anastasiav: (but all artistic like)
[personal profile] anastasiav
Much to our surprise, E has agreed to sit with us on Monday nights and watch Cosmos. His father and I, of course, have clear and fond memories of watching the original one (I watched it weekly in school, actually), and we're all enjoying this rare moment of shared media consumption. E is confused by the commercials (most of the media he is exposed to - Netflix, YouTube - doesn't come with commercial interruption; I was interested to learn last night that he thought this was broadcast LIVE because of the commercials -- which makes sense, as he really only otherwise sees them during live sporting events), but he is otherwise clearly enjoying it and looks forward to it from week to week.

Last night's episode was about evolution (and other things), and it was reinforced for me just how much science this seven and a half year old child already knows. DNA is not a mystery to him, it's just a fact of life. He could already name the five great extinctions, tell us the causes, and give a clear summary of what types of life were extinguished and which survived. He gets -- really gets -- evolution as a basic fact about the way the world works. (He is still a little hazy on the broad scope of time involved; but that's developmental time sense. He can quote the numbers, but they don't really have scale for him. Or to me, for that matter.)

Of course, he sometimes watches while hanging upside down on the sofa, and last night watched at least part of it on the screen of his DS while pointing the DS camera at our TV (how very meta of him), but he's very clearly engaged, asking questions, making comments, and -- once! -- sort of correcting Dr. Tyson when he sort of glossed over something about Dinosaur evolution that E clearly wanted him to provide more detail about.

So, yes, he's so hungry for math, math, and more math that his teachers can't keep up and now have him helping other students (which he's happy to do) and working one on one with a parent volunteer one day a week who seems to be teaching him some kind of math games that border on algebra. He's hungry for science, too, but school doesn't provide that, and at home he draws a very clear line between Learning Activities (which seem to be for school only) and Fun Things (which are, pretty much, video games with a dash of Pokemon). yet sometimes -- sometimes -- just for a minute, I can get him engaged with science, asking questions, learning, paying as much attention as he can ... but apparently it takes Neil deGrasse Tyson to do it. So be it.

I see more TED talks in our future. Better start previewing.

Date: 2014-03-18 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One of the things I find astounding is how much science Beekman is picking up in preschool. "What's made of holes and water?" he asked himself in the back of the car the other day. "Clouds!"
The fact that he appears to get some of this from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That gives me deeply mixed feelings on several levels.

Date: 2014-03-18 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, we love the Cat! (the Cat being voiced by Martin Short helps, I think.) We learn all sorts of stuff from him, science mostly, but other stuff too, including How To Behave (Are you Thing 1 or Thing 2?)

I'm not conflicted about this at all. Sesame Street also has a strong STEM focus now (and also is doing some great work for kids with impulse control issues like E). He's aging out of SS (although it helps that he knows I still love it and still watch it to this day), but I'm a Big Fan of science education through the Evil of Screen Time.

Date: 2014-03-18 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I took a dinosaurs class in college. Would you like me to dig out the materials for you (no promise I can find them, but I don't tend to throw stuff away)?

Date: 2014-03-18 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm ok right now. A bit ago Peregrin pointed me toward an open university paleontology 101 course online that I've been sitting on until the right moment; we may be circling back in that direction.... I'm going to let Cosmos play out first before we do anything else, though.

Date: 2014-03-18 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sounds good.

Date: 2014-03-22 09:13 pm (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
So, yes, he's so hungry for math, math, and more math/Fun Things (which are, pretty much, video games with a dash of Pokemon)

Do you know about Zoombinis?

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