... or a bit of both:
Owen, and Luke for that matter, is fascinated with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and we only added fuel to that fire by giving Ben a LOTR game for Playstation. They spent most of the week after Christmas, and the week after that, watching their Dad battle cave trolls, orcs, and Uruk-Hai (which Owen refuses to believe are orcs, he thinks they are a whole different, super-bad race). So the pic up there is Owen, dressed as Legolas the elf, with straws for arrows and a wonderful polished stick (one of the best, most-used gifts he's ever gotten, incidentally) as his bow.
He loves to dress as a character and act out a part. I always know when he has taken something in, because he'll go around spouting lines perfectly from story, poetry... or video games. If that's not an extension to learning, I don't know what is.
Luke has re-discovered Dance Mat Typing, the funnest way to learn to type that I have ever seen. I'm serious, you have not lived until you've heard the cute moose host in the sunglasses tell you about the 'home row keys.' It's free, and as you go through the program, you get a certificate when you pass each level. Sure beats the grumpy keyboarding teacher that I had in high school!
Although I haven't really talked about it here yet, Luke had a very techie Christmas, finally fulfilling his life's dream when Santa brought him a Nintendo DS. He also got a great game, Brain Age, which turns out to be a learning extension, too. In fact, it is downright educational, and Luke plays it every day to exercise his brain.
Finally, and most analog of all, Lego fever has come to our home. Until this week, Luke directed others as to what to make with Legos for him to play with. He's always functioned around blocks in a purely supervisory capacity - but then, we got invited to join a Lego club and, coincidentally in the same week, he was given a Lego club magazine with directions for how to build underwater creatures. Suddenly, he's building, spending hours creating old-fashioned telephones, dolphins, little space speeders... It's a good thing Owen has loved Lego for a while, because we actually have a fair amount of it around.
And, are they really so analog? There was one last spark to Luke's Lego fire this week: Lego Digital Designer, free, downloadable software for designing your own creations, or checking out others'. And the coolest thing is, you can design something digitally and then buy the Legos to make it in analog!
Block-building could be one of the most intellectually creative activities, I am so glad Luke has finally caught on. Talk about a learning extension!