Friday, December 21, 2012

The Giving Jar

This is a first installment of "The Visiting Classroom" - a new column for Switching Classrooms. We'll spotlight what every day parents are teaching in their classrooms. 

Please welcome my friend Val, who teaches her three children every day.

1. What learning opportunity are you doing with your kids? Where did you get the idea?
Ever since the Christmas season has begun, my 3 year old and 4 year old have been focused on things they would like to receive for Christmas. They have been looking through multiple catalogs and circling items they would like added to their list. Walking through the stores they would point to anything and everything wanting this and that. I really wanted to find something to focus on giving during this holy-day season. As I was searching for ideas I came across this fantastic idea on Facebook called “The Giving Jar”. I had heard of it the year before and made a quick decision that this is what we would do this year - 24 days of giving. So I began a list and incorporated ideas I already had planned, used some ideas from the link I found, and came up with some of our own.

2. What are you teaching them?
I am linking Christmas to Jesus and the celebration of His birthday. We set out our Nativity set and reviewed the story of Jesus’ birth. The focus has been that Jesus gave us the biggest gift we ever could have asked for, the forgiveness of our sins and what that means. That we give gifts to each other this season to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to remind us of that forgiveness and that He died on the cross for us. As we count down the days to 25, the focus is that special day is Jesus’ birthday, not necessarily the day we receive gifts. That is just an added bonus. Christmas day we will wake up and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and celebrate His special day through giving and learning to appreciate receiving.

Giving Day 6 was to deliver poinsettias to all 3 great grandmothers to show them we are thankful they are in our lives.

3. Reflecting back, would you add or change anything next time?
I am excited to continue this each year and make it a family tradition. I am hoping we can be reminded to be giving all year round, not just during this special Christmas season and will be looking for new ways to give to add to our list!

Thanks Val for empowering parents to know that they can teach their children, and giving us stellar examples. 

About our mom: -->
My name is Valorie Mills and I have the best job ever as mom to three beautiful children ages 1, 3, 4 and also a wonderful step-son who is 10. I am a “retired” music educator but still teach woodwind lessons on the side. My life is full in the best way imaginable. I feel blessed and try hard to remember that each day. Like Valorie's Facebook page.

Interested in being spotlighted for the next Visiting Classroom? We are looking for ordinary parents who love teaching their children every day. Contact me for more information.