special effects

What my kids are, apparently, learning this week.

As with all weeks in unschooling, you just never know what you are going to get.

This week was no exception. Just some of the things that were on the top 10 list of what was on the brain this week…

1. How to put a belt on and off. My 2 year old seems to be obsessed as I type this, with putting my belt on and off. Hey, it keeps him happy and busy while I type with only small interruptions to help him in his quest.

2. Special effects: Both my 5 and 9 year old have asked me how things are done in movies as far as special effects. We watched special features and discussed the different ways things are done “in the movies” to make things look real. We talked about computer animation, green screens, makeup artists and the time, the hours, weeks and months it takes to create a 90-120 minute movie with the editing, animation, sound effects and so on.  Thanks to Percy Jackson…http://youtu.be/7k8Thb83uF0

3. Vocabulary. It is probably obvious but the 2 year old learns the ability to use 5-10 words every week. The 5 year old made the correlation that domain and territory were synonyms. And somewhere along the way he picked up the word “reckon”. He has used the sentence, “I reckon…” so many times this week. I am still puzzled as to where he picked that one up. “I reckon they used robotics and costumes for those special effects.” Yes, I reckon they did too.

4. How to build electrical circuits and pathways via minecraft. I truly don’t understand it myself but my 9 year old seems to be able to build a circuit of power switches to turn off and on lights, pumps, pistons and other moving parts. He is really into “redstone” right now and creating tnt launchers, clocks, lighted paths for his roller coasters and so much more. I can’t really keep up. He just went into another, complicated, description of some other invention but you’ll have to ask him. And something about command blocks. Minecraft is never ending…I really need to learn more about minecraft.

5. Reading. My son started reading his first fiction, chapter book. And no surprise. It is a minecraft book. He read half of it in the first day. And…he LIKES it!

6. Math…my 5 year old for some unexplainable reason just started doing adding. From the back seat of the car he states…2 plus 2 is 4. 4 plus 2 is 6. Yes, it is. He doesn’t always get it “right” the first time but he soon realizes his mistake and changes it. This may not seem like a great feat but when you realize that we have done NO “formal” teaching in addition or subtraction or even numbers, it just shows you that kids learn, whether we force the issue or not. He also is learning fractions. We talk about halves or thirds or doubling. Yes, in regular life.

7. Female reproductive system. Okay so my boys realized that I was having my cycle this week. So then came the questions. Why do girls have cycles and not boys. What is happening. That lead to a discussion of endometrial linings, pregnancy, implantation, placentas, amniotic sacs, etc. etc. They ask, I answer.

8. More math. My two oldest boys were recruited by my husband this week to help do some errands at a house we are renovating. He offered to pay them 50 cents per brick that they moved and stacked for him. (Yes, we quickly realized that WE were overpaying! Live and learn.) It didn’t take long for them to figure out how many bricks they needed to move to make $10, $15 or $20. In fact, they hardly even had to think about it. My oldest then went on to calculate how long it took him to make $10 so he then extrapolated what his hourly wage should be based on that calculation. Let me tell you, brick moving and stacking was paying pretty, pretty good. I may get out of the healthcare field and start doing that! Image

9. Cookies. My two year old has learned how to say cookie and please to get full effect. In fact, by adding in some sign language it is downright irresistible. Yes, he has had too many cookies this week.

10. That they are smart. My 5 year old stated that he wanted to do something himself because he CAN. “Mom, stop. MOM, STOP. I can do it myself!” I stopped…”I know you can do it yourself, do you know why I know that?”

“Because I am a genius.”

Yup, they sure are. And so are you and yours.