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I know why the earth spins Mommy!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
So, last night we were driving home from the supermarket and DH and DS (3 years old) are talking about night-time and DH starts to explain about how when the "sun sets", it's really the earth spinning and we, on a certain part of it, spin so we no longer face the sun and that is why all around us goes dark. DS asks "Why does the eath spin?" DH and I are kind of stumped and we tell DS so. "I know!" he says "It's because it has ENERGY. Energy is what makes things move and the earth spin." Of course, he's right (we looked it up when we got home too- it's actually inertia from the creation of the solarsystem). I knew DS had an understanding of very abstract ideas and we've talked about energy before, but to really understand that a 3 year old has a very working knowledge of an idea of something you can't see, touch, or hear, that is hard for adults to define in words, comes in different forms... It was one of those "Holy cow" moments. It doesn't get more abstract than the idea of energy. DS then went on to describe different kinds of energy to clarify for us, his poor uninformed parents- how a windmill turns the wind into other energy, how gas for the car is energy, how food is energy, then he mentioned lightning. We said that yes, this was a lot of electrical energy. In a very "charecteristic of gifted" way, DS's face goes dark and he says "I'm afraid of lightning! I don't like thunder! It's scary!" Ahhh... and then he is 3 again! Physics to fear of thunder in under 5 minutes!

Today I was quizzed by DS on the dental arrangements of farm animals (DH is a large animal veterinarian and, as you can imagine, absolutely nothing is as interesting as tagging along with Daddy at the vet hospital). I failed that quiz horribly. OK- simple solar system physics I may have a shot. Goats have teeth only on the bottom? THAT I didn't know.

I'm finding out there is A LOT I don't know.
post #2 of 2
Now that is really, really cool! And such a concept for him to have grasped and applied to a novel situation. Isn't it great constantly seeing things in a new way through your child's eyes? I have caught my child's curiosity and love spending time learning with her, not just teaching her.
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