By Beth Pinyerd
As a teacher, I love to plan butterfly release parties for science classes in the springtime. All butterflies undergo a “complete metamorphosis,” growing into a beautiful adult butterfly.
The four metamorphosis stages are egg, larva, pupa and adult. Children are fascinated by observing these stages of a butterfly’s life. It is a gift!
Just like the stages of a butterfly’s life, children are a gift and promise as well. In sharing this with you, I’d like to take each letter of the word promise as we realize that your child is a promise and a possibility, as we explore ways we can encourage each child to be all they can be. As Psalm 139:14 reads, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
P – Praise and encourage your child. Verbal praise is important for young children to hear when they have done a good job. Pats on the back or eye-to-eye contact, or a wink saying I am proud of you mean so much to children, as well as we adults. Time spent with your child spells LOVE! 1 Corinthians 13:13 – “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
R – Reach out to your child. In our world today, we spend so much time on the run. With your child, it is more important to spend free time with them rather than spending time on too many structured activities.. Free play is also important for young children, and serves as an outlet for children to work, grow, and express themselves. It is so neat to let your child swing up to the beautiful spring sky, run or walk around the yard or play at one of our beautiful community parks. During the children’s’ ministry on Wednesday evenings, even the older children let me know they need to play for a few minutes before we settle down to a lesson. Psalm 34:8 – “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
O – Optimism is contagious to be around. Children love to be around happy people. Just like Play-Doh, young children’s hearts can be molded by our actions and words. I love the term “POP” in sharing with children, which is the P-positive, O-Optimistic, P-Peacemaker. In guiding children to share and make friends, it is so important to guide them toward being positive. Life is not going to always be a bowl full of cherries, but it is our attitude and how we handle life’s circumstances that counts. You’ve heard the old expression about making lemonade out of a lemon, and it is so true. Teaching children early how to live life no matter how tough the tough gets going is a valuable lesson not only for children, but also adults. Ecclesiastes 3:12 – “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.”
M – Meeting the strengths of your child’s gifts and talents, how they are made and enabling them to be all they can be. Being available to offer learning sessions, activities which enhance what they are inclined to do, is a true gift every child deserves. Talking and listening to your child will truly win them over, and they will see the love from your heart that you care. Just as we water our spring flowers, children need to be nurtured too, so the flowers of confidence and motivation will blossom. Ecclesiastes 7:14 – “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.”
I – Interaction is important in reaching and teaching a child. There are several approaches to learning. 1. Visual learning is when a child learns more by seeing pictures or demonstrations.
- Reflective learners generally learn best when they are alone. These children are usually observers for a long time in assessing their situations. They may be the children that will separate themselves by playing alone, looking at books by themselves, and pondering on new learning situations.
- Logical learners are geared to learn by following patterns or sequences. We think of ordering numbers or alphabet sequence when we think of this kind of learner.
- Physical learners learn best by activity, such as being active with their hands, feet, or their whole body. We see these young children engaged in pretend play, as well as enjoying outside play and games.
- Relational learners interact and relate well to other children. They are social and love to work in groups.They learn by interacting with their friends.
- Musical learners love to sing, hum and enjoy playing musical instruments. When tambourines, bells, cymbals are available, they love to march around the room and learn.
- Natural learners love the outside world. They are naturally little scientists who love to look closely at nature with its plants and animals. Usually these learners will migrate to the science table. Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
S – Special is what children are! Just like a canvas with white paper that we can draw or paint,a child’s life is like this! Children love to hear their names and they love to receive encouragement. On the canvas of a child’s life, we as parents and teachers can paint beautiful life masterpieces for our children and students!
E – “Every” is such an important word as we watch our young children grow up so fast. Every day is a gift wrapped up in a bow when young children are at the beginning of their little lives. Parents, they grow up so fast. With a blink of an eye, they are grown and out on their own. Cherish every single day of your child’s life. Never take one take for granted, savor each moment as you watch your promise grow up to be a possibility! James 1:17- “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turn.”
Pinyerd has taught young children in the early childhood classroom for 34 years as well as outreaching to the elderly in intergenerational settings. She has taught and outreached in the schools in Opelika and Baldwin County. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education as well as a bachelor’s degree in family and child development both from Auburn University. Her husband is the late Carl Pinyerd and she has one son, Gus Pinyerd who has taught her so much about learning. Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is provided to enrich the education of our children, youth, and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures, and events by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.