Today is Sunday and I was working on a completely different blog post, that might or might not get done today. I stopped because I needed to cook dinner. A few minutes after I started, my tween-aged son came out of his room and declared that he was bored. I remember stating the same thing to my Dad when I was his age, and he took me into the library, and I was lost in a world of fantasy forevermore (yes, I am known to spend an entire weekend reading…)
I did not suggest my son read, or learn to code, or dare say that boredom was a great stimulus for creativity. I simply suggested that he could help with dinner if he wanted. He disappeared towards his room, and I assumed I was cooking on my own. A few minutes later, he surprised me with clean hands asking what he should do.
We started with peeling potatoes. I let him choose which peeler he wanted and we quietly got on with it after a few anxious questions. The first was “Can I cut myself doing this?” stemmed from an intense fear of the sight of blood, and the second was “Am I doing this right?” stemmed from that desire to please. My response to this was “I’m left-handed and have learnt to do whatever works!” I then suggested that he could peel two carrots when he was done as I got on with other jobs.
Then, he surprised me further by asking if he could cut the carrots. He said that he had learnt to cut carrots at a community connections day at school. He had been involved in making soup for the homeless. This experience had a positive impact on my son. He learnt some life skills and more importantly, he learnt about empathy and making connections.
After that, he chose to add broccoli to our meal stating “and yes mum, I will eat some…” Next, he learnt how to cut broccoli, dice an onion, and asked if we could make Yorkshire Puddings, so we did. There was flour everywhere, broken eggs and spilt milk. I was thrilled to have a messy kitchen because he was learning from the experience and we were having a conversation.
So today, I find myself thankful for this one-on-one interaction with my son that led to some authentic learning. I am also thankful for his teachers. Thank you to all his teachers who support my son as he learns though every new experience. Sometimes as teachers we don’t know the true impact we have, so I wanted to take a few minutes to reach out and say thank you.