3 Nov 2011

Reading turn to Squabbling. (Studying Swamps)

Since we're a rather outdoor family, we've been to several swamps already, but never really "studied" the topic through books. So I decided, perhaps it's time we learnt a little more about it. Thus I borrowed this book from the library "Mangroves: The Forgotten Forest between Land and Sea" by Michael Mastaller. 

We began the study by drawing a simple diagram of a swamp, of where swamps are generally found, which is between sea and land. Then we went on to study about the general architecture of mangrove trees focusing on 3 types, Lumnitzera, Xylocarpus, Rhizophora. Then we went on to study roots and finally animals that live in the swamp. 

I began the study excitedly, imagining a lovely time learning and bonding with my children. In my mind, we were going to be a happy family, studying books with great delight and joyous faces, as portrayed in pictures which depict children happily sitting around a reading parent, like this picture below.... 

Alas for me, it didn't turn out as expected, and barely 20 minutes passed, and we began to look more like this.

My children started squabbling. "Mum, she's blocking my view!"  "Mum, she poked me with her legs again, she did it on purpose!" "Mum, she doesn't want to lend me the eraser!" ""Mum, etc etc etc..."

After a while....and several attempts to resolve issues, this mum (muo) gave up.

I left the room and threatened "If YOU DO NOT STOP Squabbling, I shall hereby punish you with 20 pages of MATH!"  The quarrels subsided for 1 minute and then resumed.

Suddenly I had a stroke of genius and suggested instea
"Since you both choose to squabble while I was teaching, this is END of session. You shall both now learn all facts by heart. You shall learn the 3 names of trees, yes, Lumnitzera, Xylocarpus, Rhizophora,  however it is pronounced!!! And...if you BOTH get it, you will be rewarded. if NOT!.....!!"

This was followed by howls and protest from my older girl. "But Mum, I'll never be able to teach Jo these words, it's impossible, difficult..."

Already irritated (I know, not very patient was I), I replied  "If you choose not to do this, you may opt for the easier way out. Come up and redeem a paddle smack on your bottoms for quarreling, and you're off the hook."

This promptly helped them decided that learning the names of the trees was a better option. As I sat upstairs, I heard the older teaching the younger. At times, I heard "familiar threats" coming from her...and *ahem* made mental notes not to repeat those phrases myself. hehe..

Well...after more squabbling and threats from the older as she taught the younger, gradually, I heard them both chanting and singing (lyrics mostly consisting of the words Lumnitzera, Xylocarpus, Rhizophora) haha..., and then there was laughter as they got it. Finally, they rushed excitedly to eaves-dropping-mum upstairs  and passed my quiz with flying colours.

Huh..... So that was it today. :)

Before I end here, as we were studying roots, we came across this picture and we read "Strong roots..to survive in adverse conditions" My mind clicked and I said to my children, that's how we need to be, like these roots, strong, clinging deep and tightly to the ground. We need to be strongly grounded in the Word of God, that we will be able to survive no matter how life's wind and storms blow.

(For Part 2, when we visited several places to continue our study of mangrove -click HERE)


Kiddothings said...

Haha! Kids will be kids huh? Well at least, in the end your girls achieved the goal of knowing those 3 types of mangrove trees.

marie said...

I have been the kid in that scene & the parent, it rings so true that your vision is not always the reality. I love that you made them memorize those hard words, naughty kids.

CL said...

thanks for dropping by my blog ...

yes, I always picture myself with 2 kids, just like the one one the picture... wishful thinking... have a great weekend..

Anonymous said...

Some days just don't go as well as planned, do they? And, isn't it funny how awful "those phrases" we use sound when they come out of our kids mouths? Ugh, so many times I tell myself I'm going to have to watch my mouth!

Mini Mocha said...

I love the roots analogy, must remember this when I am frustrated that the boys are staring out the windows into space and taking all day to do a few pages of their work!

Carolyn said...

Haha..I like this post. At least I know I'm not alone. But my eldest is also learning to speak like me. She sounded like me when she's scolding her brother. Scary!

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