Monday, October 6, 2008

Lego Engineering.....or rather, Lego creations

My dear friend Gardenia, from our unschoolers group has offered up a class in Lego Engineering with a paid instructor that comes in and shows the kids how to make mechanically engineered projects out of Legos. She offered it last year as well, and I had thought that maybe Olivia (who loves Legos) was perhaps not quite ready for it yet. This year, however, I've bought her a few Lego kits and we've made some stuff together so I thought she would be ready for it!
Well, things are never the way you expect that they might be. A lesson I have to learn over and over....
The instructor greeted Violet, not Olivia, as we joined the group (that didn't set well with me) then proceeded to go over the "rules" for the group. He would have the kids repeat back practically every sentence that he said to make sure that they understood him. I understand when you have a larger group of kids you do need some guidelines, but the whole schooly-ness of it instantly turned Violet off (as well as myself), although I must say many of the kids listened intently and seemed to hang on his every word. I think that perhaps it was because many of them had taken the class before and knew what the expectations were. He went over the project very quickly and sounded as though he expected everyone to have "got it" right away. I could tell that Olivia would not be able to and Violet was not interested, at all.
Building with legos
But, we did have a lot of fun despite that the class wasn't right for us. Violet and I made some Pokemon characters out of the huge assortment of Legos and Olivia just had fun playing with them as she does at home. It was great to hang out with our unschooling friends afterwards. It gave me some great ideas for some Lego pieces that Olivia might like (for Christmas, maybe) and Violet gained a new interest in sculpting objects out of Legos. It's one of those "oh duh" moments for me, I should have known she'd enjoy that aspect of it. Olivia asked me to make her one of the moving vehicles, but by the time I completed it, with help from my friend Ginger (I, myself am not very mechanically inclined!), it was time to take it apart : (
Although, I tell myself to not have expectations, it seems I still do. And, I'm always pleasantly surprised when it comes out differently in amazingly great ways.
Kade's contraption
Kade's tractor
Lego engineering
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