Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Growing, Gardens and Delayed Gratification

photo of: gardens and delayed gratification, planting seeds with children

Delayed Gratification! 
According to Dr. Pam Schiller, the number one predictor of school and LIFETIME success is the young children who can 'delay' their gratification. In other words, the child who is patient. The child who can wait. The child who can build on yesterday's effort. That is the child that we can predict will do well at school and ultimately do well in life. Life requires the capability to persist. Persisting at one's passions is what brings success.

photo of: Seeds and plants in preschool, spring time science for children, preschool science

We live in an 'instant' generation: instant soup -- just a zap away, instant electricity -- just a switch away, instant entertainment -- just a click away. 

  • How do we build lesson plans that nurture and also build a sense and ability to delay gratification? 
  • How do we plan sufficiently, giving incentive, offering something to look forward to?
  • What activities expand a child's capability to delay their gratification?  
  • How can we instill a sense of building for the future?
  • What projects can we design that require 'steps' over time for their completion? 
  • What reinforcements do we offer for those who stick with the project?

Spring offers the opportunity to return to our roots. LITERALLY!

photo of: Science for Preschool, Science in kindergarten, seeds and growing

Walking into the preschool classroom in Taylor, MI last week for my 'music-lady' visit felt like a personal episode of "Back to the Future" for me! Cue theme music. Voila. I'm a kindergartner myself.

Seeing those baggies taped to the window took me back to my own childhood. I was instantly in my own kindergarten room -- walking in wondering what sort of growth had taken place overnight. We, too, had taken lima bean seeds, paper towels, wet them and placed them into bags taped onto the window. Some lessons never go out of style. Wait and watch. See the growth over time. 

I've been thinking a lot about delayed gratification this week on a 'personal' note..... so I have therefore seen examples in my AUTHOR travels everywhere I go. 
Take a look at this series of display cases at Darby Creek Elementary school, just inside their front door. Look at the 'framing' underway -- surrounding the display cases. Look closely. Look above the display cases. 

photo of: Ceramic tile installation in elementary school, Delayed gratification, Art tile

I had the opportunity to speak with Amy, the Art teacher and she explained that the ceramic tiles are being made by fifth graders in the building and that the project has been on-going for the past four years!! That is institutional approval of delayed gratification. An epic project of this magnitude teaches that great things take time to complete. SERIOUSLY!!! BRAVO!!

So why have I been so focused on 'delayed gratification' these last couple of weeks? Thanks for asking. We spent this past weekend in the Washington DC area with our youngest. She had the opportunity to play at the Kennedy Center and we were able to attend. My first time at the Center. THRILLED!!! PROUD!!! OVER-JOYED!!!!

photo of: Kennedy Center performance

Noelle plays the oboe and she is well qualified to address the issue of delayed gratification. Starting the instrument in elementary school -- I don't know that any of us had visions of her gracing the Kennedy Center stage, but through persistence and perseverance she followed her own dream arriving over a decade, seventeen years later at her destination. Plant those seeds with your little ones and help them learn to observe the 'growth' that unfolds over time. It may seem non-existent but with time and tender hands the seedling grows.

photo of: Kennedy quote on the Arts, Kennedy Center for the Arts

Theoretically one is 'not' to take photos inside the concert hall, but I just couldn't restrain myself and will have to use the "Mother-of-the-Oboist-on-a-first-time-to-Kennedy- Center-Defense" if caught red handed. I promise there was no flash involved in the taking of this picture and if you look closely you can tell that this was during the concluding applause.  

photo of: JFK quote on the importance of the Arts

photo of: Kennedy Center Hall of Nations, display of flags from around the world

photo of: JFK quote on the Arts

        -- Debbie --
Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story.
Which came first? The chicken or the egg? 

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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