Friday, March 9, 2012

Field Trip, Experiement, and Football

Wow, no posts at all in Feb, I'm sorry for my short hiatus. Feb was a rather rough month for me, and writing here just got pushed on the back burner. But I'm feeling inspiration again.

Late in Feb, we took the boys on an overnight trip to St. Augustine, Fl. On day one we visited the historical district, visiting a few of the shops and having lunch at the quaint Florida Cracker Cafe. I took the boys to see Castillo De San Marco, which I remember being much cooler from my childhood than it actually was. We also stopped in the Pirate Museum to check out all things Pirates. Nico was most excited about the prospect of staying in a hotel, and couldn't wait until 3pm to check in.

That evening, Nico and I took a Ghosts and Gravestones tour. We learned a lot about the history of St. Augustine, heard several ghost stories, and got to walk on the grounds of the Lighthouse, as well as enter the Old Jail (which is the most haunted building in the city). Lucas isn't interested in such things, so he and Timmy just stayed at the hotel.

On day two we visited Vilano Beach, before heading home. It was a shelly beach, and we spent a few hours collecting sea shells of various shapes, sizes and colors. I haven't figured out yet what we will do with all the shells, but I'm sure we'll think of something.

The other day, Nico asked what happens if you freeze water, that already has ice cubes in it? Will you still be able to see the original ice cubes, or will it all freeze together? He thought it would become one solid block of ice, but you would still be able to see the original ice cubes, as well as feel the bumps on the surface, because ice floats, so they would stick up above the rest of the ice. To find out, he set up an experiment by taking two cups of water, one with ice the other without, and freezing them. He checked on it several times, until both were completely frozen, and sure enough, you could still see the ice cubes trapped within the ice, and feel the bumps on the surface where they stuck up.

I've been looking for an activity to put the boys in, that wasn't terribly expensive, and would fit within my work schedule. I finally found it in the form of Flag Football. I registered the boys yesterday, and they have their first practice tonight. Both are excited, but Nico more than Lucas. He can't stop asking questions about the game, the rules, his coach, the other players. Even though they are in the same age division (cut off for the 8.9.10 age group was Jan 1, so Nico still counts as 7) I made sure to put them on separate teams. If they were on the same team, Nico would spend far too much time dictating to Lucas, and neither of them would fully enjoy the experience.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Love binds us Together

One of the things I love the most about home-schooling is the bond that I am forming with my boys. We are a closer family because of home-schooling, than we ever could be if I sent them away to school every day.

I was talking with my mom the other day, who suggested that when my boys get older, they may drift farther away from me, than if I had had girls would drift. I just don't think that is so. It's not that I want to hold my boys to me as long as possible, in fact just the opposite is true. I am always striving to give them their freedom and independence, with the knowledge that I will always be right here, when needed.

What makes me think my mother is wrong, is the way my boys show their love towards me. Everyday that I have to leave for work, they will drop everything (video game controllers included) and walk me to my car. They give me hugs and kisses, and stand at the sidewalk to watch until my car is out of sight. EVERY TIME! It's not something I have ever asked them to do, and I certainly never expect it. I simply say, I'm leaving now, and everything is shoved aside to see me off. That simple act shows me how important I am to them, more than anything else could.

And when they are 18, or 25, or even 40 years old, it wont matter if we are miles apart, because this bond that we have, wont be so easily broken.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back to the Future

Nico has been playing a Back to the Future game on the PS3. It's not the most action packed game ever. It doesn't have the best graphics of all time. But for some reason he really, really enjoys the game. He has been enjoying the game so much that he actually sat down and watched all three Back to the Future movies; which he says he also really liked.

It just goes to show that there's no predicting the things that might capture your child's attention. I think part of the reason Nico likes the game so much is that it's filled with puzzles for him to work out. I like him playing the game, because he's been learning so much from it. As I was cleaning this morning, I listened as he tried to complete one section of the game. It took him about ten tries. The goal was to complete an experiment for Doc, while Doc had an argument with his father in another room. During the argument, Doc was yelling out key words, which Nico had to listen for, to know what to do next in the experiment. Words like: Fire, Burning, Pressure, Hot Air, Shock, Bacteria, Lightening.

Let's think about all the things Nico learned, just from that one section of the game. Listening skills, following directions, deciphering clues, experimental procedures, new vocabulary words, scientific reasoning. I'm sure the list can go on and on.

The game as a whole has sparked a deeper interest in time, specifically years. Before playing this game, Nico never really thought beyond months, weeks, and days. But jumping through time on the game has got him thinking more about the years. How they are numbered, and what kinds of thing happened when. He's started referring more to the year we are in now, 2012. He's referenced years in the past; such as in 2010 such and such happened. And he's asking more questions about history.

Who knew? All this from a game I wouldn't have thought he would even be interested in.