Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spontaneous Cleaning

Lesson: Not every time kids become quiet means they are making trouble

This afternoon I was trying to get some work done on the computer when I noticed I could barely hear the kids. After a few minutes there was a racket on the stairs and I heard a comment about the vacuum. A bit later the kids came to get me saying they had a surprise to show me.
We have just one room upstairs - the family bedroom. The room also holds many of the toys I use for teaching. As I was climbing up I was wondering how bad the mess would be.... The kids asked me to close my eyes and lead me into the room. When I opened my eyes I was surprised!
The kids had made all the beds, even the top bunk, straightened up the books, put things away and even vacuumed the floor. This is the kind or surprise I like :-)
They were so proud of themselves... especially because they were able to work together to surprise me.
While I'm sure this won't become a daily activity I have to admit that sometimes when the kids get quiet a good thing can come of it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Questions About Colors

Mega is 3 years old
Zilla is 6 years old

Lesson: TED ED and Google are great teachers!

We are in the midst of Spring Break and Zilla is full of questions! While I think that is a a great thing, he doesn't like it when I don't have a "good enough" answer.  Recently I've been answering more and more with "I'll Google it."
A question about color lead us on a journey so learn more. As we were walking home from the grocery store a couple of days ago we got onto the topic of how little kids can be hard to see when driving a car of riding a bike.  I said something about wearing bright colors so Zilla asked the obvious question - What is the easiest color to spot? We figured red was easy to notice and I heard once that human eyes are drawn to green... and this lead to a conversation about which colors to mix to make green followed by Mega wanted to know what to mix to make black and white.  My understanding of white is that is an absence of color but trying to get that into a way a 3 year old can understand did not go smoothly. The conversation about what makes colors lead to one about how we see colors and how colors work.  That is when my kid-friendly explanations ran out.  I told Zilla we would google it when we get home.

Here are some interesting links we found:

How we see color - Colm Kelleher

Optometry : How Does the Eye See Color?

The Wonderful World Of Colour

Is Your Red The Same as My Red?

As a part of our spring break activities I was already planning to have some quality outdoor painting time.  After our lessons in colours it seemed to be the perfect time!

Friday, March 7, 2014

First Star Wars

Lesson: Much to learn from Star Wars there is.
Most Friday nights the kids and I have a quiet evening at home. We often make something we enjoy eating and take turns choosing something to watch together. This week Emo was able to rearrange his schedule in order to be home in time for supper - a rare treat!
Since it is our dinner and movie night... And Pizza Hut had 2 medium pizzas for $30 (nearly 1/2 price!) we made it a special pizza & movie night. With veggie sticks, snacks and drinks at the ready we anxiously waited for Emo, and the pizza, to arrive.
This evening's special feature was Star Wars Episode 1 Phantom Menace. The kids have been aware of Star Wars but have never seen it. For Emo's 40th birthday he received a set of the movies (1 - 6) so we are going to enjoy them as a family.
Here are a few tidbits from during the movie:
- Zilla was asking about the meaning of a number or larger words. They are words he's heard but he needed to understand the meaning of to fully follow the story. It was great vocabulary building! However, at one point when he was asking for one definition after another he asked "What does... Dog... mean?" I replied with "What???" When he realized what he said he had a great laugh over that goof!
- The music in Star Wars is in tune with the events of the story. It seems that the main characters and locations each have their own little melody/sound. The music also let's you know if the good guys are ahead or the bad guys.
- There are many theological/Biblical parallels which could be pointed out. Zilla started picking up on them about half way through the movie.
- I realized that our family is Star Wars style multilinguals. There are many times when characters speak with each other, each using their own language. Think of R-2 D-2 and C3PO speaking together... They have a conversation using two languages at the same time but don't need a translator. The same thing happens with Jabba the Hutt. There are also times where two characters speaking together switch between languages in the course of a conversation. This is very much what conversations sound like at our house.
- Watching a movie with a 3 yr. old is not relaxing. While Mega does sit still at times, twice she managed to spill her drink and more often than not she was moving around and talking a bit too loud. We knew it would most likely be that way... but it was still annoying!
- Star Wars is pretty funny. While I don't think it would count as a comedy there were quite a few times when the kids were laughing out loud. That is totally different from watching the movie with other adults.
- Mega kept asking about what happenes to Anakin's mom. I had to admit that I never really thought about it before and quickly google the answer :-)
I don't know when we'll find/make time to see the next movie...
But I do know...
Movie with family, fun it is.