Teaching Outside the Box

Or outside the school room as it were.

Yesterday, as if I had any doubt, proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all school lessons don’t come with lesson plans and teacher books.

Yesterday, we needed to go grocery shopping and I decided that were going on a field trip. To the grocery store. To learn. Because why?

Because the day before yesterday, all three of the kids whined about at least one part of all three of our meals. And at supper time, I specifically heard myself say, “You can’t only eat one part because you need a balanced meal.” After which I also heard specific statements about how a certain sugary cereal alternative would be preferred.

And so there we were. Standing in the grocery store. With a list. A pen. And all the time in the world. Well.. almost.

We had already gone over some basic instructions such as needing to find healthy foods from each food group and things we wanted to look for and avoid. And so we went in, went down the list, and looked at Every. Single. Label.

Every one. We spent at least twice as long at the store, but by the time we were done, all of the children had helped me make healthy food choices, learned why I buy the things I buy, helped me make price comparisons and read nutrition labels.

Sure we made some concessions. We did buy cereal. We bought two kinds of breakfast cereal that we deemed “better than most” and one that.. well, I’d prefer we didn’t buy, but we’re making baby steps.

And when we got home, the ten year old even put away all of the groceries by herself, taking obvious pride in sorting out and putting away all the groceries she just helped choose. (It was quite amazing.)

Some may argue that this shouldn’t really count as “school” because that’s the kind of thing that kids should learn from their parents anyway. Some may counter that kids aren’t really learning enough about food and nutrition (from all their teaching sources.) Hogwash to both sides. As teacher AND parent, we had school at the grocery store yesterday.

And today when we made sandwiches with the wheat bread we all chose, the oldest confessed (while the middle has already chowed down half of hers) that the bread tasted a little funny to her. I said, “Well, sweetie, you just need to get used to it. That’s how it is for our tastebuds when we make a change. For example, a month ago I started using less sugar in our sweet tea. Everybody complained. I’m still using less sugar, but you all drank tea yesterday without even noticing.”

Both of my girls just stopped mid-chew and stared at me. Duped! But they kept eating.

Knowledge. Learning. It tastes good.

Photo credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by alancleaver_2000

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Kim from His Special Kids' Families
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Kim from His Special Kids' Families

I love it! It is amazing how the Lord uses moms to teach some of those valuable lessons:)