Sunday, March 13, 2011

You Can't Make This Up

It's all Toy Story 3, all the time at our house these days.  Santa was kind enough to brng Aiden the DVD, but even more treasured is the Toy Story 3 game for his DSi.  Now that's a hit.  What's interesting is how he plays the game.  While he does play through the game in the intended way from time to time, what he really loves is exploring the minor details of Andy's house.... and recreating them in ours.

Need an example?  In Andy's kitchen, if you prowl around you'll see three pots in soak in the sink.  So, of course, I often find three pots covered in suds in my sink too.  The Woody character jumps on lever door handles to open doors in the game.  We don't have those kinds of door handles at our house, so Aiden has been kind enough to cut some out and tape them to our boring, standard issue door knobs.  In the garage at Andy's house some tools are hanging on a peg board.  We now have the exact same arrangement on hubby's peg board.  Are you starting to get the picture?

It's all in the details for Aiden.  It's what makes him such a fantastic little artist, easily mastering the art of three dimensional drawing.  It's what he enjoys, and although his preoccupation with detailed      re-creation can be frustrating at times, particularitly when your furniture is constanly being rearranged whenever you leave a room, we know that it is  exactly this focus and fine-tuned thoroughness that will lead to his success in the future.  If he is blessed enough to work or study in an area of great interest, his results will be boundless.  He'll never tire of small details, his brain is hard-wired for acting as a fine tooth comb.

But from day to day, while he is so young, his exhaustion of an interest can be challenging.  And this is the part I could never make up.  There's a scene in Toy Story 3 where Woody is in a bathroom, and a janitor enters with one of those big housekeeping carts to clean the bathroom.  Well, guess what.  Aiden's gymnastics centre has a similar cart, and his interest and enthusiasm for it now makes it difficult to keep him in the gym.  He's been talking about playing with the cart all weekend. 

But wait, it gets better.  He has realized that you can purchase these carts, and that is what he's asking the Easter Bunny to bring him for Easter.  When we explained to him that those carts were very expensive, and not really necessary for use in a home, the tears started.  And the pleading, and the repeated questioning as to the Easter Bunny's intentions.  The acquisition of a Rubbermaid Housekeeping Cart is now goal number one in his mind.  And once he gets something in his head....

The chances that he'll have forgotten about this before Easter? Pretty well slim to none.  So, what do you do?  What would you do?  I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I think we're oscillating between sending an early letter from the Easter Bunny explaining the unlikelihood of him bringing such a large gift, (he doesn't have a sleigh like Santa after all, just a small little basket) or....shelling out $300.

We'll see.  It's like I said, you can't make this up. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Open to Change

After Christmas, I felt like we had run into a wall with homeschool.  Aiden was pretty tired of it, and getting harder and harder to focus.  Over Christmas we had contintued on with schoolwork, I was weary of giving him a big break, afraid it would be too hard to reel him back in.

It has become apparant to me lately that the constant quest for keeping predictability and sructure in our house can render me the inflexible one.  I worry about doing things differently, because I am always aware that virtually everything I do is setting a new precedent.  Everything. 

So, it was by accident that I solved our little slump.  Aiden had been going through one of his many, many poor sleep periods.  Rather than skipping the work I had slotted for the day, I decided to break it up into little manageable chunks.  We did math, then I let him go play.  About an hour later I called him back for language arts and journal writing, and so the day went.  The next day, he asked me if he could do school the way he did it yesterday.  He explained that he liked doing little bits at a time. 

Wow.  The fact that he was able to tell me what worked best for him is a big skill.  So, that is how we have been preparing our school days ever since, and his focus in waaaaaaaay better. I really prefer laying out all of our work and getting it done, then closing the book on school for the day.  This new way tends to make homeschool spread across the entire day, which I find a little more stressful.  But, he does not.  And that is the main thing.

I guess we are learning together what works best for us.  It is still early days I guess, and our methods are sure to change as we go along.

And can be good.