Teachable Moments

Those who can’t, teach.

I think that phrase is all wrong.

It makes it sound like teaching is a fall back profession, something you do if you’re not good enough for something else. I know one thing, however: I would make a rotten teacher.

I’m better with my kids than with other people’s. I don’t exactly have a surplus of patience. While I know how to make my subjects and verbs agree (USUALLY), I don’t necessarily know how to explain it to someone else.

So, while half my neighborhood homeschools their children, I’ve never felt the need to do so.

Instead, I take the moments as they come. Not surprisingly, many of these come while we’re in the kitchen baking. There are so many opportunities to teach while baking – math, especially – and because the end result is edible, it makes it the best kind of math ever.

Let’s say you need a cup of granulated sugar. Now, because you’re a baking fool, all your measuring cups are dirty. Except one. Your quarter cup measuring cup. So you hand the measuring cup to your daughter and you say to her, “Well, lady, looks like this is all we’ve got. How many times do we need to fill our 1/4 cup to equal the one cup of sugar that we need?” And because your daughter is thoughtful and mindful – she thinks a minute and she looks at you. This is where you can tell her that there are four quarter cups in one cup. Just like there are four quarters in a dollar. So if we have this measuring cup, we’ll need to fill it with sugar how many times? She’ll tell you four.

And she’ll be right.


The cookies have been in the oven for three minutes. They should bake for 11. So… how much longer do you have to wait until the cookies can come out?


We put the cookies in the oven at 4:21 – if they need to cook for 11 minutes, what time will the clock say when it’s time to take them out?

Those are the kind of teaching moments I love best – those served warm with a glass of cold milk.


I wrote this post in celebration of Kleenex’s Hands-On Learning as an entry to win a gift card (oh yeah) and a huge box of Kleenex which I need because I am allergic to everything.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

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