Thursday, October 9, 2014

Play Plus Focus

best toy store ever!
While we were on our trip last week, we stopped at a toy store recommended by a friend. Playthings Etc. is like no other toy store I've ever visited. When we walked through the door we were greeted by an employee, "Welcome to Playthings Etc., the world's coolest toy store!" with an invitation to 'play with anything that's out of the package'. They meant it! The employees actively played with the boys. At one point, EM and JT were riding around the store on scooters, shooting one another with rubber band guns, while employees offered helpful advice.

strangest building
The store is unique in other ways, too. The building is shaped like a stealth bomber. My picture doesn't do it justice. You really need an aerial view to get a feel for just how unusual it is. You can read about the architecture here

We probably spent two hours playing. They had a large model rocket/RC vehicle section in the store and we wanted to pick some things up for my dad. Unfortunately, we couldn't reach him to find out what he needed. Instead, we decided we could stop in again on our way home on Thursday.

The boys decided to blow a good chunk of their savings on rubber band guns. They each bought one the first day we were there. After hours of shooting one another back at the cabin, they each decided to buy one more. The guns take different gauge rubber bands and most can be loaded with more than one at a time, some as many as twelve. And, yes, they do hurt when you get hit by one... or twelve.

tally sheet
At home again on Friday, they set up a game in our library involving EM's clone trooper collection and the guns. They even took the time to make rules for playing and keep score.

This week we have moved back into our usual work routine. EM had his third piano lesson and continues to make good progress. He's already playing songs that involve both hands and complex rhythms. JT had a drum lesson today and has been obsessed with a song he is trying to learn since then. Of course, that completely destroyed his focus for all other subjects the remainder of the day. I regularly have to deal with his total concentration as a hindrance to other learning. Some days it drives me nuts. Other days I chalk it up to the 'absent-minded professor' syndrome. I try to keep in mind that the freedom we have as homeschoolers allows this deep reflection time that he wouldn't get in a more typical setting for school. I can see that in a regular classroom he would either be in trouble or never have a clue what's going on when he turns inward to work out a problem. For me, it's just something to work around. Hopefully, as an adult, he'll find a career that requires intense concentration with no regard for any outside input.

I can dream, can't I?

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