Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Raising Little Geeks

I didn't mean to do it, but I don't think we can help it. We're raising little geeks. But how can we do anything but that? Look at us. I blame my husband.

Sure, I was a geek in school- but just your average study to get an A kind of gal. My activities consisted of music and academic clubs. But my husband, now he's a geek. He once studied all day for a final in college and brought a calculus grade up from a D to a B+. (I can only wonder what would have happened if he'd opened his book earlier in the semester!) And when we watch Jeopardy, he knows all the answers. And wonders why no one on the show knows it, too!

So, there's really no hope for our kids.

Dr. Uncle Tim showing
Zachary his own cheek cells.
At first it made me smile. When the boys were 4 and 5 we had watched some Sid the Science Kid about simple machines. At the breakfast table they were discussing whether a fork is an inclined plane or a lever. When they decided to experiment with their eggs, I called it off :)

The small forays into geekiness continued. They love science and exploring and "what if" and I try to let them explore and experiment, even if it's messy. One of the big reasons we homeschool is so that they can do more hands on projects and activities than are generally done in a large classroom setting. Sometimes it's a big experiment, but usually we're observing bees pollinate the flowers, counting the toes on the gecko, or putting cups of water outside to see how long before it freezes. I'm fully convinced that sending my kids out to explore God's world and to interact with it is more important than teaching them to read or memorizing math facts (although we still do that!). But they're starting to surprise me with the levels of understanding that they have. The geekiness is invading their play.

My little paleontologists.
We took a trip to Texas a few weeks ago. We were so close to the ocean, I convinced Greg to take us there for  the morning. The tide was out and the beach was covered with shells. We splashed in the waves and collected shells. Greg showed them the bubbles made by the little sand crabs buried in the sand (semi-geeky, but pretty standard). The real surprise came when one of the kids said, "Mama, we're going to pretend to be paleontologists looking for micro-fossils." I continued to look for pretty shells.

Quinlan playing chess at the
Children's Museum.
It happened again last night. I had to tear the boys away from their game to set the table. In fact, I had to take it from them and put the pieces away because they were so distracted by it. In the amount of time it took me to move the food from the stove to the table, the boys had the chess board set back up and were already four moves into a game. I never thought I would have to tell my kids (ages 6 and 7) that there would be no chess playing at the dinner table.

Don't worry too much about my kids, they still love to play house and cooking show. They love to draw and craft. They love to play football in the hallway. But I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm raising little geeks.

Do your kids do or say anything that surprises you?