Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Talk talk talk
According to a recent survey, the average married couple in America has only 30 minutes a week of communication outside of exchanges that take place at the dinner table, and between parent and child is only 14 minutes. I just copied and pasted this from a facebook post from Catholic Heritage Curriculum, I have no idea how true it is, but it seems like a good place to start a blog post. Lately, in our family, we've been talking about how much we talk. It is very common for me to say something like "ok everyone get to work," or "go do your math" or whatever and then two minutes later be like, "Oh Madi did you hear about blah blah blah?" or "Jonathan what time do you need to get to the theatre today?" inevitably these conversation starters will morph into long discussions. I'll eventually end the discussion with, "How come you aren't doing your work?" only to start in a few minutes later with something else. Jonathan is currently on the Civil War both in History and in his English virtual school class (American Literature), almost daily our History discussions will bring up current topics so that we'll go from how split the nation was during that time (brother against brother and all that...cue the song from EPCOT's American Adventure) to how split the country is today, to how people are not necessarily being heartless when they don't understand that a baby really is a baby from the moment of conception, and how we can teach people this, to the fact that I had an ultrasound when I was 6 weeks pregnant with Jonathan and I got to see his heartbeat before you could hear it. This was something I apparently had never told him before and it came out because we were discussing the Civil War. A few posts back I talked about stories and how listening to stories helps students' writing skills. We have now spent a good amount of time discussing this very thing in our family. I am now even more convinced that Jonathan and Madi are both great writers because we talk and listen so much. No, they don't listen so much to things like "clean your room" and "put your laundry away", but truly listening to things like that probably doesn't do much for writing skills anyway. They listen intently however to any family story about the past, or any book read aloud to anyone else in the house, or any book on CD. It has even occured to me today that the Catholic Mass is a great place to hone one's listening skills, especially when you are an active participant like an altar server, choir member, or the guy running the powerpoint. Back to that original quote about how infrequently families interact, I'd venture to say with every school subject that my kids do each day we take at least 14 minutes per subject out of actual book learning to actually discuss something usually completely unrelated to the subject. This adds up and when you combine it with the conversations we have between home and theatre and home and church and theatre and church etc etc, it really adds up. This is good since our dinner interactions very often involve Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, at least cumulatively we're trying to stay ahead of the average family.