Saturday, October 26, 2013

Five on Friday

1.  Corn Maze

Missed last just blew by without my noticing!  But here's a pic from a corn maze we went to.  It is about 15 minutes from our house, which was nice.  They had a maze, zip line, giant bouncy pillow(!), hayride, and petting zoo.  The goats and sheep slobbered all over us!  It was super fun, and a good deal for only $8.00 (military discount).  If you're in the Augusta area, it's at Steed's Dairy through Nov 17th.

2.  Halloween Costumes

Jack and Ginny picked their Halloween outfits for this year's festivities!  Jack is recycling a bit of last year's costume, but has added a creepy skull mask and a knife with fake blood!  Ginny has decided to be a Greek goddess this year.  Her middle name is "Athena" after all!  Last year's costume got lost in the move somewhere between here and Fayetteville, so we had to find a new one.  They both love their costumes so much, they had to wear them for homeschool!

3.  Mad Math

This video is from the math program we use (Art of Problem Solving).   This one is a little bit of number fun.  You have to pick your favorite number and then perform some calculations on it.  Watch it and give it a try!

When we watched it, Jack's favorite number was 7, Ginny's was 72 and mine was 10.  And what do you know?  We all got 23!  Jack wondered what would happen if your favorite number was 1 or 23, so he chugged through those options too.  1 gave him a little trouble when he got to rule 3.  Subtracting 2 from 1 gives you -1 and that confused him at first.  But then a light bulb went on and he finished up the problem.  And of course, he got 23 for each number.  So I asked, what would happen if your favorite number was a negative 5?  Jack quickly plugged that through the rules, and it was 23 too!  We finished watching the video and Jack said, "That was pretty cool!"  I love it when math is fun!  (As it should be, of course!)

4.  Lego Rush Hour

In puzzle news, we found this awesome video showcasing a Lego version of Thinkfun's Rush Hour puzzle.  This is well constructed and really cool!  We love Rush Hour and are now wondering what other puzzles could be made from Legos too...

5.   Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman gave a lecture for The Reading Agency on October 14th.  You can watch a video of the lecture here.

Neil says, "Well meaning adults can easily destroy a child's love of reading - do not discourage children from reading because you feel they're reading the wrong thing. There is no such thing as the wrong thing to be reading and no bad fiction for kids."  When I worked at Barnes & Noble way back in 1995, Goosebumps were the popular choice for kids.  I would have parents bring their kids into the store and then stand in front of the Goosebumps shelf to make sure they didn't touch any of those highly damaging books.  I always thought that if kids wanted to read something, they should just be allowed to read it.  If they aren't ready for it, they will put it aside or skim past the parts they don't understand.  My parents never dissuaded me from reading any books, and I will not do that to my children either.  The simple fact is, the more they read, the more they enjoy reading and the more they will read.  Ginny loves manga and will devour several books in just hours.  Jack is not a big reader, but when he expresses interest in a book, we grab up a copy and he usually reads it in 2 days.  This is how we discovered "The Unwanteds" and "The Familiars", both quite good reads!

Neil also says, "We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Use reading aloud time as bonding time, as time when no phones are being checked, when the distractions of the world are put aside."  My kids are 10 and 12 and we still read aloud together.  Sometimes I even do voices.  They ALWAYS love the voices, even the bad ones.  We've shared so many wonderful stories together.  Books only get better when you can talk about them with someone else!

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite children's authors.  Sometimes his books are a little scary.  Jack doesn't like scary, but if we listen to the stories together, he feels braver.  Neil's books are always worth reading.  He constructs excellent stories with beautiful words.  Some writers are better than others, and Neil is one of the best.  Definitely listen to his lecture.  It's well worth your time.

No comments: