Sunday, May 1, 2011

No wonder they have trouble learning at school

This morning I was very excited to visit the local garden center. I've been waiting for spring for so long and now the day had come to pick out my favorite annual flowers and replace perennials that didn't survive the harsh winter.

My garden center is a crowded place and it's hard to avoid overhearing conversations.

A woman was shopping close by with her son who appeared to be about 5 years old.  She over articulated every word, explaining to her son what each flower was. She'd ask, "should we get this one?" The boy would often reply, "no, I don't like that color!" or "that pot is dirty, find another one!"  She obediently replied each time, finding another color or another pot that was maybe not as dirty as the last one.

It was so lovely to see her take an interest and to bring him shopping with her. But, then I thought, "what was she really teaching him?"

Well I guess what he learned is that his color preference mattered more than moms and that when he thought something was unacceptable, he had the power to have it removed from his sight.

What could he have been taught? Well, that mom's color preference mattered too, primarily since it was her house they were bringing the flowers to; that it was mom's money paying for the flowers; that she was the adult in this scenario; and that garden pots are supposed to have dirt on them.

It is little wonder why so many children have such a hard time adjusting to life at school. At school, if the directions say to color the flower purple or black, that's what is expected. Following directions is a skill that should be mastered. And if students don't like the assignment or school work, they can't send it back for something that is a little more palatable or pleasing to the senses.

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