Is This Home Schooling ?

Day 62 of coronavirus in France

Day 11 of enforced confinement

Video classroom. Classic novels. Math worksheets. Grammar computer games. And LEGO® engineering challenges. The inside scoop on what’s working and what’s not.

There’s one subject that she hates because it’s too simple. I just google worksheets that are a bit more advanced and slip them in as replacements.

There’s another subject that she hates because it’s hard, but she needs this skill.

The video classroom and grammar computer games have completely bombed. At 7 years old anything that involves screens is more frustrating than it’s worth. Video classroom doesn’t adapt to her learning speed. Half the time they teach stuff she already knows and the other half the time they go too fast she can’t write fast enough to keep up. Grammar computer games lead to her getting frustrated with herself for hitting the wrong button when she knows the right answer.

Reading classic literature has attracted great interest. Currently we are working through the original Chronicles of Narnia series.

Which brings us to the activity that she gets the most excited about. Every day I give her a new LEGO® challenge. She has to use her problem solving skills to save the kingdom from a new plot twist. Tying the course work into a fantasy storyline is working. Otherwise the math and writing exercises have no meaning. But if she can do the work while in her fantasy land where she is saving horses every day then she’s enthusiastic to do it and she proudly writes a report of the challenge she accomplished. Her report needs to be two or three sentences that describe the plot, and the math involved in perfecting her construction.

She still says she loves school all together. She just doesn’t love schoolwork at home. Anyone who has ever met my little cupcake can attest she is about one of the most extraverted people on the planet and has been since birth, so I guess it only stands to reason. This is really hard for her.

Honestly I never imagined it would be this hard. She loves school she is perfectly capable of doing the work. Under different circumstances she could complete these worksheets autonomously. I underestimated the upheaval of being torn away from her friends – a classic introvert oversight I suppose.

Our LEGO® sets are old-school just basic blocks and a few hinges, so you can imagine the additional challenges that poses to some of these puzzles.

LEGO® Challenges

Two Schleich® animals are surrounded by molten lava. Your challenge is to construct a bridge using only LEGOs® over 1 meter of lava maintaining a minimum of 10 centimeters between bridge structure and lava or else it will burn up. Also the finished bridge needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of the 2 Schleich® animals on their way to safety.

An army is attacking build a castle with a working drawbridge, catapult and a tower at least 50 centimeters high.

Build a horse stable with working doors and gates and a riding arena.

Design a prosthetic limb for an animal that would permit it to continue to live in the wild.

Using only LEGOs® build a boat that really floats and supports the weight of one Schleich® animal. In your report don’t forget to mention how long and how wide your boat is.

Design and build a new amusement park attraction.

Create a dragon with real working wings.

Help the princes and princesses invent new technological breakthroughs.

Using only LEGOS® build a submarine that really keeps a minifigure dry when immersed.

Crash test airplanes to create a design that can withstand three drop tests from a hight of 1 meter into a plastic bin without breaking. Each time a piece breaks off learn why, make a change, and explain in your report what worked and what didn’t.

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