Teachable Moments

While homeschooling, I seized opportunities to make connections between academic learning and everyday life. I referred to these chances as “teachable moments.”

After graduating, one son participated in a panel discussion with other homeschool graduates. I did not attend so my son could speak freely. The next day, a mom said every student complained about school never ending.

Why did movies, news accounts, neighborhood events—almost anything—that related to a former or current school topic have to be discussed from a learning point of view?

A few weeks later, I reviewed the portfolio of a frustrated homeschool mom. After teaching her daughters about the fall of communism, Gorbachev was mentioned on the national news. “Wouldn’t any teacher want to connect current news to a history lesson?” she asked. “Why did the discussion make my daughters angry?”

Along the way, I learned that homeschooled students disliked and dreaded the “teachable moments” we parents loved and seized. I wish I had known to be more discerning about applying academic lessons.

How do you decide whether to ignore or seize a teachable moment?

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