We’ve started a new game. Shhhh…my boys don’t realize they’re learning in the process.
I put together a folder and when dad goes on trips, he calls in the evenings before bed and we play “Where in the World is Dad” via FaceTime. FaceTime is essentially the same thing as Skype but on our iPhone. The nice thing about FaceTime is that when Les goes out of the country, we can still call him for free as long as he has Wi-Fi. Very nice indeed.
Last week, Les called us from Costa Rica. I leaned my phone against the fruit on the table and the boys pulled out their maps and worksheet. They asked dad questions and he walked them through where he was located on the map. The kids ask him about where he’s at: the language spoken, where he’s located in relation to our house, details about the area, etc.
From now on, dad is going to give hints to the boys where he’s at and they have to try and figure it out. We did a similar thing with Niki when she was younger. We had a large map of the United States hanging up in her room. She would stick pins in the cities where dad was spending the night. (We didn’t and don’t keep track of all the cities dad has been during the day. We just keep track of where he’s spending the night.) These days, we are using a large map of the world and the boys are putting little star stickers (no, we are not using pins) on the map where dad is sleeping.
My phone is leaning on the grapefruit in the middle of the table.
This activity serves two purposes: 1) Dad gets to talk to the boys about what he’s doing each night he’s gone. It’s important for them to know and realize that his work takes him away from us at times but he always comes back to us and his heart is always with us. 2) Dad still gets to be a part of teaching them.