The picture shown above was one of the best projects that my children and I worked on during our home-school journey. The lesson was The Most Precious Human Needs. It was important for me to incorporate character building exercises into their curriculum. So, I dug through my collection of notebooks (I take notes on any and everything, especially from books that I read) and discovered a wealth of useful information that would support this lesson.
In short, we learned attention assures, appreciation motivates, affection confirms, care inspires, and love is the reason. The discussion was brilliant! We each became one of the needs for the day to demonstrate their true meaning. Then, as you can see, we made a painting. Without planning I learned and explained that it is ok to need. Because we are emotional creatures it is necessary for us to honor each others needs, as well as our own. Here's the example that we used:
Love is the seed; it's the reason why we are in the garden. Caring is consideration; it's the watering, changing of the soil, pruning of the leaves, etc. Attention is the time given to assure that all is well. This means knowing when to alter feedings, lighting, and so on. Affection is the nutrition; it's the nutrients added to the the water, the gentle removal of pests and debris. Appreciation is the ability to honor; giving the plant an environment that will allow it to thrive to its fullest potential, thus blossoming.
From this example I was able to explain that if we viewed people as plants the world would begin to look better. We'd think twice about littering, using pesticides, and other harmful acts. We would give more because we'd understand that we need each other in order to blossom; be the love, care, affection, attention, and/or appreciation. From there, the change will come. That is how I learned to Teach what is useful to life.