Thursday, March 24, 2011

You Spin Me Right Round...[No Longer Such] Babies, Right Round...

...Like A Record, Babies, Right Round, Round, Round...

Or maybe you spin me right round like the way the earth rotates on it's axis.

This week and next are dedicated to the theme of "Constellations, Space & Our Solar System" at Mauren and Zoe's preschool. And I love it! I am simply bursting, brimming, my cup is runnething all over the floor and I don't care... I am impressed! Mauren and Zoe came home from school yesterday just filled with so much knowledge. With a couple of geeks for parents, it'll likely be difficult for all our 'apples' to fall far from our nerd trees. We spend a lot of time talking about science concepts at home, but we've not gone into a lot of depth when it comes to the solar system.

Some reportings on the day's learning:
-The girls know the creation myths about the constellations of Hydra, Ursa Minor and Leo. They also 'mapped' these constellations.
-Each girl was able to design and create a myth story about their own constellation. Mauren's is called 'The Magic Carpet' and Zoe's is called 'Ariel, The Mermaid' (they probably owe royalty rights to Disney for creating these constellations!).
-The girls now know that the Moon is a trickster. It seems like she makes her own light, but really she just reflects the sun's light back to us.
-The girls can act out the elliptical path the earth takes around the sun. They know the sun is our 'star' and that it is very hot. They know we are the 'third planet from the sun' and can recognize the names of the planets when I list them, but not recite them...yet. They also can act out the path the moon takes on it's path around the Earth. And they know that this path is called an 'orvit'...I tried to convince them it was called an orbit, but doubt remains...their teachers are pretty smart, I don't know mom, you might not be right about that.

I've long enjoyed how filled with wonder, enchantment, imagination and ideas my kids are upon spending a day surrounded by other kids and nurturing teachers at their school--and today I am filled with wonder at the capacity to learn my kids each have.

Our weekend homework project is to create a model solar system. This should be interesting and I think it will be best to divide and conquer so each girl doesn't overly influence one another's interpretation. I'll update our progress on our attempts at [mildly] intelligent designers next week. Is this project the gateway to dioramas and science fair projects? Already? Bring it on!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On Monster Creation...

You Make Your Own Monsters...

On the subject of monsters I have come to the conclusion that monsters are not merely born, but created. My wee-monster does the 'Monster Mash', her little arms and legs pumping as you hold her aloft and dance to the music, but she is not yet a real monster. Monsters, it seems, are truly a representation of nurture, not nature.

I do, however, have two monsters that have been created--not in my own mold, but I think sculpted and formed due to both interior and exterior forces. My girls each have a twin sized bed that they share with a hoard of stuffed animals and dolls. The animals are afforded well over one-third of their sleepytime real estate. Twice per day, I spend time righting animals, organizing them, fluffing pillows and straightening bed coverings. It has always been important that certain animals and dolls be placed on the pillows of my monsters and the other ones could be stacked and stuffed to keep guard over them while they sleep. However, two weeks ago, my monsters proved my notion of 'the way things work' to be wrong. They proclaimed the day as 'Giving Day'. It was like a national holiday in our house. Each girl took turns giving their precious, important items to one-another. It was a major swap of personal possessions. I was apprehensive, I admit, at first. I thought they would want to trade back, that they would not remember whose teddy bear was now whose. But I was wrong. I'll ask as we clean up the chaos that is their world at the end of the day... now whose flamingo beanie baby is this? Mauren will say, "It's Zoe's now, because of Giving Day."

Hopefully, the spirit of their 'Giving Day' will prevail when we begin a household purge of unnecessary personal belongings this month.

In the meantime, if you've yet to create your own monster, you may do so here: