This is the other instrument as per my recent post that the Mr. Oldest created yesterday. He did not use it very much but he spent quite some time creating and inventing.

Today he restructured everything about it and still he is not using it. I will wait and see – keep you posted. Here is a photo of the modified wind instrument.

So often it is the making far beyond the using that gets these boys going. Makes me wonder why we ever buy toys.


Dreaming Of Trains

April 14, 2012

Somebody is dreaming about trains.  In his dreams he will get a starter train set on his birthday and be on his way to having one of those elaborate sets that he watches on You Tube.

In preparation and just to make sure we understand how definitely he wants this as his next birthday gift he has created a display unit of sorts for his train.

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I love the way my kids can get an idea – find the supplies and execute without prompting and with limited help.  All that was asked of me was to pick up some styrofoam.  He did not build the box but thanks to his carpenter dad it was laying around.  I really did not understand where he was going with this untill it was done.  He knew exactly where he was going.

What do your kids do while waiting for dreams to come true?

Have you ever been motivated by somebody else’s goals for you?  Have you ever been inspired and then motivated by something that interested you?  What do you think – big difference?

I have been reading a lot about finding out what motivates my kids so that I can better teach them (the curriculum).  Well what motivates them is curiosity and so how do I motivate and inspire them to do some math facts that are not related to anything tangible in their real world?  Can I motivate them with a sticker and then a bigger sticker and will they be truly enthused to learn?  Or will they later at another time be in a life situation or play situation and naturally learn what they need to learn?  I know the answer FOR our family but can I trust enough? We do our math curriculum – just in case.

Our educational system claims to teach “them kids” and prepare “them kids” and takes the credit with very little left to” them kids”.  And we are all too busy to take a moment to observe any different so away we go following this effort to motivate our children to do what we want them to do.  We need to give them some credit and we need to trust them.  They will love to learn as long as learning is always presented as learning for them.  They will want to learn when left to it.  They will learn and retain more if the learning is through desire for knowledge.  They are simply awesome really.

So what are my kids up to without my interference and direction?  Here is a compilation of learning activities and learning through play at random just photos so you will have to use your imagination. You might notice we spend a lot of time outside and the boys always have busy hands. When we are outside and when we are busy they ask a lot of questions and learn that way.

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More specifically a while back Paul did some science experiments with water which started by him boiling pots of water to help combat the dry air in our house.  I asked him to turn the water down after bringing it to a boil and he was indeed curious how the water would still boil and create steam and so out came the thermometer.  I quickly scribbled up a chart and we started recording temperatures of boiling points and other miscellaneous variations.  Of course we were able to observe all of the water cycle including the freezing aspect as that evening the windows were frozen quite shut.

A while later on this same day Paul moved on to making books – not exactly something most parents would boast about but he made a book of “Sware” words.  After he was done he made copies and presented them to his brothers for sale.  I had to put a stop to that but my point is simply that he did science, a little bit of writing and a little bit of entrepreneur/business skills. He learned and practiced skills because he wanted to.

Samuel was busy doing other things on this day and decided he would create his own eye spy books – inspired by his big brother.  He got a good start on that before moving along to other things – mostly just random play.  Eventually he decided to make his own sandwich bar. The bar had all sorts of ingredients that my boys would not normally put on their sandwiches – like lettuce, cucumber and pickles but because Samuel made the experience so very interesting these boys had one pretty nutritious lunch.

It is endless the things these boys do that teaches and fulfills a well-rounded education.  Most of what I present goes in one ear and out the other.  The real learning is in the play and I am not sure us adults have enough play left in us to be really great teachers.

My children are their own best teachers because from them come great questions – better questions and current to our time questions.  Then we go on a mad hunt for answers – fun learning!