Tuesday, December 23, 2014

You must practice before you can master!

I have always heard that one must practice hard until they can do something better..or do it at all.

When my son was little we gave him at least 4 tricycles!
He could never ever get the hang of pedaling and riding them. He was very  good at other things like playing basketball and balancing on things and had very great coordination  and motor skills but not for riding.

He was running at 10 months old! He never crawled! He went from barely sitting at  8 months to standing  and walking at 9 months.

But pedaling and riding was not something he could do. He tried a few times. Could not do it. Got frustrated . It was not fun for him.
Dad and I are avid cyclists.

We gave him little bikes, then big bikes with big training wheels.
At 7 he could, with training wheels, ride straight ahead, no curves, but barely and not comfortably. So he did not do it.
Always hard and frustrating for him. We did not push it,

I got him a new bike at 8 ( on top of the brand new bike he got less than a year earlier. It sat there with training wheels for months. He tried a few times and that is it.

A couple months before he was 9  I was mowing the lawn and he  went into the garage, picked up his new bike with no training wheels and sat and proceeded to ride around in a circle , The boy who could not ever make a turn while riding a bike on training wheels.

No practice. No struggle. Not hard. He was ready. His body and brain were ready and he rode like he had been riding for years.

You don't believe me?
Remember that I was on my riding mower watching?. I stopped.  I picked up my phone and this is the video of that  moment.

No need to practice here in order to master. He mastered when it was the right time. Without us making him feel bad or frustrated or without it being hard work.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Math is everywhere!

Gigi has been interested in numbers since she was a little toddler. She was always asking how many this or that. How much is this plus/times that. How many minutes in an hour.....  and so on.

She has a pretty great grasp of it and her horseback riding instructor ( who also is a teacher and teaches math)  has been impressed many times by it.

Brian just told me a cool story I am going to share.

They were talking about something and the idea of odd and even numbers came up.
He asked what 26 was. She said that 26 was 10 plus 10 plus 6 and therefore even.
He asked what 29 was and she said odd and he asked what 16 was and she said even.

He then told her that 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 were odd and that 2, 4, 6 and 8 where even.
She turned to him and said that when you add an odd number to an odd number you always get an even number.

Brian was pretty floored. He had never thought of it!

It does not surprise me. The other day a friend said to her that her mom was 28 years old. Keep in mind that I am 48. Right away Gigi said. "OH so 20 years younger than my mom". It was an immediate response.
She can do addiction/ subtraction in her head.

One time she was working on a round pen horseback riding ( that was probably  about 2 years ago ) and her instructor turned to her and said: "Don't cut corners"
Gigi replied: "It is a round pen there are no corners"

Math is everywhere. I am glad I was never afraid of math and actually absolutely loved algebra ! They were like fun puzzles I did for fun.

Brian has an incredible head for numbers but he says he was terrible in math in school. That is really incredible if you know how well he does with numbers. 

It is Cow show season and Gigi has been working with her calves Armor and Bambi and this last Friday was her first show. She loves it !
She did awesome and is very happy!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Byzantine Empire and Video Games.

  A few days ago my son came to me and asked me for a new game on Steam. It was on sale and he said he really wanted it.
Unfortunately we needed to wait until the next pay check I told him. So he remembered that we have a change jar and we counted first quarters, then dimes and even nickels and we had enough for his game, a few add ons and Gigi's Animal Jam membership. 

Yesterday he is telling me something about Middle Ages and Roman Empire and I am all confused.
I said the Roman Empire fell before the Middle Ages.
Later he is in my laptop reading something and I  sit with him to find him reading about the Byzantine Empire.

This is from Wikipedia:
"The Byzantine Empire was the predominantly Greek-speaking continuation of the eastern half of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), originally known as Byzantium. Often called the Eastern Roman Empire in this context, it survived the 5th century fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empireand continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453."

He was right!  There has been so many times he will say something that surprises me. He is always researching and learning amazing things and he loves History.
He is learning because he wants to and loves it and it is related to his passion for Video Games and most of all his passion for Learning.

I am still always amazed ! Like me he likes to compare historical facts in Games ( me books and movies) to see how close they follow real history.
I am learning so much from him telling me all this tidbits of history and challenging my own knowledge.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

When Will My Child Read

How unschooling children learn to read is different for every child.
It also happens at different ages . Sometimes the parent may not even be aware how much a child is reading.
Here is a video of the day I realized my daughter got it.
This video was about a month after the ALLive Unschooling Symposium in Minnesota last year. I know Gigi was not fluently reading at that time of the symposium.
A month later we go to an Anime Con and Gigi is picked out of the audience to be part of Pinkie Pie's team at the event called My Little Pony Games.
One person/player from each team takes a piece of paper with something written on it and they have to read it to the audience. You can see her take one sheet of paper.
I was like "Oh My" and did not know how that was going to go but she looked confident up there so I just sat back and recorded.
She is the last to read and reads it fluently and confidently and wins for her team.
Keep in mind she was 7 years old and all the other competitors were older teens or your adults.
No lessons, no trying to teach phonics, no reading methods but with support and a print rich environment and being present to answer questions and help read, write, communicate with others or anything she wanted to do.
Pretty cool.