My 4.5 year old lives and breathes football at the moment. It started seriously in February of this year and hasn’t stopped.
If you know me, it goes without saying that I’m not sporty. Fostering a love for football certainly isn’t in my bag of tricks. Nevertheless, I nourished this
obsession interest and have continuously been blown away by the learning and opportunities that it has bought about.
Cameron is a sensitive child and this sometimes means that it can be difficult for him to be involved in events or new experiences. Yet I watched as my son got dressed up and went to a loud soccer game over and over again.
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It began with apprehension. He cried the first time they got a goal (he has some issues with auditory sensory input) but he was hooked and on a high from the atmosphere before the game was through.
He loves everything about soccer and cannot get enough. It’s a true child-led interest to it’s core. He loves watching it, playing it, talking about it and learning about anything that comes up!
He learned about the bus and train routes to get to the stadium.
Lucky for him, amongst this interest the World Cup was on. He got up early in the morning to watch almost every game. He learned so many of the countries, the flags, their colours and started to decode how a game unfolds.
It’s such a magical concept to watch as a parent. Seeing my 4 year old point out flags that I didn’t know or wouldn’t have thought to teach him was incredible.
It was so lovely to see him learning and understanding concepts like ‘offside’ and ‘greater than’ as he watched games.
He learned how to do a drop kick and dribble the ball as he played (and played and played) in the backyard with his goal set.
He times himself with his stopwatch. Side note: This is such a great stopwatch, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s easy to use and has many functions. We have had so much fun timing things and Cameron has started to comprehend seconds and minutes.
What does he do when it gets dark and he has to come inside? Out comes the Orchard Toys Football board game which he has played daily since we got it.
This is authentic learning. This is an engaged child immersing himself in an interest that is meaningful to him. It’s so beautiful to watch and help guide him.
There really wasn’t much needed for me to help this learning to come alive. A book here, a ball there, letting him know when games were on and having his Dad (who played soccer growing up and is a fan himself) there to answer his questions.
I couldn’t stop him if I wanted to.
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