The last week before school was absolutely crazy. Here are some things that come to mind mostly because I remembered to take pictures.
He then asked me what happened to the Titanic and I explained briefly. Unexpectedly, it came up last week. We were at a cafe and there was the weather report on TV, showing the path of the Hurricane Isaac. M looked a bit worried, so I explained that Isaac wasn't going to affect us. "There is nothing to worry about, hon", I said. To which he replied with a sigh "Yeah, this is exactly what they said about the Titanic".
Plus we had a few playdates, a couple of birthday parties, a book club meeting, and a movie outing. Wew! I'm glad the school is in session now!
Before I forget, here are M's steps for surviving a playdate with girls:
1. Взять с собой световой меч - Take a lightsaber with you
2. Одеть костюм Бобы Фета - Put on a Boba Fett costume
3. Размахивать световым мечом - Wave the lightsaber around
4. Начать сражаться - Start battling
5. Делать все страшное - Do everything scary
6. Найти других мальчиков и подружиться с ними - Find and befriend other boys
Friday, August 31, 2012
I recently read an article on DailyGood.org that listed 27 skills a child should have that are not taught in school. These are some tough skills to teach mostly because you can't teach them by reading books about them or just talking about them. You have to model each and every one of these skills. And frankly, I lack a few myself. But the list is far from complete. So I started thinking what other skills I'd add to it. Mostly I thought about the ones that I, regretfully, don't have (but it's never too late to learn them, right?)
Now, this Jr FLL was organized by some awesome homeschooling moms. Not only did they organize it, they coached all those 5-8 year olds the entire summer! All I did was to bring snacks (once) and help with some prep work (twice). Which was good 'cause I had no idea what Jr FLL was about when I first signed M up for it.
You can find out more about it on the official Jr FLL page. If you were to ask M what Jr FLL was all about, he'd tell you it's about Legos, running around with friends, and about oceans. That's because the theme for the summer was Ocean Odyssey. So for 8 weeks the kids got together once a week for about 3 hours to learn about oceans through videos, books, experiments and, of course, Legos.
At the end of the 8 weeks, they got into teams. Each team had to create a poster board that showcased the team members and what they learned about oceans. And they had to build an ocean scene on a large Lego plate. They also had to build some ocean-going vehicles - boats, submarines, etc., maybe even with moving parts.
Then there was a bit open-house type event where other teams who worked through the summer came over with their displays and Lego plates. Kids got to see each other's work, explore others ocean scenes and get certificates for participation (this was not a part of the official Jr FLL competition though).
This is not to say he doesn't know what the "roads" on PCBs are for. He actually explained to me right away that, according to one of his favorite cartoons, the roads are really for "electrical current to run along". I honestly had no idea he knew this since this particular cartoon, called "Fixiki" irritates the heck out of me and I refuse to watch it.
But the most important thing was, of course, that he finished the entire Jr FLL summer session. It was hard with all our travels and other distractions that happen in the summer. And it was hard because working with small Lego pieces is difficult for M. And it was hard because he was one of the youngest boys in the group and the youngest on his team. But he did it and he built his vehicle and worked with others on building the ocean scene. He also built his own ocean scene on a smaller plate at home. It showed a beautiful beach with a turtle nest (there were some eggs in it even) and a secret treasure chest and the ocean had lots of corals and sea weed with lots of little places for fish to hide. I didn't have a chance to take a picture since I kept forgetting and then it got taken apart to build a sensory deprivation chamber for astronaut training.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Hello and where have you been?! Ok, fine, so I haven't updated much lately. There have been some very good reasons - Chris coming home for his military leave, a vacation, being sick, and finally, having a power outage just as I sat down to write this. So I'm just going to post a bunch of pictures from our trip to Florida.
By the time we got to NASA, it was shortly after noon. But you know, we still had plenty of time. Could we see more while at NASA? Sure. For example, we didn't go to any of the IMAX movies and only went on a standard bus tour. Nor did we go on a tour of the Rocket Garden and a few other things.
I'm not a big fan of rides and I was relieved that M didn't care to stand in lines for the rides. Instead, he wanted to walk around the park and see as much as possible. And there's so much to see. I mean, check out this awesome Lego Space Shuttle ready for launch on the Lego launch platform!
Or how about this Lego Darth Vader! Totally awesome, isn't it? BTW, not sure if you can see M's T-shirt, but it's all about Star Wars and Legos.
But the best part of the visit to the park was the water park. Do you know that Legoland has a water park? And it is great! Next time we go, I'll make sure to reserve one of the cabanas with a mini-fridge. I definitely could've used it, especially since we didn't discover the wave pool 'til the second or third hour at the water park.
The good thing about Daytona, as opposed to, say, Winter Haven (where Legoland is), is that it's right on the beach. So there's usually some breeze and you don't feel the heat as badly as inland. It was a lot more tolerable than North Carolina, actually. Still, one afternoon was so super hot and stuffy, that we decided to spend it indoors at the local Museum of Arts and Science. At some point we lived right next door to it!
Well, a lot changed since then and we were pleasantly surprised to find quite a nice children's wing open in the museum. It was small, but very well thought-out, with lots of cool hands-on stuff that we don't have in the kids museums in NC. Like this station where you get to explore pulleys by pulling yourself up.
Here's Chris and M looking very busy building a sand castle. We thought we built it far enough from the water to see at least some of it left standing in the morning. Nope. Good thing we took pictures.
This castle had it all - a bunch of towers, a moat, a bridge, and even a lighthouse! Not bad at all!
P.S. If you are puzzled about the very top picture, it's from Legoland. Each of us put together a Hero Factory hero and I photographed our creations all together since we have so few pictures with the three of us.