Raghu had been asking to sell things to his friends… can’t quite remember what started him off. But i do remember him taking note of conversations about lemonade stalls, makign money from a paper route etc. So anyway… yesterday with Zoya on my back to get her out of the way but still involved… raghu and i started making churmuri (savory puffed rice snack) and also wadis (firm but soft sweet made of coconut, milk, nuts and sugar). then we recycled some old honey bottles and kept them ready for the churmuri. we made lables with some paper raghu had painted on recenlty and then wrote “raghu famous churmuri bottles”… his idea. mostlly in this case it was all his idea… but mostly my work! but iguess at his age its hard for him to really follow thru. he is a good delegator 😉 so then we wrapped up the wadis in small clingwrap sheets and wrote “raghu’s 50 cent Wadis”. by the time we were ready to go selling… yes… there were prices printed on the lables… $1.50, $1.20 etc. raghu was exhausted… sleepy…. as he does nto nap any more. but he wanted to go sellign anyway. so i set up a visit to a couple of his friends homes… and off we went. he made $3.20!!

Anyway… i was impressed that he endeavoured to count the money and keep it safe despite feeling tired.

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fire play

This afternoon Raghu waited till Zoya fell asleep and then reminded me of my promise to let him play with fire…. yeah.. thats right… he has been wanting to burn things. Well better he do it with me around than on the sly 🙂

So anyway… we went into the balcony and then took a few tea lights and a match box. we proceeded to use up some match sticks… raghu asked if paper woudl light up if struck against the side of the match box. He was keen to know about how the fire could burn adn how it works…. fuel and air etc…

He had also tried to figure out how the inside of a torch works. I need to get some insulated wire and then see if i can make a simple circuit for him to work. I fixed the gears and circuit of the magnetic fridge gears today… very satisfying 🙂 also showed him how the positve and negative of the batteries fit into slots. He wanted to make his remote car work… so that took up soem time and effort… funky little mini-cooper he has. he loves it. also danced to bunty aur babli and heard chalti ka naam gaadi songs. he loves to be swung thru the air.

He played for an hour with Roshni and did ask for the TV… which i declined… i don’t know why… but i can’t seem to get past that. I don’t know whether i want to trust him and see how it goes… bah!! i really need to understand media issues better… and why and how the media affects learning.

Reading Elaine Mazlish and Adele Faber’s book and trying out some of their thoughts. So this morning when Raghu’s friend Roshni came over to play I had an opportunity. It was almost time for Roshni to go home and Raghu started saying he was going to visit her home for a quick snack. So first i had to inform raghu that Suman was busy and hence could not have visitors today. Having gotten over this hump… he started insisting that Roshni give back the thermacole sculpture that she had made with some straws. He was quite adamant that she could not have it even for a day (roshni wanted to take it home for a day adn would return teh sculpture). I was telling Roshni that raghu needed the sculpture as the thermacole was being used to house his new remote control car. Here i was managing a complex argument between teh 2 children (one who wanted to take her new creation home and the other who wanted to visit the friend’s home but was not beign allowed and hence sudenly could not part with the thermacole.. which early one the friend had started working with adn labeling as hers) and i was beginnign to feel the strain and wodnering if i’d have to state a solution. the book says… don’t give solutions…. empathize, describe waht you hear and see, clarify points that you dont’ understnad and listen hard. So i listened some more asked some more questions and finally Roshni said something that helped me understnad her adamancy…. she was taking it home to make a bed for her dolls! Yahoo… i can churn out dolls beds with cardboard, scissors and some old stuffing in no time… so when i offered her a bed for her dolls… she smiled, asked raghu to take the thermacole (sculpture of thermacole with straws stuck in it) and then helped me make the bedding. Raghu on his part smiled and gave her the straws from the sculpture and asked her if she’d like to take then to decorate the new bed. !!!!!!! thats all i can say…. it was such a wonderful feeling to understand her need and see if she’d like a different solution to meet that need. Raghu got over teh crabbiness and was a smiling boy for the rest of the playdate. Man…. i have much to learn.

Zoya is really getting to be a handful and is sometimes hard to manage… she wants all fo the things that raghu has/uses.

Raghu loves water… this evening when i found that the lack of a nap had made raghu start to wind down very early… i decided to put him in hte bath tub (without Zoya). He played for an hour or more… with all his plastic animals, some of the marble-run-tubing and loads of soap bubbles. He was more rested after this bath and i’m glad i persuaded him to give the play-downstairs-with-friends routine. it would have been an uphill battle to keep his behaviour socially acceptable and pleasant towards all. his evening crabbiness is best tolerated at home. Ever since he has given up his nap… he has found it hard to control the evening crabbiness. he wakes up at 7ish and then starts to wind down by 5ish… so that he finally sleeps by 8ish. its the 3 hours from about 5-8 that need patience, careful planning and some distraction.

Sky is the biggest

Raghu told me today that “the sky” was the biggest thing in the whole world. And I agreed.. but only after i took a minute to digest what he had noticed and was expressing. He said it was bigger than the biggest dinasaur and biggest land mammal and the biggest whale etc… its amazing what kids notice despite living in a place where the horizon is invisible… it stays hidden by buildings and other city needs. But yet the child saw the expanse of the sky perhaps at the sea-side and remembered it while being surrounded by buildings and trains etc. and a tiny patch of sky overhead.

I’ve been reading about unschooling every chance I get and its been really jolting me. “If a child is feeling right then he will behave right.” I read this in Elaine Mazlish’s book today and I’m thinking this needs to be labled onto the kids’ foreheads… so i can remember this while i interract with them 🙂

I’m not sure how far i want to take it and i’m not sure if Ravi really knows what he’s in for thru this process.

Raghu has been trying to figure out how the electricity in the walls affect only the things they are connected to. to put it crudely. He connected the tape recorder to the socket in teh front room and then went to check on the switch in the guest room… was it on or off. so this lead to a discussion about electricity. Also he wanted to open up the battery and see how the battery powers the lightbulb. I’m not sure what words to use to make it simple for him. I’m confused a bit about how to explain things without turning him off or answering with 5 more words that he would not understand as yet. intriguing.

He is amazingly perceptive… but seems like i need to really use some listening techniques with him. telling him that i understand how he feels… and then empathizing at the right times helps. but providing solutions all the time is not helpful! contrary to what we think.

He is interested in cars… the movie and i’m thinking he’d love to see a race car go in real life. he is attracted to all things speedy. so i guess its a good time to get some books from the library that talk about this topic. As i’ve learnt from Alison McKee’s wonderful book… i need to take my cues from him. “Show me the way” (like show me the money… only better 😉 shoudl be the mantra with kids.

I’m leaving for india Jan 17th with ma-in-law and hope to find a suitable apartment as soon as possible. Ravi has some good leads and i’m really hoping that one of them works out.

Coelophysis

Raghu told me to guess who he was… this led me to the usual… superman, tinman, lion etc… i guess he was a dinasaur… and when I finally guessed it… he immediately denied it and said “Main Bhagwaan hoon” LOL

We were in the LRT riding along and doing the usual chit chat when he started to read the name of one of the stations… “phoenix”. He read it with a literal ph sound. When i mentioned that it was pronounced “f” (he likes our reading involvement and hence i profer the correct pronouncements) he said “just like in coelophysis” I was stunned. he noticed the spelling of coelophysis enought o make the direct comparison.

Raghu has begun to truly look out for Z when he’s not totally goofing off… meaning the other day on the playgroud… he was trying to help Z do everything… and was keen to make sure that she did not fall.

Raghu is so into reading whatever catches his fancy that he will sometimes scare the living daylights out of me by reading words while riding escalators!!! Given that his center of gravity is a bit on the move even while he is stationary this no doubt makes me nuts. So i’ve taken to holding his hand again… as he can’t help himself… cracking the reading code makes him happy 🙂

Zoya says sorry!! really… anytime something falls or if she is scolded for being too aggressive or is dropping things… then she’ll say “sollee” No doubt a lot of words she says are due to Raghu’s influence. She started saying “Look at that” and “Hello-Bye” and “Waavoo (raghu)” and other cutesy stuff. We talk normal with her mostly but there are times when i feel like calling raghu Waavooo myself 🙂 Raghu said there are many ways to count to 10… 5+5, 2+8 and 6+4. yahoo for unschooling and things that make sense.