November 12, 2007

A Day At The Beach

Today Jerry, his best friend Jackson, and I went to Santa Monica. We walked around the pier for a while, then built an awesome sand castle on the beach. Here's a run down on what we did, and what we learned in the process.

The day started at home with Jerry and I at the kitchen table. Jerry played a tetris-like game called Snood on his computer for about an hour and a half while I worked on my blog. As I was searching online for some information about the educational value of Snood I stumbled upon a site called Computing With Kids which had this great article about the game. Here's a brief excerpt:
"Snood is an amazing game, not because of its complexity, but rather its simplicity," said Reginann Rohlfs, a sixth-grade teacher at Forest Edge Elementary School in Fairfax, Va. Rohlfs uses Snood in her classroom because it teaches "logic, geometry and strategy."
So, let me rephrase my earlier description of what we did this morning. I worked on my blog while Jerry studied logic, geometry and strategy. Oh, and the same article said that this game is huge at Princeton and that they've held Snood tournaments on campus. So I think it's fair to say he was preparing for college, too. Hee! Hee!

Then we went to pick up Jackson and stopped at Game Stop so Jerry could buy a used wireless adapter for his friend Anthony so they can play Pokemon together. He learned about giving and smart consumerism.

At the beach we checked out the rides (just looked) and the arcade (again, just looked--they didn't have the game the boys were looking for) then we walked to the end of the pier. The boys watched an artist create a small oil painting of the pier, which Jerry purchased. They learned art and a little Spanish. They had another art lesson from a cartoonist later in the day. At the end of the pier we looked at old photos of the area. (History.)

As we walked, we talked about the Galapagos Islands and how the animals aren't afraid of people there. We laughed about the Blue Footed Booby and vowed to find photos of one online when we got home. (Geography. Biology. Evolution. History.)

We ate a snack. Then we walked down the stairs toward the sand.
It was Veteran's Day and there was a memorial to the soldiers killed in Iraq just north of the pier on the sand. There were crosses representing the dead soldiers, many with handwritten names, and flowers attached to them. We saw photographs of the American soldiers who had died and talked about how each dead soldier meant a family had lost someone they loved. We talked about war and good and evil and if evil is necessary in the world in order to have good. (History. Philosophy. Current Events. International Relations. Social Studies.)

Then we built a sandcastle.

(Architecture. Geology. Joyful Living.)

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