateful to echo the words of Erma Bombeck: “Children make your life important.”  And they also tell you important things…that the green praying mantis is the most vicious.  Who knew?

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