Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tip #4: My 5-minute Discussions

Since my kids were just preschoolers, I would have lots of discussions with them throughout the day. Some are as brief as a few minutes, while others can drag on for over an hour.

We often discuss and exchange views on all topics under the Sun.

Here is an exchange with my 5-year-old last week on materials.

(The only reason I could remember this long exchange and be bothered to type it is because my laptop was already next to me at that time, so I could type the entire exchange once we had it. But I only finished this blog post later)

5-year-old: Is this table made of wood?

Me: Yes. What other materials can tables be made of?

5-year-old: Can it be made of chocolate? {BIG chuckle!}

Me: So you can eat it? Do you know there are already inventions such as edible bowls and cutlery?

5-year-old: {Nodding} Yes! I know. We discussed this before. So there will be no waste of materials.
Can tables be made of iron or some metal? What about glass?

Me: Hmm... what do you think?

5-year-old: There are advantages and disadvantages of using glass to make a table. If it is a small glass table (as she looked at the glass jar in front of her), then people cannot sit on it and they may step on it instead.

Me: We can also use glass to make big things. Look at the sliding doors we have.

5-year-old: Oh yes, a big glass table! Wow... then we can see through it.

Me: So glass is transparent. We can see through glass. Is that an advantage or disadvantage?

5-year-old: Hmm.. depends what we use glass for. Sometimes we don't want to make things that see-through, right? Mama?

Me: Yes... what is a big disadvantage of a glass table?

5-year-old: It will break!!

Me: Yes, so if we want a material that is transparent and yet will not break so easily, what other materials can we use?

5-year-old: {Looking around her breakfast table} I know! We can use plastic!

Me: Yes, good point! Plastic can be made into different thickness too. And it is very light compared to glass. Though people don't always want a light table.

5-year-old: But not all things made of plastic are transparent. Look, my cup is not!

Me: Excellent point!! Great observation!!

Without realising it, my Dolly was learning Science concepts, building vocabulary and honing critical and creative thinking skills. In addition, our daily discussions sharpen questioning, observation, communication skills and strengthen the child's ability to focus.

In all my Bright Minds Lapbookers classes, discussions is one area that I place high value on and we expose all students to such exchanges. Obviously the older ones would have longer and more complex discussions.

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