This Inspirational Instruction Moment is brought to you by the Rubik’s Cube and an eight year old.
Impromptu teachable moments are my favorites. At least they stick in my memories because they are unique, different than the daily grind. When we had finished instruction for the day, my daughter and I were talking in the kitchen and I realized that she had to really think about what she was saying. Some words escaped her thought train and she wasn’t able to communicate her point effectively. There had to be a way to help her give better instructions. What can we do that is enjoyable? What can we do to make learning a game and accessible?
I scouted around the room for something, *anything* that would help with directionality and giving and receiving instruction. My eyes landed on the Rubik’s cube, the new favorite toy in the house. I had her draw a Tic Tac Toe square to signify top middle and bottom, left, center and right. Then we dug up colors to match the cube.
The things that this Instruction Game can teach:
4. Giving Instruction
5. Receiving Instruction
6. Reviewing work done.
7. Following instruction the first time given.
As we worked, there was something about this moment that led to more order.
Together, we concluded that we would instruct in this order:
1. Color of marker
2. Row: Top/Middle/Bottom
3. Column: Left/Right/Middle
4. Be sure the person is paying attention and is ready.
We did it in order from Top-Left through like reading to Bottom-Right. After that, we changed it up so that all the same color was done first. Then we mixed it up again so that you just had to pay attention to instruction. We had fun with this game and played it several times. Checking work was an enjoyable task, too.
There was considerable thinking going on the first time. We were both busy, initially her, with grasping the concept, and me with breaking it down. It was definitely something that she wanted to do. She also got one on one time with Mommy.
We played it again and it was obvious that with just one game, she had a better grasp of instruction.
My 11 year old also enjoyed the concept of the game.
Here he is in action:
Other Captured Teachable Moments
Cooking is another area where learning shines through. Blueberry muffins have been a popular fraction treat; it’s snack and learning at the same time. A bit of chemistry with the heat and some home economics. Oh, here I go again, off topic. I have to think outside the box with this particular child, but then I get to use these new skills with everyone. There is a great need to see how what she is learning impacts her real life. It brings real challenge to our day. She is also my most active child, who enjoys the physical activity. Dance. Skip. Bike. Skate. Move. Constantly asking questions.
My own spiritual growth comes in greeting her discomfort and manners of escape with a charitable spirit. God help me with this child as she learns how to develop positive skills that she can transfer to her learning.
Need your own Rubick’s Cube? Get one here. (Affiliate Link).