cherydactyl: (Default)
I've gotten my two kids, especially S, age 9, hooked on Voyagers! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Voyagers! was a prime time time-travel tv show from the very early 80s. Only one season, only 20 episodes, gloriously cheesy action, excellently simplified history, still smarter than plenty of other TV shows. And Jeffrey's default clothes make you think of Waldo from Where's Waldo fame. We're deep in the 2nd disc out of four. Thank you, NetFlix.

ETA: Jonathan Frakes as Charles Lindburgh in episode 10!! I thought I recognized the voice, but it took a little bit of time before I saw his face clearly. Boy, was he a tall, thin drink of water back then! yum.
cherydactyl: (Default)
My younger daughter M, age 5.5, who will enter kindergarten this fall, last night read Green Eggs and Ham to me, with occasional help on certain words. She read 98% of it to me without help. For the record, I did not demand she read anything; she decided that she would read it to me at bedtime.

She seems to be a whole-word reader. She can puzzle stuff out if she needs to, though she prefers to have decoding help, and would rather just memorize the word as a sight word from what I can tell. There were many high-fives, mostly when she completed a page.

cherydactyl: (Default)
The Escapist

I wish I had seen this person/organization's effort at Origins 2008, the "Ludic Amusement Convocation."

And they say they will be back for 2009, maybe even with a LARP! (Note to [ profile] therck, you and your husband might want to check them out and/or help??)
cherydactyl: (flamethrower)
Yesterday I washed the kids' snow gear to put it away for the season. Today it is snowing. Of course.
cherydactyl: (Default)
"...[I]f you're not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original. And, by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies this way; we stigmatize mistakes. [my notes: Not just mistakes, but results the ceo didn't like, no matter whether the decision was correct or not and we just got a bad break!!] And we're now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities."
Video of the talk behind the cut. )
cherydactyl: (Default)
via [ profile] geekparents, Full Article Here.
Here's my favorite excerpt:

Pushing a teen into rebellion by having too many rules was a sort of statistical myth. “That actually doesn’t happen,” remarks Darling. She found that most rules-heavy parents don’t actually enforce them. “It’s too much work,” says Darling. “It’s a lot harder to enforce three rules than to set twenty rules.”

A few parents managed to live up to the stereotype of the oppressive parent, with lots of psychological intrusion, but those teens weren’t rebelling. They were obedient. And depressed.
[Hm, that sounds possibly]

“Ironically, the type of parents who are actually most consistent in enforcing rules are the same parents who are most warm and have the most conversations with their kids,” Darling observes. They’ve set a few rules over certain key spheres of influence, and they’ve explained why the rules are there. They expect the child to obey them. Over life’s other spheres, they supported the child’s autonomy, allowing them freedom to make their own decisions.
[And this is what I'm *trying* to do. I'm succeeding by fits and starts; I'm not as consistent as I would like yet. But I am trying. Besides my kids are only 9 and 5; I've still got lots of practice ahead.]
cherydactyl: (Default)
Think today's kids live in the equivalent of a plastic bubble? Me too.

Five Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do
(Well, actually six)

There's one I would add: let kids get lost. I used to purposefully get lost, both in my neighborhood or nearby neighborhoods, and in the woods when we went camping. You can't find yourself if you don't first lose yourself. You don't get orienteering skills by watching it on TV.
cherydactyl: (Default)
Why We Banned Legos, an account from a daycare/before- and after-school-care facility in an affluent Seattle neighborhood about an interesting conundrum of limited resources that arose from their school-age children building a 'Legotown.'

Totally fascinating. If you like or care for kids in any way, I strongly encourage you read it!

ETA: and here's a follow-up article: 'Lego Fascists' (that's us) vs. Fox News

So Proud...

Dec. 6th, 2007 06:15 pm
cherydactyl: (Default)
My older daughter recently participated in a program through her classroom called "Place out of Time," which goes by the somewhat amusing and unfortunate acronym PooT. Middle and high school students research and take on the persona of a historical figure, then participate in discussions about something in current events from that historical perspective. S decided to tackle Joan of Arc for her participation. She read several biographies (picture book and chapter book styles), wrote a summary "auto"biography and participated in a final banquet "in costume." S decided to take the wooden sword and shield she got years ago at a ren fair for her costume, as well as wearing her best white blouse. One of the college students wrote this about the banquet experience, passed on by the program coordinator at The University of Michigan and sent to us via her classroom teacher:

"Joan of Arc was amazing. She was not only well behaved and polite, but she was very knowledgeable about her character and was eager to share with all of us at the table what she knew about Joan. She also asked questions and was an active participant in the conversation. I do not know how old she was, but I know she was mature beyond her young age, just like the real Joan. I was especially interested in the costume she brought (a sword and a shield). She really got into her part. Along with Elijah McCoy and Elvis Presley, Joan of Arc was an impressive person and someone I was glad to have met."
cherydactyl: (happiness)

When we praise a child, our wording can either be specific (e.g. “You did a good job drawing”) or generic (e.g. “You are a good drawer”). According to Andrei Cimpian and colleagues this subtle distinction can make a big difference to children's motivation when things go wrong.

The researchers played a kind of drawing game with 24 four-year-old children using hand-held puppets. The researchers controlled a 'teacher puppet' that asked the children's puppets to draw different objects. No drawing was actually performed, instead the children had to mime their puppet doing the drawing.

For the first four drawings the researchers responded as if the drawings had been a success. Crucially, half the children were praised generically whereas the other children were praised non-generically.

Then for the next two drawings, the researchers responded as though the children's puppets had failed to draw correctly (e.g. saying they had omitted wheels on a bus or ears on a cat). This was to see how the children responded to criticism.

The children who had earlier been told they were good drawers responded badly to the criticism. They lost interest in the drawing and failed to come up with strategies to correct the drawing mistakes. By contrast, the children previously praised in a non-generic fashion, responded better to the criticism, and came up with ways to rectify the failed drawings.

The idea is that if children are given generic praise – in this case being told they are a good drawer – this leads them to believe they have a stable, trait-like drawing ability. This belief turns to loss of morale when confronted with failure or criticism. By contrast, the non-generic praise, specific to a given episode, is rewarding without leading to false confidence.

Cimpian, A., Arce, H-M. C., Markman, E.M. & Dweck, C.S. (2007). Subtle linguistic cues affect children's motivation. Psychological Science, 18, 314-316.
cherydactyl: (love)
My friend Andy IM'd me today with this link:

It contains the amazing adventures of a three year old, Samantha the Red, helping the Monkey King to save the kingdom of Mommyville. With pictures! (You have to register for the site to see the pictures, but they are sooo cute.) I was completely blown away.


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