"Children do not need to be made to learn about the world, or shown how. They want to, and they know how." -John Holt

Monday, January 08, 2007

Gifts Galore!

We are up to our ears in new things to play and do and they are *still* trickling in. Gabriel's ants came in today... we've been checking the mail everyday! He was so excited. We got about 20 harvester ants that came in this tiny little vial and none were dead. Unfortunately, Daddy wasn't home to do the transfer of vial to farm so lucky me got to do the honors. The directions said we could refrigerate them for 10 minutes to slow them down so that we did! (Although they looked pretty slow to begin with.) Now we have to wait another day or two before they figure out how to make tunnels in the gel. (The gel itself is based on NASA technology when scientists wanted to study insect life in near-weightlessness. The gel was created so that the tunnels would not collapse during liftoff and also serves as their food and water.) Sounds like we've found the perfect pet! No maintenence required. :)

Yesterday, Rich spent the bulk of the day setting up the kids' new trolley they got last week from Grandma Donna (or was it Santa?). Of course the lack of trees in the yard posed a dilemma so what better excuse to run off to Home Depot to buy posts to attach the cables to. A few hours -at least- later, voila! (Excuse the yard mess as we are in the middle of re-roofing!)

And one more video if you'd like to see our new Venus Fly Trap in action! Gabriel's been wanting one forever and now that we finally found one, it's winter (well, sort of) and not a fly in the sky. I'm still trying to figure out how to keep this thing alive. I suck at plants.

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"By nature people are learning animals. Birds fly; fish swim; humans think and learn. Therefore, we do not need to motivate children into learning by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do - and all we need to do - is to give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for, listen respectfully when they feel like talking, and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest."
John Holt
"In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it...and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself." -Grace Llewellyn
"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child."
George Bernard Shaw
Real, natural learning is in the living. It's in the observing, the questioning, the examining, the pondering, the analyzing, the watching, the reading, the DO-ing, the living, the breathing, the loving, the JOY. It's in the joy. ~Anne Ohman
"How could youth better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?" -Henry D. Thoreau