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Teach But Never Stop Learning With Kids

September 8, 2011
By Donna Erickson
When our children are young, they look up to us and expect us to have all the answers. As parents, we certainly know that we don’t know it all and that we are learning and growing every day. It’s good for our kids to know that parents, too, can be beginners in some things. That’s what Kori Casey, mom of two elementary-age kids, discovered when she took on a new experience with her 8-year-old son Jackson while on vacation in Colorado last summer. “I’ve always wanted to learn how to rock climb, so I was inspired to attempt a climbing wall in Breckenridge one afternoon,” she said. When she whispered in her son’s ear, “If I try it, will you try it with me?” he hesitated at first, and then took on the challenge. After professional staff taught them safety measures and rules, Jackson joined her in the vertical endeavor, and both triumphantly rang the bell at the summit to mark their accomplishment. “Not only has he been talking about the feat all year long, but the shared experience made a special connection between the two of us that set the stage for more learning adventures together this summer,” said Kori. Are you hemming and hawing, trying to get the courage or find the time to break out of routine to attempt something new for the first time? Or, maybe you’ve started your own bucket list of exciting ideas you want to tick off in your life. Instead of waiting until the kids are grown and out of the house, satisfy some of those wishes right now — and include your kids in the doing. “Let’s learn something new together” could be the start of your own great parent/child adventure this month before school begins. Keep the challenge going all year long. Here are some ideas to get you started: 1. Bowl. Go to a bowling alley and roll a few frames. 2. Golf. Take a community education class together, then hit the range. 3. Make jewelry. Head for one of the numerous beading stores or craft stores in your area, take an afternoon class and learn how to make a one-of-a-kind bracelet or necklace. 4. Fish. Take fly-fishing lessons through an outdoor sports superstore in your area. 5. Volunteer. Contact an organization such as Habitat for Humanity, join a group of families and pound nails together for a good cause. — Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

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