Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lego Robotics Day Camp

Today BN and Sweetie went to the Eastern Shore for a Lego Robotics day camp for homeschoolers.

First, I have to apologize to BN because as he well knows, I am a Skimmer. I admit it, I'm in a 12 step program - I'm working on it!!

When I read the information for this outing, I swear it was being held just up the road and only lasted 3 hours. While printing the particulars for BN, I read that it was 2 hrs and 15 min from us and lasted 7 hours. He decided to go anyway.

To get there, they had to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel - all 20 miles of it. We took the kids across this for their first time 2 summers ago when we went camping with some friends at Cherry Stone. Since then, any time we cross a bridge over water, Sweetie asks if it is the "17 mile bridge". (I mistakenly said it was 17 miles long and it stuck) This question comes up almost daily as we can't avoid these bridges in our neck of the woods. So FINALLY he got to cross it again and knows what it looks like, so maybe the question will stop. But I digress...

The kids were shown the flight simulators and then paired up to complete the Lego Robots. Sweetie and his partner did great in assembling the robot. BN commented that the other boy was the same age as Sweetie and could read very well. Luckily, the directions had pictures but when it came to the programming, he needed help reading the directions. This has been a sore topic at our house. We both want Sweetie to read and we do all the right "schooly" things to help him, but he is just not interested at this time. I've been reading up on this and finding out that he is not alone in his reluctance. It is quite common and even more common in boys. My approach has softened and I have resumed reading TO him and I ask him to read some from our text Let's Read, a Linguistic Approach by Leonard Bloomfield. We also use Beyond the Code, Book 1. He seems to like this workbook and we take turns reading paragraphs.

My latest read-to book is The Boxcar Children by G C Warner. It's very old school in its approach to life and sentimentality's. Little House on the Prairie-ish. Even my 3yo sits on my lap when I pull this book out. It's 3rd grade reading level, but I think Sweetie might be able to read the majority of it - if he wanted!

The robot worked but could only go back and forth in one direction. BN said they had faulty wires. The boys were very proud of themselves, especially since they were the youngest in the group. You go Sweetie!

Let me leave you with a nugget:
"Schools place emphasis on [early] reading not because it's the best way to learn but because it's the most efficient way to run assembly line learning." Joyce Fetterol

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