The Importance Of Anticipation

by Mary Ann on May 25, 2010

Christmas at our house was as if the windows of heaven had opened. There were piles of shiny, colorful goods scattered all through the living room. As the oldest of nine children I had the privilege of seeing every one of those childhood Christmases.

What made it all so wonderful wasn’t what was in each pile but the sheer magnitude of the amount of goods scattered neatly about. Walking into that living room in the dimness of early morning, the red, green and orange of the Christmas tree giving a soft glow, was magic.

My parents weren’t wealthy; in fact I would say that we were on the bottom half of middle class most of the time and slipped even lower on occasion during my growing up years. Their secret to such extravagance at this one time of year was the Five and Dime, the Dollar store of the past. There might be one long sought after item that we had seen on TV or in a catalogue. The rest was a world of possibilities of hours of fun that we hadn’t even thought of.

The truth was that the contents of the pile didn’t radically change from year to year, that is until we entered our teens, but until then the same things, with a few changes, would be found year after year. We never grew tired of it because it was always about possibilities, it was freshly new. There would be color books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, scissors, glue, glitter, colored paper, pipe cleaners, sequins, paint, and chalk. We would find marbles, gyroscopes, pick up sticks, etch-a-sketch, magic erase boards, silly putty, paddle balls, board games, and clay, which eventually gave way to play dough. There would be card games, flash cards of every variety, paper dolls, tinker toys, Lincoln logs, a Light Bright with hundreds of colored pegs. There were doll houses with furniture, people, cars and animals. There were toy soldiers, cowboys and Indians, plastic farm animals with fences and barns, sewing cards, and an occasional kit of some kind or other. And don’t forget the books, lots and lots of delightful books.

Things rarely squeaked, talked, and boomed, crashed or made any other sound. All that had to be provided by us and our infinite imaginations. Those abundant and homely Christmases were a wonderful gift that our parents gave us.

In the homes of parents who want to utilize the Leadership Education model (TJED), there needs to be that sense of wonder and possibility that those early Christmases provided for  me. This can be accomplished by creating a Spark Station that children can’t wait to dive into. That Christmas morning sensation can happen every day when you remember the 5 rules of engagement: have a structured time for the closets use, be present, The Spark Station and its contents are only available during that special time, you keep it in order by not overloading it; when you put something in you take something out and by having a weekly planning session with yourself or your spouse.

When your Spark Station has that Christmas anticipation then you have succeeded in creating a magical learning space. In this space your children will learn to love learning. A warm and friendly “I want to be here” feeling will exist. This is possible for any family that will, whether they home school or attend public or private school, create a Spark Station and learn and use the five rules.

Possibly Related Posts:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rozanne Workman August 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Now I know why I like to stay at your home when I go to Utah. There is always something to read, something to discuss, a clean bed to sleep in, and a patio delightfully decored with activities of Nature. The bird feeder, the flowers, the statues and ornaments dipicting life and energy. Yet, the quiet solitude of being able to sit in the rocker and watch LIFE HAPPEN as the birds flutter, the trees sway, and the smells of Nature engulf my senses, always stimulates a gratitude in my heart for those precious times ‘to ponder’. So much is sorted out when we take time to ponder. It stimulates the imagination. I love you. Roze


Mary Ann August 9, 2010 at 8:55 am

Thank you Rozanne. I needed to hear that today! : )


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: