Staying at home and teaching your children can be a challenge. It also can be glorious. I’d like to share a story with you today about my best friend’s granddaughter that I hope will make you smile.
(Photo courtesy of Brian Scaglia via broomfieldenterprise.com)
Charlise is 9 and loves to read. She’s really a bookworm. So, as her dad said, “It’s easy to keep her learning, just hand her a book.” But he was worried that she wasn’t interacting with others and that she had really isolated herself in her books. Coincidentally, right before the ‘stay at home’ recommendations came out, they had been to the library. Charlise selected a book about Anne Frank. As she read the book and began discussing it with her dad, he realized it was a great time to talk about being isolated. A big conversation to be had for sure.
They had a great conversation about how Anne spent her days, but Charlise’s dad really wanted to help her learn more. So, he gave her a challenge: “What could we do that would bring our community together while they are all isolating in separate houses?” How could we give back to the 90-year-old lady across the street? Bring smiles to our friends on the block or the man on the corner who has no kids? It was a rich conversation that went on for a bit and then he reminded her, “our project must make people smile”.
The 9-year-old got up and ran into her bedroom. A few minutes later Charlise came running out and said, “Dad, dad I got it!” In her hands she had her bucket of chalk. She said let’s plan a chalk project. She told him he had to help. He helped her call all her friends on the block while he contacted some of the grownups. They planned out the day. Charlise was very excited. Two days later the grown-ups and kids were outside on their driveways chalking in murals and hearts and stories and characters dancing. There were animals, stars and designs being drawn on all the driveways.
The 90-year-old sat outside her house on the porch and smiled. Charlise said, “Dad, we did it with just a box of chalk!”
If you're interested, here is where you can buy some of the best value chalk we love from Chalk City and Regal Games:
Activity and Educational Application
Chalk is a wonderful medium to work with. Try listening to how it sounds when chalking on cardboard. Dig out those boxes that accumulate in the garage and have your kids put designs around all of the stamps and words on the box. Have them do it quietly at first to hear how it sounds.
Try chalk on paper and again listen to how it sounds. Does it look the same? Now have them use their fingers to spread the chalk around on the paper. Yes, it will make a mess, but how great to get them to wash up at the end!
And of course – go outside and listen to how it sounds on the sidewalk.
Have fun with chalk and enjoy your children along the way.
About the author
Jan has worked in education for over 40 years. She worked as a teacher (multiple grades), curriculum specialist for math and social studies, principal, Instructional Superintendent, and now as a consultant working with school districts around the US helping them to increase student achievement and planning professional development for principals. Opportunity to write and roll out curriculum in math, social studies, and literacy.