Some of my best friends these days live in the internet. Eli is one such friend.
He is one of the first people I really connected with when I began my blog journey and ever since, he has become a close friend, confidant, and encourager. He is wise, compassionate, and always good for comedic relief.
He hosted me on his blog and has been one of my biggest fans and supporters. Eli makes fatherhood look good and I so appreciate his male perspective on parenting. I am honored to have him on Three Boys and a Mom today with a few tidbits on how to sneak in some summer education with our kiddos.
Without further adieu, I give you my friend, Eli. Enjoy!
Sneaky Ways a Dad Can Homeschool This Summer
Defendants on Matlock never seem to learn, do they?
They take the down-home old guy for a bumpkin. He appears sharp as a marshmallow and savvy as a sloth. Before you know it, he’s three questions into a cross-examination that has them confessing to the crime in plenty of time for another Metamucil commercial.
See, it works in similar ways for dads, too.
Oh sure – TV makes us dads out to be champion doofuses. We’re basically mom’s oldest kid, but with lots more leg hair. We might not ever graduate from Star Wars and the Swimsuit Issue, but we dads, we can sneak attack with our own agendas – undetected.
When my girls ask questions, from the quantifiable (What is a bonfire?) to the complex (Would you die for me, daddy?), I jot them down and answer them in my weekly feature, Go Ask Daddy. I ask them questions, from Q4KIDZ, and their answers amaze me.
If your kids are like my girls, summer is the last place they want to find learning.
They think they can pick it off, like diced spinach masquerading as dried oregano in lasagna. Not so fast, youngsters. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull one over on dad.
Okay, maybe more than one. Or many. We haven’t perfected this thing, but we can hold our own.
Here’s what I do.
BOOK VS. MOVIE
I love the idea of reading the book, then watching the movie.
My youngest daughter, Grace age 10, read “Misty of Chincoteague” and I couldn’t wait to watch the movie with her. Same with her sisters, Marie (14) and Elise (17), when they read The Outsiders.” (Finally, a book I’d read too!)
It’s easy to do this with the Hunger Games books and movies. I want them to talk about the differences, and describe how they saw it in their minds.
TO THE MARKET
The grocery store is perfect.
I have the girls get items on my list. It isn’t just a benefit to me! They must find it, and on sale. They check the price per pound/ounce. And they know which cheeses melt best on my grilled hamburgers – and which cheeses are best for tacos.
Good little shoppers.
WHO SINGS THIS?
Oh, and the music.
We always play “Who Sings This?” in the car. They’re becoming champs. Sometimes they need clues. I love the memory and style recognition that comes into play. They might not have heard a song before, but they can tell by the horn section that it’s Chicago.
Plus, they can school the boys when it comes to 70s rock.
WHAT’S THE SCORE?
Sports give us a thousand lessons.
Pass a soccer ball or football to a moving target, and practice geometry. My girls scribble down a soccer formation and lineup, to work on strategy. They’ll memorize NFL divisions.
We’ve watched the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) trail by double digits and figured the quick math to their unlikely comeback.
Away from numbers, my girls and I have learned lessons on the pitch together. We’ve learned to win with humility and lose with dignity. We’ve conquered adversity and weathered prosperity. We’ve mourned losses and reveled in absurd success.
We’ve navigated rough fields and angry opponents and the wonderment that is a referee’s discretion.
Mostly, we’ve learned what’s possible when you come together for a common love.
If that’s the only lesson learned from dad’s sneaky homeschool curriculum, I’d say that’s a win.
I rest my case.
When he’s not compiling six-word posts or sticking up for his gender, Eli Pacheco is a father of three, a soccer coach, and writer of the blog Coach Daddy. Follow him on Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter.