Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for Dad School
So I was sitting at Burger King writing while my son was enjoying a kid’s meal and playing in the play area. He was delighted because his meal came with a cool Monster Truck! After a while, he noticed that there were two more Monster Trucks under the play area that had apparently rolled there. We discussed how some poor kids apparently lost their toys and probably left in tears. Luke said he wished we could retrieve them, but they were impossible to reach. One of them was extremely far away, and the other had broken into the two pieces it originally came in, wheel base and top shell. The space under the play area was locked and only accessible by an employee.
I said to him,“They are only impossible to get if you lack the will to accept the challenge and the ability to use the resources at your disposal.”
I replied,“Do you know what a challenge is? It’s when you decide to attempt something that appears impossible, using what you already have. Let see what we have available to us and try to get those Monster Trucks! The worst that can happen is that we’ll fail.”
Luke said, “Those kids’ dads failed; they left them here.”
I answered, “I bet they didn’t even try.” (Do you see the Life Principle here?)
Our first tool was a foldable “Wet Floor” sign that enabled us to get the top half of one car out, but that by itself was pretty useless. I knew we needed to get more creative to reach farther under the play area where the trucks had rolled. I asked Luke what we’d need if we could have anything we wanted – if we had unlimited resources. He said a stick would be perfect. So I said, “Great idea! Then let’s make a stick! I’ll be right back!”
I returned with a hand full of straws. We constructed a stick out of straws, and then from two different locations, with quite a bit of work, we were able to fish for the bottom half of the first car and then the entire second car.
We ended up with quite an audience of cheering kids and curious moms as we worked the trucks toward Luke’s eager fingers!
Finally, the quest was over. What had seemed impossible resulted in Luke having not one, not two, but THREE cool Monster Trucks to take home! But he also went home with an important lesson: When you accept a challenge and put your mind to something, using what you already have, you can do the impossible when others give up and leave good things behind. Even if we had failed in our quest, we would still have succeeded in trying! Life is all about attempting the impossible, and the worst that can happen is that you might fail. I want my son to know that trying and failing is better than not trying at all.
I want him to know that he can REACH FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE
and that failure IS an option.
When he sees something he wants, I want him to go for it, using what he already has, instead of walking away making excuses because he thinks something is out of reach. If I have learned anything in life, it is that nothing is out of reach if you are willing to stretch creatively and reach for it.
And if you are willing to link a bunch of straws together!
In Dad School, I’m in a process of teaching my son both how to read and to understand how we got the Bible. One recent trip I purchased Dr. Seuss’ “The BIG Green Book of Beginner Books” and my five year old is loving the funny stories it contains that originally were published books in their own right, but now, are compiled in this single thick green book. Since we are currently practicing pointing out the letters of words and sounding them out, I decided the title of the book would be our goal last night since it provided a review of “BIG” (he just learned that a few days ago in Go, Dog Go!”) and a review of plural with the occurrence of “Book” and “Books” both being in the title.
Then it struck me! Here I was helping him sound out a “Book of Books” which is exactly what the Bible is! The cover even shows little pictures of the “books within this book!” My heart skipped a beat! I had to force myself to hold off on the spiritual application and stick to the reading lesson first. But once he had mastered the title, I first explained with this “Big Green Book of Books” how it was a collection of books that once were separate and why the publisher has compiled them and we talked about why that was helpful – for carrying around for example. We talked about how they chose which books to put together: they were all “Beginner” books, books to help young kids learn to read, and (he noted) they were all funny stories!
Then I got a Bible out and said, “Did you know the BIble is a ‘Book of Books’?” We talked about how the Big Green Book of Books had six books in it, and had him guess how many were in the Bible. He guessed 100! He was close. 66 is the answer. We talked a little about how they were chosen. They also have the same author, God. And the same purpose, to help people know how to live life. And while they might not be funny, they are helpful and are our guide for life. The word Bible actually means “Books” because it isn’t one book, but many book put together, just like this Big Green Book we are reading.
I think for the first time he understands the basic structure of the Bible, thanks to Dr. Seuss’ “Book of Books.”
It might be worth picking up the Big Green Book of Beginner Books as an object lesson. It is a great book on its on merit besides the object lesson it provides.
CONTEST UPDATE AT END OF POST
Today it was pretty cold… and snowy, and when it came time for Dad School, I could tell my son would rather be outside playing in the snow than working on his alphabet.
So what’s a Dad to do?
Combine School and Snow together, of course!
I had to shovel the driveway eventually today anyway – might as well use it as an educational opportunity, and as I like to say, “Kill two stones with one bird!”
We bundled up and headed outside and worked on our letters, in the snow. Granted, we wouldn’t last long in the cold – but we had a great time. (My back might argue that last statement!)
(Contest is over, but it was FUN!) Can you name the letters we worked on today? See how many of the letters you can name in COMMENTS. First person to name ALL FOUR correctly, WINS!
The Letter "d"
The Letter "f"
The Letter "g"
The Letter "T"
NAME ALL FOUR LETTERS in Comments…
you just might get a PRIZE!
This was a blast! (and quite crazy!) I had no idea I would get such a response, and it was very confusing to go between the blog comments and facebook comments – but the results are in!
Picture 1 is obvious a LITTLE “d” – capital D would not do. Sorry.
Picture 2 is is a LITTLE “f” – some guessed F, but missed the curve at the top.
Picture 3 is a LITTLE “g” – most got this, but a few capitalized again. (oops)
Picture 4 admittedly, was the killer. I had Luke lay in it and form the letter as the hint. It was the Letter “T” – capital. The only capital. Granted, he kept moving and doing a snow angel, so his form is a little off, but since it wasn’t the only letter people missed, I think it’s fair.
My Aunt Linda, for most attempts, was the closest at first with “D F g T” she only had the case off, and being a teacher, I thought she knew better! (LOL) I hinted on her wall but she only went downhill from there with “d E g Y” then “d E g T” then “P E g T” then “d E g L” then “d E g I”!
Krista Mobley is the Facebook winner! Though it took her several attempts and a few tips from me to get it right in the whee hours last night. But she finally pulled it off. But, I’m a little biased toward her. But I didn’t help her any more than I did anyone else!
Doug Olson is my Blog Winner! Technically, I could disqualify the Facebook commenters since the rules said to use blog comments! Anyway, Doug’s a good friend and a great encourager, so I was glad to wake up this morning and see he nailed it.
BONUS WINNER: (I’m just such a nice guy!) As I was updating this page another winner squeaked in! Dawna Lunde posted the correct answer via Facebook!
WHAT DO THEY WIN?
All these smart and lucky winners need to do is contact me via facebook and they will get a free download of one of Luke’s favorite albums.
It’s called Craig’s Kids and not only does Luke love it, but I really enjoy it too!
You can hear a sampler of it on the product page on Kidology. I think every Christian Kid in America should be listening to this CD! This is one of those CDs that is just jam-packed with great music and even better lyrics that kids need to be packing into their hearts and minds. I just can’t recommend it enough. My favorites are “I Wonder Why” and for fun “Rolley Polley” but every single song is just excellent.
If you weren’t a winner, I’ll make you a winner: Just enter code SNOW and get 10% off any Craig’s Kids product on Kidology! (Expires one year from today!)
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve founded a new school with only one student and I’m calling it Dad School!
I’ve appreciated the feedback and advice I’ve gotten on facebook, comments and e-mail! Thanks! Day One is in the can and Luke seemed to really enjoy it a lot. The challenge was that I wanted to do an assessment on day one so I’d have both something to measure progress with – and even evaluate my own effectiveness, but how do you start out with “testing” and have your boy want to do Day Two?! LOL
I decided to take an interest of his, cars and parking lots (he absolutely LOVES parking lots, and has mommy make him a new one nearly every day!) and use it as a review tool to see which letters and numbers he can recognize. He loved it and didn’t even know it was a test!
By the time we got through all the letters and numbers 1-20 I had a record of which he knew and have my assignment of what will be focus on in the weeks ahead. Here is what the “test paper” looked like when we were done:
Shhhh, Luke doesn’t know it was a test!
I also made a kite sheet to work on scissors skills and had him try to cut it out since that was a skill the preschool said needed work and we dated it and I wrote “dad helped hold the paper, but Luke cut it out.” Every few days we will cut out the same kite and date them so he can see his progress. (Download the kite here)
We ended with reading “Go, Dog, Go!” which allowed us to end with laughter – but also with a promise, “Lukey, someday soon you will be able to read this book yourself!” He is so excited.
Let me just finish by saying – the point of Dad School is not to push my son to learn, it is first and foremost to build my relationship with my son around a purpose and goal of helping him learn. He will learn, and together we will celebrate his progress. But the learning is secondary. He would learn all these things eventually – without me. But by learning them with me, and from me – I am being his father. Dads need to engage with their kids while their children are young. Otherwise, dads will wonder why their kids don’t engage with them later when they are older. It’s all about investment.
Dad School isn’t about education – education is the benefit. The purpose is relationship.
(Sponsored by BeTheDadToday.com)