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what are your 7-8 yos doing? - Page 2

post #21 of 27

We have a Home Depot and Lowes too. I will definitely check into those for the classes. It's great that they are on weekends b/c all of the local homeschooling activities are on the weekdays when we can't go. We actually know 0 homeschooling families personally and that is certainly isolating/frustrating.

 

I agree about video games being chosed out of convenience. DS actually told me a couple of days ago that when he tries to do anything OTHER than games, he gets in trouble (he's loud during naptime, fighting with the toddlers, running around in areas of the house where he's not supposed to, etc.) That really struck a cord with me. I honestly can't wait to quit running my home daycare because I feel I can then devote alot more time to playing board games, reading, and doing experiments, etc. but that might be a pipe dream too with a 3 yr old, 1 yr old and a newborn!

post #22 of 27

My eight-year-old son's big interests right now are constellations/stargazing, Beyblades (the tops), Pokemon, and atheism/religion.  The last one is a pretty big deal: he's trying to find his place as a member of a humanist family that happens to live in a small town in the Bible belt.  After the local Christmas parade, when a group marching in the parade gave him a religious tract stuck inside a bag of goodies, he went on a binge making "alternate" tracts that presented a humanist point of view. 

 

I enjoy the constellation talk way more than the Beyblades and Pokemon stuff.  A couple of weeks ago, he made up a version of charades in which he would act out the story of one of the constellations (using simple props like his archery bow, markers taped to his head to represent horns, etc.).  It was really fun for all of us.

post #23 of 27

My son is 11 but 8 wasn't that long ago.  Can you get a membership to the museum?  I've found that seeking out memberships drastically cuts down on the costs.  Memberships sometimes also reduces the costs of classes at museums as well.  Check into reciprocal memberships as well. (So like the science center membership is also good at the planetarium etc).

 

At age 8 my son loved legos, lego has a program you can download and build on the computer (free and no internet needed for the program).  He loved puzzles too.  Any type of art project.  Going to the park, being outside.  'School' took up a bit of time.   We went to the library 2-4x a week.  The library has some kids programs he did too.

post #24 of 27

Books have been our greatest tools so far. We recently got Explorer: A Daring Guide for Young Adventurers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0763636487/ref=oh_o02_s01_i00_details). It has been an awesome source of ideas for her. DD (7 next month) uses it as a jumping off point for finding things she wants to know more about, and the tips for being a young adventurer have really given her imagination a boost. She's now requesting help with researching Ancient Egypt, and wants to know everything about King Tut.

 

She loves the Ology series as well. She just got Bringing Up Baby Dragons (http://www.amazon.com/Dragonology-Bringing-Baby-Dragons-Ologies/dp/0763636525/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2HK9EZ0M2BYHD&colid=3PXHNXME3YZVQ) and has had a lot of fun with it. I plan on getting her the rest of the Dragonology books soon. Right now she's working on her drawing and creative writing skills to document the imaginary baby dragons she's rearing.

 

Faeries: Deluxe Collector's Edition (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0810995867/ref=oh_o02_s01_i01_details) resulted in the idea to start a fantasy novel together. We've been working on it little by little for the last couple of months and she's very proud of it.

 

Children's encyclopedias have also been really great for helping her to find interesting subjects to look into.

 

Books aside, gardening is a pretty strong interest right now. She's been tending a couple tomato plants on her own, and they look great. She has a journal she uses to document what she's doing to care for them and how they're changing. She's also really into insects, and likes to observe them. Sending her outside with a magnifying glass, a mesh "observation house," and a notebook keeps her happy for a good while. I'm planning on setting her up with a worm farm, an ant farm, and a praying mantis soon.

 

Tools for exploring the world around her are invaluable for us, though we don't have much yet. I've done a lot of scrounging around, and made what I could to come up with an exploration kit for her. For awhile she's been asking for a microscope, a telescope, and a chemistry set. I know she'd get a lot of use out of those, so I'll try to come up with those soon.

 

I definitely agree that having a special work space set aside can encourage a child to pursue their current interests. Getting her own desk isn't practical right now, so I cleared half of mine and declared it her personal work space, and boy does it see a lot of use. Also, she has a case with a handle to carry her notebooks, pencils, and various exploration supplies to serve as her on-the-go work space.

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. You all have given some great ideas. I'll check out those books.

I am working on getting an annual membership to the Children's Museum. I was planning to use the money my Grandad always sends for the holidays but he didn't send it this year. So, I have to see if I can figure something else out. They do have a reciprocal membership.
post #26 of 27

My son is also really into video games and computers. Rather than set limits on it, I simply offer to do something with him if I feel he is "stuck". Or his sister often asks him to play with her (they make up elaborate stories using stuffed animals, plastic animal figurines, LPS toys, you name it). If I ask DS he will always put aside his computer stuff to do something with me, like a craft (one day we made robots out of toilet paper rolls and pipe cleaners, etc) or he loves to build things out of Lego (like a mini TV, Minecraft figures, and other game-related objects) by following YouTube instructional videos (he needs assistance to do this). He also loves to jump on our trampoline but sometimes needs it suggested to him (his response often has the tone of "great idea - why didn't I think of that?").

 

My point is that sometimes kids need a little push to move on from something, like computer time, because really they *would* enjoy doing something else but it hasn't occurred to them. And since I'm not the sort of mama who spends a lot of sit down time with my kids, when I offer it is almost always received with excitement (lol). I'd use "setting limits" on screen time as a last resort because it involves conflicts and battles where maybe none are needed.

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
i'm not a fan of external, arbitrary limits, either. my ds will stop playing the games to play with friends (most of the time) but is not so eager to do anything else with me or his little bro. i have found that when i tell them the TV has to stay off until after noon, everything is much more pleasant. they don't fight and bicker as much. they find imaginative play things to do together. they eat better.

I did that this morning and after a little fuss over them wanting the TV on we've had a very nice morning. We made bacon and pancakes. The boys worked together and played together and talked and got along very nicely. My 7yo is now playing his video game but both the boys are still getting along very nicely. Talking about the game rather than bickering about who's turn it is or who is bothering who while someone is trying to concentrate. But, I had to insist that they not turn the TV on. If I had just suggested, they would have gone straight to playing the video game.
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