Yesterday my lil' guy accompanied me to the grocery store. We haven't done that in a while. I usually go by myself on Saturday mornings. I'm always glad when he wants to try something new. Getting him out of his routine once in a while is a great way for him to learn to cope with changes. We had a good time together and many valuable lessons were learned.
Social skills are one of our focuses this year, and we encountered several stockers, folks behind the counters and cashiers along the way. All opportunities for me to model appropriate social interactions and teach the golden rule. It's also a chance for me to "coach" him on how to phrase things when he is in need of assistance by those who may not know him well. He floored me last week when he asked the librarian if he could check out a book that someone had just returned. These type of interactions don't come easily to him, and it just goes to show how much progress he has indeed made.
Back in the grocery store, we had ample opportunity to use math in finding prices for items (number sense and place value), finding the best deals (economics and computation) and a little lesson on thriftiness thrown in for good measure. I was happy to share with him that I had recently purchased a pound of pistachios for $2.99 by buying it on sale elsewhere and using a coupon. We noticed that the grocery store had them on sale for $6.99. Half-price is a good thing. Not only does he get the utilitarian lessons of using math in his day-to-day life, he can also learn that there are ways to make your dollar go farther. I'm hoping that these little insights will stick with him as he gets more independent.
It makes me feel good that my 10-year old knows the difference between real food and garbage. He has never been to McDonald's and doesn't have any desire to do so. We stress the importance of eating well in our family and he seems to understand that what you put in your body will affect your health for the rest of your life. He will often ask me which vitamins are in what foods or what a certain item does for the body. We cover the subject of health every day.
Even if these were the only three things he learns by sharing the excursion to the grocery store, I think it's time well spent. I love that he is learning things that he can use every day of his life. It's all good...