What Works For Me 11/365 Things You Can Do with an 11 year oldPosted: January 11, 2012
When you have more than one child it is so good to be able to spend one on one time with both of them. However given the fact that Mr 11 has a fair amount of play dates and arrangements with friends now that he is older I mostly end up having one on one time with Mr 8.5 which is fine too but it had been a while since Mr 11 and I had spent the day together.
Thanks to a well timed play request from one of Mr 8.5’s friends, Mr 11 and I were able to spend most of the day together. We didn’t do too much. I took him to see War Horse, a movie that he and I were both interested in and would have been over the head of his younger brother. We had the chance to really discuss the movie and how they staged things so you didn’t see “actual deaths” but did realise what had happened. There was definitely some higher level thinking going on about story telling devices and how strong messages can be expressed in subtle ways. Children that age need to reflect and discuss what they are viewing so that have an awareness of what a film maker, TV producer or advertiser is trying to communicate to them and the devices being used to do so. It wasa bit of critucal visual literacy if you like.
Then we came home and built a chair together. It was an office chair that clicked and screwed together and I let Mr 11 handle the instructions and work out which bit was going next and where it should go. I could almost say he is ready for the marriage market now because he is quite proficient with an allan key but perhaps his cooking, cleaning and laundry skills need a bit more work. He made the most of the problem solving opportunities, visualising the end product, “Usually the front of the chair seat slopes down a bit so this must be at the front.” and “If we take that screw out we can move the part so that both screws will go in properly.” I tried very hard not to rush him or distract him and he got the job done. I’m almost certain it wouldn’t have been the case if we had had another helper around.
So today has been a bit about “mastery” for Mr 11 – learning a bit more about what he is capable of and reflecting in a deeper way on what messages are portrayed in the movies. He was surprised that he had spent so little time on the computer today but then agreed that he had been doing some pretty cool things while away from it.