Monday, March 23, 2015

Natural Learning, Intentionally - Part II

Intentional. It is my mantra, whether teaching my littles (and bigs) or embracing life. Intentionality has served me (and my family) well. 

How can I be intentional this minute to make a difference in the minutes yet to come?

The word intentional means (back to definitions):

From the 1957 Webster's New 20th Century dictionary, intentional was defined as

  • Having to do with intention or purpose
  • Intended; designed; done with design or purpose; not accidental

According to, intentional is defined as
  • done with intention or on purpose
  • of or relating to intention or purpose

What proceeded the afternoon (minutes, hours or years before) contributing to the fruit of the day featured in Part I?

These were all lessons in and of themselves.
  • Art supplies were purchased, then organized and stored in a manner accessible to the children with the developmental ability to determine appropriate use for said items (don't want acrylics on my walls, unless it is first on a canvas).

  • Prior expectations and boundaries were set as to where the acrylics could be used (easel, kitchen table).
  • Prior instruction was given as to how the brushes and tools were to be cared for, cleaned, and stored (otherwise brush hairs would be haywire and my house would become a paint palette). 
  • Painting was an intrinsic interest I observed and fostered, something that mattered to them with the ultimate goal of spending time with my Dad (who loves to paint with them) and entering arts and handcrafts into the local county fair. 
  • A library visit was scheduled and carried out where children checked out books of interest.

  • Prior to that visit, children were given a tour as to where their books of interest would be shelved. For one child instruction was "this is where you will find animal books". For another, "this is the biography section". 
  • Years ago, we discussed choosing appropriate materials, library etiquette, and check-out procedures.

The end result of many intentional decisions: I scheduled appointments, two learners finished fair projects, and two learners created three entrees in their writing notebooks. 

So, though natural learning occurred last week, there was intentional thought and instruction that proceeded the fruitful afternoon.

Natural Learning, Intentionally Part III coming soon!

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