Thursday, October 8, 2015

On The Road Again

When I was putting together a plan for this year's lessons, I decided to get us out of the house as much as possible.  Fortunately, there are plenty of great opportunities for exploration around Los Angeles.  And our new home is very near a Metro station, so I try to take advantage of it as much as possible.

Maybe, someday, Liam will have the focus to learn to drive a car, but at the moment, he's easily distracted by his favorite things, numbers and fonts!  So we take trips on the train (which he loves - more fonts and digital displays), and I take him through the process of loading the card, tapping it at the gate, looking for the right platform and getting off at the right station.

I know that his brain is always operating on two tracks at once.  During the trip, he's giving a running narrative of the fonts on every sign, with special notice paid to the number and type of digital displays.  After the trip, he remembers which train we rode and where.  I still need to remind him to board the train immediately, when the doors open, instead of reading the signs in the window, but he's getting the hang of it.  He's often the first one to notice the distinctive decor of each station.  I hope that the unique look of each stop will help him recognize them for future travel.

Last week, we visited the California Science Center to cap off our unit on body systems. 
They have a wonderful, permanent exhibit that shows how bodies function, including a show starring a 50 foot animatronic woman named "Tess."

  They also have exhibits which allow kids to pump blood and see how the respiratory system works in several different animals.  The best part is, the main part of the Science Center is always free, and with exhibits on habitat, space (including a retired Space Shuttle) and more, it's a fantastic place to visit in pieces, again and again.

Back at home, Liam has been enjoying his Chinese lessons.  This week, he learned a traditional poem.  After his teacher left, he somehow found a translation of it online (by himself) and we recorded him reading it in Mandarin and English.  He's a little excited.

Some days start out slowly, but later on, I'll find him on one of his educational sites, of his own volition.  I know he learns best when he can rewind and take things in pieces, even if it seems like he's just messing around.   If he's having fun, he'll play longer and more likely take more information in.

This learning experience is like a good road trip.  Have a plan, but be prepared to let it go and just enjoy the ride.

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