Friday, January 31, 2014

Learning Together....Stepping into the Unknown...

Raghav has grown up watching me deal with my severe wheezing attacks. They are almost non-existent now, ever since I gave up milk, reduced my tamarind intake, changed the kind of food I ate (especially restricting fruits) and started doing some meditation everyday, focusing on my breath.

It touched me and moved me to tears today when my son, after watching a zillion BrainPop videos on varying subjects on his iPad, came up to me and said: "Amma, maybe you can use a peak flow meter when you get your wheezing....I think it will help you." And then, we sat down together to watch the video that explained what it was and how it worked. I learned something new - something that no doctor I had been to so far had informed me about, and something that I had not bothered to find out more about, myself.

This is just one of the many many ways in which we have learned something together....where no one person is the authority on the subject or claims to know is indeed a happy feeling I feel inside say that I don't know and step into the unknown, learning something new each day, as we live together.

Some Recent Lego Creations....

Monday, January 27, 2014

Raghav's Lego Tutorial

Raghav is pretty much independent in searching for stuff on YouTube and through Google now. A few weeks ago, he stumbled on JAYSTEPHER who has a YouTube channel with Lego Tutorials and he has been super-excited with his new find! :)

When he is not watching BrainPop videos on his iPad these days, Raghav has been poring over these tutorials and building fantastic new creations. It has been fascinating for me to watch him use the tutorial completely on his own and making new things with his Lego bricks. He will first choose the video he wants to watch, set the iPad on the floor in front of himself, and then get building, while pausing rewinding and fast-forwarding the video as he follows it step by step, searching for the correct bricks, checking to see if he has missed a step and so on. I just loove the power of the internet and am so grateful for it as a tool for a self-learner like my son!

I think these tutorials inspired him so much that he wanted to try and do one of his own today. While he has been showing and teaching me how to build small things, over the last few weeks, much like a live demo, it was only today that he was okay with me to video him....and it was a great experience for both an amateur photographer like me, and for my son.

We made some five or six attempts to video these between the door bell ringing, my phone ringing, the camera's memory getting used up and Raghav forgetting a few steps! He realised on his own, that he had to know it all by heart and in his head, if he wanted to make a video tutorial. He does also often keep saying that he is forgetful and this I thought was a great way for him to know his strengths and evaluate his memory for himself. At one point, when he knew he had gone wrong, he asked me to stop recording and restart, only after he had gone through the steps once again by himself and had figured out where he had gone wrong on his own. I was but a witness to the learning process of a self-learner!

Here are the two recordings we made today....enjoy and do give us your feedback! :) That would be helpful!

How to build a Lego fridge

How to build a Lego Table Tennis table

Here are some of the other creations that Raghav made recently, using JAYSTEPHER's videos...

A merry-go-round

A slide

A Public Restroom (do take a look at the details!)

The inside view - the pots and toilet rolls :)

doors that open and shut

wash basins and towel holder

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What do Lasagna and Geography have in common??

Yes. What do Lasagne and Geography have in common - you may wonder?...I am beginning to learn that these connections are difficult to make, often only for us adults, as we have set patterns of thinking and doing, unlike children who are constantly adapting to and learning from and with their environment.

This afternoon, we were at a restaurant to have lunch with an old friend and colleague of my husband, who had come down from Delhi. Raghav had ordered some lasagna, which was brought piping hot. So he was waiting for it to cool. While watching it sitting in front of him, he observed : "You know what the cheesy crust reminds me of? It looks like the pointed peaks of tall mountains, jutting out above the floating clouds!" Then he dug into it with his fork and watched the steam coming out from it saying: " See...the crust on the lasagna is trapping the heat, just like the earth's crust traps heat, which comes out sometimes from cracks in it, as magma or if the earth did not have a crust, maybe the heat will not get trapped!"

He breathed life into three lifeless adults with those words! I woke up and started eating my food with a new-found joy.

Connections.  Connecting with people, words, things, feelings, and everything else....that is what makes up the fabric of our lives.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wait Until Dark!

One of  Raghav's dreams has been to drive his remote controlled cars - a Lamborghini Aventador and a Ferrari, with his father, on a long stretch of concrete and in the dark!....only because he wants to admire his car's shining headlights in the darkness of the night :) I love all the details that he makes sure to add to his dreams, to spice them up a bit more.

This evening, Srinath came home early and so Raghav made his plans :) He put the rechargeable battery on charge, set an alarm on my phone to remind himself when to take it off charge, and made a plan with his dad about what they would do downstairs...and I made my own plan to take pictures of them.

They found a parking lot at the back of our building, where hardly any cars come along, and were on the job! Raghav drove his dream car, while the 53 year old kid drove the Ferrari :) The obscure, drab parking lot suddenly came alive with the sounds of the two "super cars"!...with a Drag race in the dark, Time Trial (where each car is timed for a particular distance that it travels) and a Tug-of-War (where he tied a rope from one car to the other, and each person reversed his car to pull), I was witness to a game that was a cross between Real Racing 3 and the Clarkson's series :) - we got DVDs of his TV series from British Council Library.

Here are some pictures that I took from above while eavesdropping :)