I was mesmerized to see how caring Simon was towards a much younger child visiting us from abroad. Simon interrupted his autodiductive learning to engage with our guest in playing games and building models that he normally no longer finds interesting, he was very attentive and patient explaining how everything works and even told the little guy he loved him. Later this week, Simon also played Easter treasure hunt with other children at his Dad’s office and was very hyper about the whole activity. We clearly observe a more “social” Simon since a couple of months. His voice has lowered and got more self-assured, his responsiveness increased. Amazing what just one year of freedom can do!
Digisnacks, an electronica course at Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, has started again. This time it’s Lego Mindstorms 2. Simon didn’t follow the Lego Mindstorms 1 course but studied how the set works via a couple of YouTube tutorials. It’s a course for 10-14 olds 😉
The monthly Astronomy class at the Urania observatory today was about telescopes and the history of observing the nightly skies:
On Saturday Simon had his second astronomy workshop at the local observatory. The pages below is “homework”. He wasn’t particularly enthusiastic doing it but found tasks 4, 5 and 8 intriguing and was proud of himself when everything was completed. I always struggle with myself when giving him such “compulsory” tasks as he works better autonomously or at least when being able to chose the problems (which is often possible when using an online math platform, for example).
He also doesn’t like writing things down for someone else, in other words when he doesn’t see any practical value in it for the future. I’ve noticed that he prefers writing things down for himself to remember. Sometimes he even gets up at night to write something down, it’s quite funny to watch.
He said he liked his second workshop but couldn’t answer the question whether he learned anything new. He literally said “I can’t say yes or no to this question”. The workshop was about stars and galaxies. The first workshop was about constellations. Simon also confided to me that he is a little bit afraid of the third workshop next month: it’s called “3, 2, 1 Go!”. He is old enough to understand they would definitely not be taking an actual space flight during the workshop, still it seems to be triggering the old fears he’s always had of (accidentally) stepping in an aircraft and taking off.
Here are some examples of the tasks and projects Simon makes at his weekly Code Fever classes where they’re currently learning about conditional logic.
This one he quickly made tonight at home to explain the theme “signals” to Dad:
Earlier projects from during the class (he didn’t remix/ save the one from today in class). The first one is about controlling the characters by pressing letters and arrows on the keyboard:
In this one two dino’s play ball:
On Saturday Simon started his monthly classes at Urania, the local observatory.
Yesterday at Simon’s first session by the Digisnacks, a course offered by the Antwerp University’s computer science faculty. The session was about computer history, what’s inside the computer and binary language.
Simon has been attending this weekly Scratch club CodeFever since the end of September. At the beginning they suggested placing him in the oldest group, for 12 to 15 year olds, but after the first lesson there the teacher suggested Simon moved to the middle group for children aged 10 to 12 (Simon has just turned 7), as he was getting overstimulated in the oldest group according to the teacher. Simon still complains he is very much distracted by “the noise” and hence does things slowly, he also finds the tasks quite simple for the moment, but it’s becoming more challenging every week and I can see he fairly enjoys the course by now. Today, parents were allowed a quick peep inside.