Break It On Down
We had a great chat tonight with some of our families about variations and elaborations. One of the best reminders that came out of it was that every activity can be broken down into component parts that allow you to build competence in increments. One parent mentioned that making a garden would be too complex for her child, but we were able to break that big project down into many small simple components (prototypes) that would eventually lead to making a garden. Here are some ideas (in no particular order): dig holes and put things in them, collect rocks to lay along the edge of the dirt as a border, plant flowers or seeds in pots indoors, work on one row of seeds / flowers at a time, water existing plants and flowers indoors and outdoors, rake grass or dirt together, take turns putting your hands in the dirt and lifting out handfuls to place in a bucket…the list could go on and on.
The point is that instead of looking at an activity and thinking, “My child could never do that” you need to think, “How can I break this down into smaller pieces so that my child can learn to do that?” Every complex activity has parts and pieces that can be elaborated and built upon. Michelle gave a great example of playing on a baseball team – you don’t just hand a kid a bat and a glove and send them out onto the field (at least not if you expect them to be successful)! You start out learning to throw and catch, playing in the backyard, starting out close together and increasing your distance when throwing and catching, hitting off a tee, etc. My challenge to you this week is to think about an activity you would like to do with your child but have put off because you think it’s too challenging or complex, and begin breaking it down into pieces so you can begin teaching the components in a way you and your child can manage right now. Remember that everything builds on a foundation of something else – what foundations will you lay this week?
Until next week,