Yesterday we got together with a few other homeschooling families.  First of all we had a Character First lesson on Flexibility.  Interestingly enough, we had all experienced a change of plans that very morning which gave us a great starting point on discussing flexibility.

 

Over the next few months we are going to be spending time with our kids teaching them the games we remember playing in the playground  – Skipping (with long rope) & Elastics were last month’s choice, Jacks and Knucklebones were this months. 

 

Between the 3 families we had 9 kids of playing age.  I paired them up with a younger and older and we showed them how to play Jacks.  I then went around each pair to make sure that everyone was doing okay.  The younger ones were all having difficulty so I set them a little practice pattern – breaking down the whole picking-up-the-Jack-thing to achievable steps.  Catching the ball, touching the ground and catching the ball, pick up Jack and catch the ball.  We allowed the littlies to either catch in two hands or pull it to their bodies.    Once they all were having a good time the mums stepped back into the kitchen for another cuppa!  It was at this time that I saw what was REALLY going on.

 

This is what I saw….

 

  • Patience, as the older children responded to their younger partner, being lenient but not being unfair to themselves
  • Verbal encouragement
  • Kindness, as a ball from another set would roll into their own Jacks
  • Serving, as someone would get someone else’s ball as it rolled away
  • Initiative, as they saw an empty set of Jacks they rearranged themselves so someone could practice by themselves.
  • Perseverance, as they practiced and improved their skill
  • Internal motivation, as they set to improve themselves, not compare themselves against others

The only thing I didn’t see was a willingness to stop practicing when someone wanted a partner to play a game.  And thinking of it now, I should have pointed that out to a few of the older ones and given them a chance to respond from their heart.

 

The lesson I learnt, as the mother, is how easy it is to get caught up in the activity and miss seeing what is really going on.  We were playing Jacks and Knucklebones but what was REALLY going on was an opportunity to relate to others with character and love. 

 

What other opportunities am I missing because I don’t step back and see?

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