It’s that time of year where most of us start to get a little bit overwhelmed. I know that’s the case for me anyway. I start thinking about all the preparations that need to be done for Thanksgiving and Christmas and my mind starts spinning. It’s very easy to lose focus in times like this. Even before we had children my husband and I would sponsor a child at Christmas. It broke my heart to think of a child out there not receiving gifts on Christmas day, so we did our part in helping to make someone’s Christmas a little brighter.
Once our kids were old enough to understand what was going on we got them involved in this process. When you are a child you typically focus on yourself. Everything is about you. And when you have children who don’t want for anything then it’s hard for them to understand other’s needs. I can remember a few years back we sponsored two children. We had each of our kids pull off a name from the tree at church. We tried to get them each a child that was close to their age and the same sex. I did this because I wanted them to physically go with us and do the shopping. It broke my heart that on the lists they were asking for things such as diapers. We followed the lists to make sure they got the things they were needing, but then we also let the kids pick out a few other toys that they thought the kids might like. They understood why we were doing this and it has stuck with them. They will still talk about it to this day and they are only five and six so they were fairly young then.
Last night was another opportunity to allow my kids to learn by doing. This week the kids were to bring in a bag of food that. It was to contain items that are typically consumed at Thanksgiving. So last night we all headed to the store. We had a list and we walked through the store and we had the kids help us pick out items and put them in the cart. We reminded them of why they were doing this. I could have very easily just had gone to the store myself, picked out the food, filled the bags and dropped them off at school. What do my kids learn from that? In my opinion, nothing. Unless they do the action I don’t really feel as if they get it. It’s just like when you see those people ringing the bells asking for change around the holidays. We could walk up and put the money in, but if my kids do it then they understand because they will ask questions. Not only that, they are proud that they were able to do it. I feel that makes a huge difference when it comes to learning. I’m a firm believer in teaching by doing!