Monday, January 20, 2014

Lego Mastermind

Make a checker board and I will play a game with you

As part of our homeschooling day, we have what I call "Productive Free Time."  This is the time of day where my kids can do whatever they want as long as it produces something either physical or mental--build with legos, blocks, a puzzle, read, a craft, play piano, sew, draw, cook, write, etc.  Basically it's anything that helps build the brain or improve on a skill and doesn't involve a screen.

This is a new part of our day just since we started back to school after Christmas break.  I have been doing some reading on adopting a Lifestyle of Learning and am gleaning some really helpful information about helping my kids both learn how to learn and to enjoy it.  And yes, there is a difference between learning something and learning how to learn.  One of these methods leads to retention, ownership, and the ability to self-educate down the road.  The other leads to the ability to take tests and pass.  My aim is for the former.  

As part of establishing a Lifestyle of Learning is the introduction of productive free time.  I used to let me kids do whatever they wanted once their schoolwork was done.  Which is fine, but often led to boredom in my kids and begging for screen time.  Something was missing.  When I first introduced the PFT idea, I had each of my kids make a list of things they like to do so that if they needed ideas down the road, they could look back on their lists.  

I am going to share a bit of what my kids have been up to and what they have produced during their PFT because I think it's pretty exciting.  As we get further along in our PFT routine, my kids have been coming up with things to do and ideas for projects that I never even considered for them.  Today I will focus on David and one of his interests.

David loves to play with legos.  Except he is kind of a weird kid in that he only likes regular bricks--"Please don't buy me kits, thank you very much."  He doesn't want a prepackaged kit to make a lego city or a jail or a space ship.  He wants to build them his own way from his own imagination.

At first I thought that was kind of weird.  What kid wouldn't want the death star or a huge aircraft carrier kit???  But then I just let it go and let David do his own thing.  And I'm glad I did.  Because what he comes up with continues to amaze me.  

"Mom, what should I build?  Lizzy, what should I build?  Joy, what should  build?"  One of us gives him a suggestion and he locks himself in his room for a while and then emerges with something pretty awesome.

I honestly have no idea where this ability to design things out of legos will take him later in life.  At this point he says he wants to design and build things when he grows up, so maybe this lego ability to imagine something in his mind and build it out of legos is the precursor to a future in architecture or some sort of engineering.  But for now, I will just keep taking pictures and enjoying what he comes up with.

Make Mt. Vesuvius (He figured out the design based on a trip
last winter to a museum and seeing an example)

A frog

A cell phone, complete with buttons, a screen, and it flips open

Dora the Explorer--his sister's idea

A coral reef

Fish to play in the coral reef

A green house garden center

I think this one is self explanatory

1 comment: