Thursday, December 04, 2014

not every lego in the world can do this...

 Blog reader, science teacher, David Kings sent this photo from his iPad. Most parents and grandparents will relate  to the scene that unfolds at David's feet. The message is from Lego and suggests that both boys and girls will find pleasure creating with their blocks.  The note states, "It's imagination that counts, not skill. You can build whatever comes into your head, the way you want it." I agree completely with the second part of the statement.

Creativity and skill walk hand in hand. Imagination and creativity take place both in the mind and the nimble fingers of a child. Dexterity applied to working with real materials has value, and skill is not an ingredient to be ignored.

The images below are from yesterday's home school class at the Clear Spring School. The children have been making trains. One has sliding doors, and another, the coal car is filled with a collection of polished stones.

Yesterday, I spent an hour with my favorite electrician figuring out how to get adequate power to my school lathes, in our relocated wood shop on the main campus. It took some serious head scratching and some time tracing circuits to discover the simple approach. It is amazing how when a problem is first viewed, the mind races to complicated and expensive solutions. But paying strict attention to the law of parsimony can lead to good results.

  In this post, I am not attempting to disparage Legos. They are wonderful until they get out of hand and as a parent or grandparent, you step on them in the night. I do want to make the point that if you are buying presents for a child, you might consider real tools, and some materials with which they can exercise both creative imagination and skill.

Doing easy things has a certain pleasure. Wooden parts don't snap together like legos. You must come to an understanding of materials and develop skill in the making. Doing difficult things that require a higher level of attention, builds both character and intellect. My home school students have legos at home. They build amazing things with them, and they are already wanting to sign up for my next class.

Thank you David, for the photo.

Make, fix and create...

We have 20 making days, before the Christmas holiday.

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