My kids are CRAZY about this show. We bought the complete series for Christmas, and bar none, it was their favorite item. They prefer this show over any of our Disney movies. And because I like it too, I let them watch it. Well, it’s permeated our family life.
How do I know?
My two-year-old starts each day with “Good morning, class.”
My four-year-old is our safety queen when we get in the car. “Single file please.” “Seatbelts everyone!”
My 5-year-old knows he’s funny because he has started quoting Carlos’ jokes. All the time. Only, they usually don’t fit. But because Carlos said it, it must be funny, right? I laugh because I know this is his thought process. But he takes it further. He has started making his own acronyms like Carlos. For example, he asked me a few days ago, “Mommy, did you know that plants need CD?” Huh? I’m wondering if “seed-ie” is some kind of Peter language talk for seeds. He was so pleased when I didn’t get it and he could deliver his punchline- “Carbon Dioxide!”
But it’s not just my kids. I am changing too. I absolutely love and admire Ms Frizzle. I am saying things like “It’s time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.” “Ah, excellent observation, Helen, blah blah blah”, in Frizzle fashion. And before I answer (they know I’ll get to it), I say, “Excellent question, anyone care to guess?” Haha, I’ve been frizzled, all right.
As I’ve watched the show, I know more and more that it’s not just her enchanting bus with it’s Mesmerglober, her porta-shrinker, her amazing house, her deep bag Mary Poppins must have given her, or even her crazy outfits and glowing earings that make her special. Ms Frizzle is a first-class teacher and I am trying to learn from her.
When her kids argue, she doesn’t just barge in and stop it. She creates an environment where the children will learn better behavior on their own. When children ask questions, she gives them a hands-on experience to answer it. When things go wrong, she is always optimistic. “Ah, don’t you just love it when that happens? Now we can learn about….” She is kind. She keeps her kids safe (somehow. gee, I would love to know how she does that in a volcano, an oven, or in an airplane without power). She’s not afraid to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy BECAUSE she understands that this is the way that children learn. The best part of all is that she takes her kids on field trips. Homeschooling shouldn’t all be in the house. I need to be better at that.
Yes, I can learn a lot from Ms. Frizzle. Yes, children, you may watch another episode while I make dinner. But just one. Let’s use it as a springboard and learn more about it together.