Tuesday, July 23, 2013


These are Seth's Mother's Day presents to me. I can't remember what the one on the left was, but the pouch on the right was "perfume" for me. He'd stuffed clover in there and sealed it. And it smelled very much like clover when I opened it. I was surprised how much like perfume it smelled. 

It's a tired Tuesday here. I dragged myself downstairs this morning and let the big boys sleep late. The toddler has been fussy, and I've probably done too much. Finished the last of the Hunger Games books this afternoon.

It's also been a day of invention around here. It started early with Evan and Seth creating a tank from a cardboard box and attaching a piece of cardboard to the front of it to make a "gun." Evan would sit in it, then touch the piece and make a blasting noise, and Seth had to fall down. Over and over again. To much giggling.

Seth is our inventor. He has been for at least a year. At first, we thought he liked to draw. For several months, he would spend hours each day drawing. He used "how to draw" books, and his drawings really improved with all that work. (We also saw his ability to write his name improve.)

But the thing was, he wasn't drawing just to draw. We figured out that he was drawing in order to create new toys to play with. One day, he drew a picture of a fish, and the he drew some fish food. He cut out the fish, and then he cut out the food. Then he pretended to feed the food to the fish. Aha! He did this with a lot of things.

He stopped doing much drawing when he figured out how to make multi-dimensional objects with tape and paper and whatever else he could get his hands on from the recycling bin. He's been spending his afternoon rest time for the last six months "inventing" things in his room. I moved out a small bookcase and got him a small desk with a couple of drawers at a yard sale. And then I filled a plastic box with materials to help in his inventing- colored pencils, scissors, stickers, felt scraps, construction paper, a large roll of brown craft paper.... and tape. Lots and lots of tape. (It's a good thing a large roll of generic Scotch is only .99 at Walmart.)

The other day, he asked me if he could take my picture. And then he picked up this tiny pouch of paper that he'd made with tape. One side of the pouch had a little square cut in the center. Inside the pouch were small squares of paper. He pulled out a blue pencil (because my dress was blue), colored inside the square cut out, and then pulled my "picture" out and handed it to me. 

He also recently made a paper "glove." I really need to get a picture of it because it fit him far better than we'd ever imagined he could do. It's one piece of paper that fits in the palm of his hand with small rings of paper extending from it for his fingers. It really does look like a white fingerless glove.

Today, Evan started to get in on the action more than he ever has before. He wanted to invent, too. He asked for his own roll of tape at rest time, and he wanted some scissors and crayons and paper, too. (He can't be trusted yet with scissors out of my sight, but I gave him the rest.) And I see how observing the things that Seth is interested in ignites his interest. It's pretty neat.

This is one of the reasons that I'm glad to homeschool. I want Seth and Evan to have the time to invent, and it makes it easier because we all have more un-hurried time at home. Where will it lead? I have no idea. I'm not really expecting them to become the next Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs, but I'm glad to see the stretching and growing in their problem solving skills and creativity...

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