Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rocketman

Music is a central part of our home.  It's always playing in the background and my kids love to dance or sing along to their favorite songs.  I appreciate the soundtrack it provides for our day but I never thought it would create opportunities to learn.

"Why does the rocketman think he's going to be away for a long long time?" my three year old asked me as he ate his breakfast.

I was completely immersed in thoughts about who knows what and it took me a minute to register what he was asking.  "I'm sorry bud, what?  What rocketman?"

"That rocketman!" he said as he pointed to the speaker in the kitchen.

I tuned my ears to Elton John crooning, "And I think it's gonna be a long long time. Til touchdown brings me round again to find..."

"Oh!  He's singing about a man in space.  He is alone and missing his family," I explained, trying to simplify the story.

"How long does it take to get to space?" he asked.

"Well, I'm not sure. Let's find out."

We spent the next half hour going from one question to the next.  How long does it take to get to the moon?  Who walked on the moon?  How do the rockets work?  Why do they fall off as the shuttle launches?  Does anyone live in space?  We watched videos from inside the shuttle cockpit and saw a promotional movie about the first monkey that went into space.  All of this from a song.

There are days when I feel convicted about the curriculum getting done but those aren't the days I enjoy the most.  The best days are when they ask a question and we follow that question down the rabbit hole and let it take us where it will.  

It's incredible to see how many opportunities we have to teach our kids. Our agenda can sometimes get in the way but if we can put it aside, even for a moment, we will be rewarded with children who thrive on discovery.  And we just might have a great time, too.

Pay attention to the questions your kids ask today.  Are there any answers that might be fun to find together?

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