I’ve often said that making connections and background knowledge is the most important comprehension strategy we teach in kindergarten. Even though I teach kids how to connect their schema to the books we are reading, I’m not their first, best, or most important teacher. YOU are. As a parent, you have the opportunity to give your kids life experiences that I cannot provide for them.
A child’s schema is all that they bring to the table as they read or listen to a story. It is all of their personal experience and history, all they’ve seen or heard about, everything they’ve read, hobbies they love, experiences in day to day life, and their ADVENTURES.
Summer is the perfect time for adventures.
This year on our Seaside trip, we tried something new. We rented a boat and took the boys crabbing and clamming. We decided not to bring the little girls along, mainly because we didn’t think they’d have the patience for it.
We took the boat over to a beach which was filled with clams. They weren’t the type of clams you have chase and dig quickly for. These clams were just sitting in the sand. All you had to do was move the sand a little, and there they were.
We easily dug our limit of clams in about 20 minutes. Over 200 hundred clams! Can you believe it?
The boys LOVED pulling up the crab pots and sorting through the crabs. We threw the little guys back. We were only allowed to keep the males, so the females needed to go back as well. We ended up catching our limit in crab too! (Ok, actually we only caught a pathetic 3 crabs. But saying we caught our limit makes a better fish tale.) Fortunately, we were able to buy a few more to add to our bounty.
I have to say, the biggest adventure of the day was eating crab heart. The boys weren’t so sure about the idea, but the guy helping us absolutely insisted. Now the boys can tell all of their friends they’ve eaten crab heart. Bragging rights, you know.
Everyone had a hand in making our seafood feast for dinner. We scrubbed, cleaned, and steamed over 200 clams. We cracked crab and made clam chowder from scratch. Basically, we worked all day for one meal that would be over in 15 minutes. But, it was worth it. The work was part of the fun and the kids had the experience of a lifetime.
So, what’s your latest adventure? How are you spending your summer? Are your kids trying anything new?
Have an adventure and build your child’s schema! Their teacher will thank you.