Always Teaching

Whether actively or passively, we are always teaching: teaching others about ourselves, teaching others how to treat us, teaching others about our ideals, teaching principles to govern life, teaching faith or the lack thereof…simply teaching.

Maybe you have not considered this possibility. I really didn’t until I had several of my own children in my home and I watched the way younger children would mimic behavior of an older child. At that time, I coined this phrase in our home: “You are always teaching.” I have tried to help our children learn that they are always teaching others in every interaction (or even in the lack thereof) each day.

I teach them, too. Though I am not part of the homeschooling community, I do agree that what children learn at home–the most basic of lessons–helps to shape and mold their lives in myriad ways. My parents were teaching us Robert Fulgum’s Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten lessons before we ever set foot in a formal school, and I have tried to do the same for our children.

I find that sometimes the most passive teaching can be the most effective–words passed through daily chores together such as clearing a table after breakfast or cooking dinner together. I find conversations come up in queries regarding song lyrics or film topics, school happenings or world events.

We take time to formally teach, too, through a time set aside on Monday nights for a specific family evening of lessons and music and activities and a treat. We have a goal to create moments of discussion with our children, individually, regarding each one’s concerns and triumphs.

We are always teaching!

ON MEDIA…please comment!

When you walk into our home, sometimes you might be greeted with the sound of dialogue accompanying moving pictures on a large, flat screen to a score…sometimes you might hear music echoing from a speaker…sometimes you might hear a computer (or two) with game music on continuous play…and sometimes you might hear the latest cooking video from Cakes By ChoppA or Rosanna Pansino playing on YouTube for my little people.

Other days, when you walk into my home, you might hear a child practicing on the piano a theme to Harry Potter or James Bond…sometimes you might hear a child reading aloud from her latest book…sometimes you might hear dishes clinking as they move from a sink into a dishwasher, a broom moving across the kitchen tile, or the simmering of sauce on the stove.

Some days you might even find us in the kitchen, having an impromptu dance party.

What I’ve been thinking about lately, though, is the media-saturated society (and even media-dependant society) in which we live.  I am guilty myself of allowing this guest, in its multitudinous forms, often into my home.  My wonderings have led me to consider (though I cannot know the future) what this bombardment and obsession with media will bring about in our lives, in future generations’ lives, and in society as a whole.

While I find myself abundantly grateful for my phone allowing me to Google information for my child’s homework question at the swipe of a finger or send a friendly text message across miles in mere seconds, I continue to find my dependence on it (and my children’s, as well) somewhat exasperating.

I’m guessing the answer to my dilemma comes through my all-encompassing quest for BALANCE. And, I’m glad to know that many of you (including Jasmine–since we talked about the topic last week) are right there with me!

So, my question, which I would love to turn into a discussion (because I am really interested in your thoughts) here is this:

What do you think the effects of the current media accessibility and even dependence in society will have one, two, and three generations from now? Please share your thoughts!