Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Learning and Mousing

Today Smiley had two developmental milestones.


This morning we visited our mechanic because the "check engine" light was on, but it was only that the gas station attendant had not put the gas tank cap on properly.  (In Oregon an attendant always does the pumping.)  Since we where there, we stayed to watch two other cars get oil changes.  Smiley was very happy.

During the drive home I asked him, "What did you learn at the oil change place?"  I was curious how he would answer.  Did he even know what the word learn meant?  We so seldom talk about learning as a concept, and I cannot think of any of his books that mention learning.

He promptly replied, "After the clean oil mechanic makes horn beep loud."  Which was a great answer.  He had not known that part of an oil change was checking the tires, fluid levels, lights, and horn.  The horn test had startled him.

So Smiley, sometime (probably not today) and somehow (perhaps not involving the word learn), can and perhaps does see himself as a learner.  That's really interesting, and seems surprising although I cannot say why.


This evening he was really tired, since yesterday was a big day and today he had no nap.  So I let him play some alphabet flash games on the laptop, which I don't think he has done in at least three weeks.

Two of those four games involve typing letters.  The other two involve moving the cursor, which he could not do at all last he tried.  Tonight he had a lot of trouble, but sometimes could get the cursor on the letter he desired.

Then we tried the Linux game Potato Guy using the "Train Valley" playground.  There is a nearly blank picture with a road and train track, and around the picture are lots things to move onto the picture with the mouse.  It's like a felt board or Colorforms.  He still had mostly trouble but some successes, and enjoyed the struggle.

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