Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today I woke up not quite knowing what I was going to teach Noam. I have a list of 30 or so things I created a while ago and keep adding to that I thought would be interesting for him to learn (including juggling, gratitude, the scientific method, critical thinking and so forth). So I thought I might just ask him to pick something from the list but then over breakfast he asked whether Issac Newton was really hit by an apple. This got us talking about apocryphal stories and what really might have inspired Newton to think of gravity. We went to the internet and watched a few videos on Newton and found out that it was really a comet that got him thinking about it all. We also learned Newton's three laws of motion (in a video done entirely in lego, believe it or not): 1) something in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by some force, 2) an object's acceleration depends on its mass and the force acted upon it and 3) for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This got us thinking about theories and how they get tested and what the scientific method is. We talked about how we might try to test any theory we came up with. We tried dropping a small marble and a large rock to see which one would hit the ground first (they both hit at the same time) even though Noam thought the big rock would hit first. We then went to the library and got a bunch of books on experiments and science and brought them home and did a few experiments. We tried balancing a coin on a lime floating in water. We talked about causal relationships and correlations. In the middle of it all we took a break and ran around the block.

At the end Noam was interested in some notes I have been taking while reading a book about teaching happiness to your children (Raising Happiness). In it I had written about how the author said it was important to "put on your own oxygen mask first" meaning that you had to be happy yourself to teach happiness to your kids. One of the things was to engage with the people around you, for instance spending at least 5 minutes a day hugging, tickling, grabbing, squeezing and touching those close to you. Noam wanted to try that so we spent 5 minutes of great fun doing just that. Another note I had written was about getting exercise, connecting with friends and getting a massage from someone close to you. Noam wanted to give me a massage and, wow, was I game! So he gave me a massage, which was really terrific. And it did make me happy and seemed to make Noam happy too. At lunch Melissa asked Noam how home schooling was going and he said "awesome!" He does seem so much more engaged and happy, it is really nice to see. Tomorrow he's going to have mostly a chess day.

No comments:

Post a Comment