Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What Counts?

Luke was poking around in a box yesterday and found a balloon-animal making kit, including directions, hand pump, and many, many balloons - and he hasn't stopped playing with them since!

When Ben got home, he asked Luke, "what did you do for homeschooling today?" Luke's answer: "Well, I made balloon animals."

Later, Ben asked me what Luke really learned just from playing with a bunch of balloons - but I think he was really asking, exactly what counts as schooling here?

Here's a list of as many things as I can think of that Luke learned, from playing with balloons:

1)For a kids with supposed fine-motor issues, I can't think of a better activity; twisting the balloons and keeping them that way takes lots of skill. So, he improved his fine-motor skills.

2)He followed directions for a variety of animals, including making sure that the twists were in the right place and the right size relative to the other twists.

3)He learned from his mistakes: guess what happens when you don't leave a little uninflated balloon at the end, as a place for the air to go while you're twisting, and twisting? Yep - KABOOM.

4)He gave good directions, and worked extrmely well as the senior part of a team - "Mom, you hold this one so that I can twist these two - thanks! That's perfect..."

5)He used his imagination to make up new (to him) animals.

6)He made a balloon mouse for a specific purpose - scaring Dad - and acted "being Dad" getting home from work, heading to his room to change, and being surprised by the mouse.

7)He experimented with air pressure, using his fingers to stop the air in the pump, push in the balloons, and pump them up to let them fly.

So, that's 7 things that Luke learned about, while playing. I think it all counts as schooling, with the added bonus of motivation - I could not have stopped him learning about all this, once he caught sight of those balloons!


Dale said...

If your looking for some homeschool project using balloon check this out...

The Stone Age Techie said...

Thanks, Dale - we loved your web site, especially the soccer ball Balloon!