First, the word LEGO, in Danish means LEg GOdt. In English this means play well/ good. It is quite easy to feel good about a product designed and envisioned as a way to play well.
Of course the lego universe has expanded well past those humble first few blocks created back in the 1940s.
I would say that lego has long been an important part of our unschooling uncurriculum. Theo has been playing with various lego products since he was a young toddler. But it was about 2 years ago that he discovered the smaller legos which are part of the ‘creator’ line. And he builds, builds, builds everyday.
It’s entertaining and informative to watch Theo create. All that he sees, thinks about and hears goes into his building. After we got the DVD Wall-E for christmas, Theo spent more than a month building bots. There was Wall-E and M-O and Go-4 and Eve and so many others of his own design.
But the really awesome aspect is not just his creativity and fine-motor skills, it’s hearing the descriptions and explanations. It is during this time that I can really hear his developing vocabulary (which is excellent) and his maturing thought processes. It’s awesome. And it’s his passion.
A week or so ago Nic discovered the Lego Network online. Both boys have been enjoying the various activities at Lego.com (they have lego digital designer downloaded to the computer to fiddle with anytime the internet connection is down…) including games and building tools. This is one of the ways they comply with my ‘quiet requirement’ during Whinnie’s afternoon naps.
But Lego Network is new. For those not familiar with it: think Facebook for lego building ‘geeks.’ And Nic loves it. Everyday he greets Papa Chris at the door with an update of how many ‘friends’ he has.
The really cool thing is…he’s reading, constantly. In the quest for ‘friends’ he has to go and do things, get things, complete tasks, go on quests. So he has to dig around. He has to read and interpret clues. Sometimes he spends an hour or more reading forum threads in order to reach another level.
So, yesterday at lego school there was much building, much reading, some math, lots of laughter, lots of color. And though it’s not part of the unofficial uncurriculum, there was non-lego work as well. There were valentines to create and clues to make (Theo has them taped all over the apt, only he knows what they mean…because they are there for the aliens.)
I love seeing them just following their passions. Unschooling totally rocks!