Stimulating curiosity at an early age

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
1,702
I'm merging two of my posts from another thread that is rambling somewhat because I believe the subject is very important. Please contribute additional ideas here.

The kid is my soon to be six year old grandson. His bicycle is a year old. He can't ride it. His focus is on anything that failure has no repercussions. You can always start a game over, don't ya know... I can keep him focused on building, and I've been working with him on writing and reading, but I want to ignite some curiosity, passion, desire to DO, without needing someone there to keep him at it.

1. Science tricks that look like magic. There are plenty of them on YouTube than can be done easily and cheaply.
2. Rocks. Search large areas of gravel to find cool ones. Seed if necessary with very impressive but cheap mineral samples found on eBay. He can show them to friends.
3. A rock from outer space as gift. There are plenty of amazingly cheap, small meteorites on eBay. He can show them to friends.
4. Get interesting broken stuff by asking on Craigslist and take them apart, telling people on Craigslist the purpose for the request. I suggest this because I don't know how many times I've seen mention of great scientists and engineers taking things apart as very young kids to see how they work. I mentioned this at a local makerspace open house and a few months later they held an "Un-Maker" day. Kid learns how to use tools, like a screwdriver, manual or electric, and how to reason out the disassembly process. Kid MUST realize that ONLY things you bring should be taken apart WHILE you're there. Cut off power cords on anything electric before bringing it by. Finally, he gets to see what's inside and keep some small pieces of the item in an empty peanut butter jar. Little brother or sister MUST NOT have those pieces because they might swallow them. The point of this? The problem with far too many people is not that they aren't smart, but that they don't know HOW to think - the critical thought process is a LEARNED skill. Start early.
5. "The world is made of dots." Use a magnifying glass to look at an operating LCD TV or computer monitor, making the strong point about how breakable that screen is. Dots. Look at multicolor prints ads in junk mail, magazines, newspapers, etc. Dots. The dots he can't see are called "atoms." We and every material thing around us is made from them. This is a fantastic microscope that can be used for all kinds of things, including in the insect hunts that can be done in the appropriate months:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LAX52IQ/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

6. Magnets and the very many cool things they can do. Lots of demo ideas on YouTube.
7. The moon, up close through a telescope while in gibbous phase. The sharp, 3D effect craters with deep shadows are the ONLY thing that really impresses kids at public star parties. Magnification should be enough to show about 1/4 of the moon in the field of view with some terminator in view. They expect Hubble photos, and that's the only thing that comes even close to that at a star party. Plenty close enough, apparently.
8. Insect hunts in appropriate weather. Microscope used after locating or capture. Red ants and spiders - caution.
9. What's the most important thing in the house besides mom and dad? Water. See, it's available in many places in the house. You are more than half water. Where does the house's water come from? Visit a water tower, reservoir, etc.
10. What runs the TV, computer, furnace, stove, etc.? Electricity. Where does it come from. Visit power plant (as close as you can get these days anyway). Visit large substation. Listen to the hum. Explain it. Point out the hazards of the substation and why there's gravel even outside the fence. A bright green laser pointer pen is great for pointing out various things within the substation.
11. Weather, weather, weather, weather. Fantastic subject since it happens every day. In every way, the goal should be to make the kid realize that nearly everything in the world is fascinating if you know enough about it and the best thing is to make him realize that things that happen every day and he has always taken for granted are actually very cool. This leads to, "I wonder what else is cool?"
12. Dark sky, dark adapted eyes, all the many more stars you can now see that you didn't even know were there, so far away that the light from them started its trip years to many, many years ago; meteor showers; satellites:

https://www.n2yo.com/

13. Google, Google, Google (in safe mode). Wonder about something, anything? Look it up in the greatest library in the history of the world.
14. Visit makerspaces and, better yet, maker faires.
15. Record "How it's Made" and similar shows, selecting the most impressive topics, the ones where the child has previously shown interest, and ones where the item shown being made can be easily obtained to be presented to the child after seeing how it is made. Recent examples of the latter: aluminum foil, bread, potato chips, retractable ballpoint pens, coins, jelly beans, nuts and bolts, crackers, pillows. Although many of the product brands are Canadian, sometimes they show a U.S. brand if you want to go to the trouble of having exactly what was shown to present to the kid.

It sounds trite, but children are the future. There is absolutely, positively NOTHING in the world more important to address than their proper care and education, especially during their most formative early years. This series was fascinating:

THE BRAIN WITH DAVID EAGLEMAN | Inside a Child's Brain | PBS

[video=youtube;mzZOPCHgmjM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzZOPCHgmjM[/video]

https://www.pbs.org/the-brain-with-david-eagleman/home/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013I9RJBC/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Here's what happens if proper care is NOT taken. This is very sad and is just part of that segment.:

THE BRAIN WITH DAVID EAGLEMAN | Romanian Orphanages | PBS

[video=youtube;Jg-qwWZUoe4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg-qwWZUoe4[/video]

Now, I DO NOT want to divert the topic of this thread, but I feel the following is INCREDIBLY important. So, please, just read the following and watch the video, preferably every second of it, and then spread the word elsewhere.

First, a warning: NEVER remove anyone from prescribed medication except under the direct supervision of the prescribing physician, ESPECIALLY the sort of drugs I will be referring to here.

Years ago, there was this dad and his kid who would come to many of our public launches. I'd guess the kid was around 8 or 9 years old. He showed no excitement or emotion, didn't talk, would push the launch button and just watch the rocket climb with no sign of excitement or any reaction at all. After a number of launches, I finally asked another club member about it. They said he was 'medicated." I don't know how they knew that and didn't pursue the topic further.

About two years ago, I somehow got interested in the topic of prescription drugs and their probable connection to the relatively recent and HUGE suicide and mental health problems in this country, probably from watching a documentary. That somehow led me to watch the video directly below. I was so enraged by it that I went through what turned out to be an unproductive circular path of emails to find out who had the rights to allow me to copy it to DVD and send one to every child physician in this area. It was a fail because no one involved was certain who could provide the go-ahead and was afraid to make a call.

Here's the bottom line: they have absolutely no idea whatsoever what actually causes depression, bipolar disorder, or ADHD. There are NO physical or chemically measurable clues. Yet they SERIOUSLY mess with brain chemistry using psychotropic drugs, even in CHILDREN, because it seems to work, IN THE SHORT TERM. They have no idea why. Their previous theories have all been disproved.

Long term effects of anything other than short term use of these drugs have been shown to have extremely negative effects in many cases while long term developmental benefits have proved to be zero. Long term use in children results in 10 to 25% eventual bipolar disorder diagnosis at which point lifelong-required chemical cocktails are prescribed with, once again, absolutely no confirmed idea of how they work if they do and with their own nasty side effects.

The HUGE rise in childhood bipolar disorder and children on the mental disability roles in this country exactly coincides with the advent of the widespread use of psychotropic drugs on children. 85 to 90% of the world supply of these drugs is consumed in the U.S., so this problem is mostly confined to the U.S. The Lancet medical journal once attempted to find unbiased, expert medical paper evaluators on the topics related to these categories of drugs and couldn't find ONE who wasn't on the payroll of big pharma. Confirmed medical "study" malpractices dealing with these drugs have included such things as removing from the study anyone showing POSITIVE results from the placebo while also removing anyone who WASN'T showing POSITIVE results from the drug being tested!

If you aren't going to watch the entire video, something I strongly discourage, at least watch the speaker's qualifications starting at 0:38 to 3:00 and his final words starting at 46:05 to end. I believe what is being done is not just tragic, it is CRIMINAL. That's why I believe it is important for as many people as possible to be aware of this.

I repeat, NEVER remove anyone from prescribed medication except under the direct supervision of the prescribing physician, ESPECIALLY the sort of drugs referred to in this video. IF you pass along this video, PROVIDE THAT WARNING.

Psychotropic Drugs and Children

[video=youtube;rNuVo5NDhUs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNuVo5NDhUs[/video]

His excellent book that I read after seeing the above video:

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307452425/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
Last edited by a moderator:

dr wogz

Fly caster
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
8,549
Reaction score
4,247
Location
Land of Poutine!
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at, but I assume it has something to do with 'bad parenting' or that parents don't' encourage their kids to do things, that they expect teachers to do that, that they expect TV or other stuff to stimulate them. I whole heartedly agree, that kids these days don't have the same 'quality time' with mum & dad we did growing up. Nor do they have the chance to take risks, learn, and learn from failure..

As for you list:
You forgot to mention Lego. it helps learn a process, assembly steps, how to think & build things from a finite set of elements, and most of all, how to be creative, to play, to strive for improvement. And, as they get older the 'technics' sets allow them to discover mechanics; levers, gears, rotational motion, etc.. and much later with Mindstorms how to program; logic & robots. The Lego world is vast and can teach quite a lot, as long as the time is taken to show them 'how cool it is' and how it relates to the real world.
 

tmacklin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
2,225
Reaction score
12
Very interesting thread.

Having been involved in retail pharmacy with my pharmacist wife from 1996 until 2013, we saw many examples of exactly what Robert Whitaker described. I can't help but wonder if this epidemic of ADHD children is the result of babies being in the wombs of drug addicted women beginning in the late 1960's and continuing today. The solution for everything now seems to be, take this pill. We have become a drug culture of both legal and on the street drugs as evidenced by the fact that the DEA claims that drug diversion of prescription medication is now a bigger problem than all other street drugs combined. There is also a parallel epidemic of broken families and fatherless children which is without a doubt harmful to children.

That being said, not all children have equal aptitude and drive toward science and engineering pursuits and I think that certain people push their children into activities that are not necessarily "age appropriate". :2:
 

fyrwrxz

latest photo
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
7,263
Reaction score
720
Very interesting thread.

Having been involved in retail pharmacy with my pharmacist wife from 1996 until 2013, we saw many examples of exactly what Robert Whitaker described. I can't help but wonder if this epidemic of ADHD children is the result of babies being in the wombs of drug addicted women beginning in the late 1960's and continuing today. The solution for everything now seems to be, take this pill. We have become a drug culture of both legal and on the street drugs as evidenced by the fact that the DEA claims that drug diversion of prescription medication is now a bigger problem than all other street drugs combined. There is also a parallel epidemic of broken families and fatherless children which is without a doubt harmful to children.

That being said, not all children have equal aptitude and drive toward science and engineering pursuits and I think that certain people push their children into activities that are not necessarily "age appropriate". :2:
I agree with most everything posted so far and Ted has an excellent point: children mature at their own rate and as they develop personalities they begin to express interest in different arenas. At the risk of seeming 'non-pc', I've noticed a distinct fall in reading as a reward rather than punishment. Often assigned reading in classrooms can be easily circumvented by reading an on-line review or (for my generation at least) getting the Clif Notes. My youngest son turned up his nose at my rather extensive collection of hard bound encyclopeadia, yet gleefully wrote a report from an on-line source citing the very book 10 feet away from him! My point is, reading should be approached carefully and nurtured to provide a tool for success in the real world. Yes, we've managed to migrate a huge sum of classic and even some obscure texts to 'the cloud', and so have democratically cut the costs of owning and housing dead trees. Read to your younger children and take time to encourage the exploration of their mind and imagination. Certainly, today's youth are more sophisticated at an earlier age and may even seem jaded compared to our own youth so many years past. Take them to a library and start small, one book at a time. Ask them "what do YOU care about"? If it's sports-fine. There are a lot of books on that,same as dancing, music, art projects, history, etc. The main idea here is to expose them to other thoughts, other ideas and even other worlds, fiction or real. Let them know the more they know about the rest of the world outside the home,the bigger ideas they can have and thus can find a way to what they really have a passion for. We need all kinds-scientists, ministers,mechanics and medics. We are all diamonds in the rough, but those who have lovingly polished the facets of that part of them they love will truly shine. Like Winston said "Ignite the imagination"!
 
Last edited:

tmacklin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
2,225
Reaction score
12
From another thread:

"And, but, so, well, what Next?
Honestly,I'm more into the whole thing than the kid."


Kind of sums it up.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
1,702
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at, but I assume it has something to do with 'bad parenting' or that parents don't' encourage their kids to do things, that they expect teachers to do that, that they expect TV or other stuff to stimulate them. I whole heartedly agree, that kids these days don't have the same 'quality time' with mum & dad we did growing up. Nor do they have the chance to take risks, learn, and learn from failure..

As for you list:
You forgot to mention Lego. it helps learn a process, assembly steps, how to think & build things from a finite set of elements, and most of all, how to be creative, to play, to strive for improvement. And, as they get older the 'technics' sets allow them to discover mechanics; levers, gears, rotational motion, etc.. and much later with Mindstorms how to program; logic & robots. The Lego world is vast and can teach quite a lot, as long as the time is taken to show them 'how cool it is' and how it relates to the real world.
Thanks for that additional educational tip, but, no, I'm not intentionally aiming that at bad parenting, I just gave the OP some ideas to get his grandson more engaged. Also, since one of the main points of getting children involved in model rocketry is STEM, the extra tips I listed are just easy extensions of that.

The psychotropic drug warning I posted was related to the mental health of future adult citizens, just as important as raising children to adulthood who have the learned skill of critical thought, something that the daily news proves so very few have, a weakness which is often then exploited. If not intentionally taught by parents, it is usually learned through science course taken in school which, unfortunately, far too many avoid, I think, simply because such courses force them to think critically, something they are not used to doing which is, as a result, more difficult for them than subjects which require just formulaic memorization.

Here's a perfect example of the great harm to us all caused by people who simply don't know how to think, clamoring for police state measures to stop a grossly exaggerated threat. This quote is from someone who actually knows how to use the critical thought process:

"The number of victims of the [Paris] atrocity was large, but similar to the number killed on the roads in France every couple of weeks. It was certainly far smaller than the number of victims of one hour of World War II. But rational thought does not count. Terrorism works on the perception of the victims.

It seems incredible that ten mediocre individuals, with a few primitive weapons, could cause world-wide panic. But it is a fact. Bolstered by the mass media, which thrive on such events, local terrorist acts turn themselves nowadays into world-wide threats. The modern media, by their very nature, are the terrorist’s best friend. Terror could not flourish without them.

The next best friend of the terrorist is the politician. It is almost impossible for a politician to resist the temptation to ride on the wave of panic. Panic creates “national unity”, the dream of every ruler. Panic creates the longing for a “strong leader”. This is a basic human instinct."
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
1,702
From another thread:

"And, but, so, well, what Next?
Honestly,I'm more into the whole thing than the kid."


Kind of sums it up.
Well, that's why I posted the additional tips. You've got to keep trying different things until you strike a chord with the kid. After all, just look at the huge range of science-based hobbies people are fanatical about other than rocketry. You can't try just one or a few things and just give up. And the kid's interests won't necessarily match yours. Simply don't give up. There's an entire universe of critical thought developing science based hobbies to try.
 
Last edited:

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
1,702
Very interesting thread.

Having been involved in retail pharmacy with my pharmacist wife from 1996 until 2013, we saw many examples of exactly what Robert Whitaker described. I can't help but wonder if this epidemic of ADHD children is the result of babies being in the wombs of drug addicted women beginning in the late 1960's and continuing today. The solution for everything now seems to be, take this pill. We have become a drug culture of both legal and on the street drugs as evidenced by the fact that the DEA claims that drug diversion of prescription medication is now a bigger problem than all other street drugs combined. There is also a parallel epidemic of broken families and fatherless children which is without a doubt harmful to children.

That being said, not all children have equal aptitude and drive toward science and engineering pursuits and I think that certain people push their children into activities that are not necessarily "age appropriate". :2:
Yes, there's a pill for everything. I once saw, for a short period of time, TV ads for a prescription drug meant to increase the length of eyelashes!!!! The list of possible side effects given made me amazed that anyone would take it. I've had relatives die from what was almost certainly the side effects of drugs which weren't known when they were being taken. From my investigations afterwords, I read a doctors recommendations never to take a drug that doesn't have at least a seven year track record unless it's the only drug available to address a very serious disorder. I avoid prescription drugs like the plague.

EDIT: I forgot to address your last paragraph. Yes, different kids are going to have different aptitudes, but I'm not necessarily after raising just scientists and engineers, I'm after providing enough exposure to the kind of thought processes that will hopefully result in adults who know HOW to think critically. I believe that the vast, VAST majority of our problems in the world today are DIRECTLY related to the fact that far too many adults apparently CAN'T.
 
Last edited:

kcobbva

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2015
Messages
1,399
Reaction score
76
We talked with our pediatrician because my youngest displays signs of adhd. It was a great conversation and I loved his attitude. "We aren't going down the drug path. Man up and learn how to work with your son". Two thumbs up! Since then we've learned a lot and he's excelling. I also agree with the previous poster on Legos for all the same reasons! I also subscribe to model building because of similar aspects. It's sparked a big interest into how things work and how to make something better when it doesn't work the first time.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
1,702
We talked with our pediatrician because my youngest displays signs of adhd. It was a great conversation and I loved his attitude. "We aren't going down the drug path. Man up and learn how to work with your son". Two thumbs up! Since then we've learned a lot and he's excelling. I also agree with the previous poster on Legos for all the same reasons! I also subscribe to model building because of similar aspects. It's sparked a big interest into how things work and how to make something better when it doesn't work the first time.
Good for him and you! It's great to hear that not all of them are pill pushers trying to "fix" something which until the 1980s was just considered kids being kids and something they'd grow out of.
 

Marc_G

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
8,256
Reaction score
2,326
Location
Indianapolis Metro Area
I'll chime in to this thread because while I agree with many of the sentiments, I'm increasingly concerned about "pop medicine culture" as manifested by everything from TV commercials for prescription drugs to insufficiently credentialed people making diagnoses of things like ADHD.

As full disclosure, I work in the drug development industry (but not for a drug company per se), my wife is a child clinical psychologist, and I have two boys with ADHD, both of whom benefit from medication. The older one benefits greatly (and is essentially non-functional without it), the younger gets a middling benefit and it's not clear we will continue long term medication for this one.

I'm also a techie who tries to expose his kids to doing things. This weekend we have two projects likely to be started:
1. Starting a couple batches of rock candy, with and without boiling the water, measuring how much sugar we dissolve, and tying that to the final success/failure of the process
2. Replacing the use of AA batteries in their cheap small air hockey game with a leftover wall-wart power pack (measuring battery pack V, talking about Volts and Amps to make power, figuring out which of a dozen leftover wall transformers is the best match, figuring out the wiring needed)

So, while my kids DO spend a lot of time on video games and TV, that's not the whole of their experience... I strive for enrichment.

Now, with all that out of the way, I could do a whole rant on how frustrating it is that lots of folks "diagnose" ADHD without proper credentials or testing. You CAN test for ADHD. There's a whole set of measures a PSYCHOLOGIST (a PHD, not pediatrician with an MD, and not even most MD psychiatrists these days) can do. It's a set of measures followed by analysis by someone trained in interpreting them. Different states have different rules on who can do the diagnostics, but even so, frequently you get diagnosis and medication without having the proper measures done, so lots of kids are incorrectly diagnosed. An MD is required to prescribe meds, but this should only be done after a PHD psychologist has done the analytics to support the diagnosis.

Because of over-use of medication (on kids who are diagnosed with ADHD but not really having it), and all the ills that come with that, the true benefit of the medication for kids that need it is often overshadowed.

We knew something was different with our older son even as an infant... he was very difficult to soothe, highly reactive, and had other odd behavioral and emotional traits that over the course of years blossomed into the things that got him referred for ADHD. Long story short, he had trouble focusing, was easily agitated, and got into lots of fights as a preschooler/kindergartener/first grade kid. Delayed learning despite having a very high IQ (top one or two percentile), he could barely read Frog and Toad in first grade (I mean barely... sounding out, forgetting words he knew the prior page...).

The problems spiraled until, after all behavioral interventions were tried, we finally (somewhat tearfully) put him on meds. Keep in mind, his parents are both PhD-holding folks, one of them a psychologist. We tried everything before drugs. The effect of the medication was instant, though it took a couple months to dial in just the right dosage (with occasional changes as he grew). In less than a year he went from Frog and Toad to having finished The Hobbit, and started in on the Lord of the Rings cycle, which he devoured in a month or two by third grade... he became an avid reader who could read and process >2 pages per minute of Tolkein as a sustained pace. Now, he has other challenges, but the bottom line is that the medication kept him from having to go out of regular school and into some specialty facility (he was perceived as a risk to the other children, until the medication). He has other challenges (emotional) that we have to stay on top of, but essentially he gets along fine in a normal setting now. I won't call him normal (who is, really?) but he's a good kid who can function in normal society, and has a bright future, most likely as some sort of "builder."

So, my point here is:
1. Just because drugs for ADHD are often overprescribed, it's important to stop well before suggesting that ADHD is just a sign of poor parenting, lack of discipline, or some other contrived condition used to explain away the different standards we have today versus earlier generations. It's a real and very serious condition, that can be identified DEFINITIVELY through proper psychological testing. There are several axes to the condition... different people suffer in different ways.

2. Medicine is a business. Big business. Being an informed consumer is critical.

3. Relationships with your doctors is critical. But be careful of pediatricians who are willing to medicate for ADHD without having a psychologist run the proper measures.

OK, off my soap box for now. This is an interesting thread. Thanks for posting it.

Marc
 
Last edited:

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
1,702
I'll chime in to this thread because while I agree with many of the sentiments, I'm increasingly concerned about "pop medicine culture" as manifested by everything from TV commercials for prescription drugs to insufficiently credentialed people making diagnoses of things like ADHD.

As full disclosure, I work in the drug development industry (but not for a drug company per se), my wife is a child clinical psychologist, and I have two boys with ADHD, both of whom benefit from medication. The older one benefits greatly (and is essentially non-functional without it), the younger gets a middling benefit and it's not clear we will continue long term medication for this one.

I'm also a techie who tries to expose his kids to doing things. This weekend we have two projects likely to be started:
1. Starting a couple batches of rock candy, with and without boiling the water, measuring how much sugar we dissolve, and tying that to the final success/failure of the process
2. Replacing the use of AA batteries in their cheap small air hockey game with a leftover wall-wart power pack (measuring battery pack V, talking about Volts and Amps to make power, figuring out which of a dozen leftover wall transformers is the best match, figuring out the wiring needed)

So, while my kids DO spend a lot of time on video games and TV, that's not the whole of their experience... I strive for enrichment.

Now, with all that out of the way, I could do a whole rant on how frustrating it is that lots of folks "diagnose" ADHD without proper credentials or testing. You CAN test for ADHD. There's a whole set of measures a PSYCHOLOGIST (a PHD, not pediatrician with an MD, and not even most MD psychiatrists these days) can do. It's a set of measures followed by analysis by someone trained in interpreting them. Different states have different rules on who can do the diagnostics, but even so, frequently you get diagnosis and medication without having the proper measures done, so lots of kids are incorrectly diagnosed. An MD is required to prescribe meds, but this should only be done after a PHD psychologist has done the analytics to support the diagnosis.

Because of over-use of medication (on kids who are diagnosed with ADHD but not really having it), and all the ills that come with that, the true benefit of the medication for kids that need it is often overshadowed.

We knew something was different with our older son even as an infant... he was very difficult to soothe, highly reactive, and had other odd behavioral and emotional traits that over the course of years blossomed into the things that got him referred for ADHD. Long story short, he had trouble focusing, was easily agitated, and got into lots of fights as a preschooler/kindergartener/first grade kid. Delayed learning despite having a very high IQ (top one or two percentile), he could barely read Frog and Toad in first grade (I mean barely... sounding out, forgetting words he knew the prior page...).

The problems spiraled until, after all behavioral interventions were tried, we finally (somewhat tearfully) put him on meds. Keep in mind, his parents are both PhD-holding folks, one of them a psychologist. We tried everything before drugs. The effect of the medication was instant, though it took a couple months to dial in just the right dosage (with occasional changes as he grew). In less than a year he went from Frog and Toad to having finished The Hobbit, and started in on the Lord of the Rings cycle, which he devoured in a month or two by third grade... he became an avid reader who could read and process >2 pages per minute of Tolkein as a sustained pace. Now, he has other challenges, but the bottom line is that the medication kept him from having to go out of regular school and into some specialty facility (he was perceived as a risk to the other children, until the medication). He has other challenges (emotional) that we have to stay on top of, but essentially he gets along fine in a normal setting now. I won't call him normal (who is, really?) but he's a good kid who can function in normal society, and has a bright future, most likely as some sort of "builder."

So, my point here is:
1. Just because drugs for ADHD are often overprescribed, it's important to stop well before suggesting that ADHD is just a sign of poor parenting, lack of discipline, or some other contrived condition used to explain away the different standards we have today versus earlier generations. It's a real and very serious condition, that can be identified DEFINITIVELY through proper psychological testing. There are several axes to the condition... different people suffer in different ways.

2. Medicine is a business. Big business. Being an informed consumer is critical.

3. Relationships with your doctors is critical. But be careful of pediatricians who are willing to medicate for ADHD without having a psychologist run the proper measures.

OK, off my soap box for now. This is an interesting thread. Thanks for posting it.

Marc
I'm glad you had good outcomes after very careful, conservative, expert diagnosis, not just the apparently far too typical, he causes problems in the classroom so let's drug him reason.

BTW, did you watch that video in its entirety? I'd also recommend his book on the subject.
 

MikeyDSlagle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
2,578
Reaction score
564
Interesting thread. I literally just came inside and showered after taking my daughter for a ride in her wagon. The radio flyer power walk! I try to do it every day the weather allows. She is only thirteen months and she really enjoys looking around. She really liked it when I threw rocks in the water in the ditch. (She also knows how to turn on my cell phone, when I was her age I was eating dirt!) Anything is better than being couped up in the house. Rain yesterday, rain tomorrow through Christmas. Crap.

I am all for getting them engaged with the way the world works. And I mentioned as much in that very thread (I think) mentioned by the OP. And to that thread - the boy is 6 years old. He probably has a short attention span, most young boys do.

Take the children on walks, wagon rides, piggy back rides or whatever through a nature trail or public park. Pointing out trees and critters. Zoos are still great. I learned a lot floating down a river or creek in my dads canoe. I still love doing that today, no gun, no rod. Just a camera and paddles. Catch and release fishing is a great learning experience - biology, circle of life, and respect for nature.

Visiting museums, any kind of museum, helps broaden their thinking as well.

And for God's sake, teach the kids the difference between a "good" snake and a venomous, not poisonous, snake. Non venomous snakes do more good than harm.

Buy the kids a camera. Let them take it on the walks with them. It is so easy and affordable now a days. When we were young we had to buy and develop film, which cost money, which I rarely had. A digital camera can be had for cheap. Work with them downloading the pics to a computer and using different programs to edit them and print them. Make scrap books with the pictures. Keep photo journals of your outings.

We would build bird traps using...well stuff laying around the house. They were hand operated and caught the birds live. We could get up close to the birds and then let them go.

Let them play video games, but limit it. Not necessarily to educational games, but don't let them binge on the games. I am all for video games over MOST of the trash on TV.

Books are great. I read often. But I didn't really start reading until I was grown. No amount of going to the library would help that when I was young, I simply didn't like reading. When we would go the library I would get books on dinosaurs, planes, WWII, electronic circuits (I was soldering circuits when I was 12), a broad range of stuff.

Kids have to decide what they want to do. Show them many aspects of the world and teach them there are more things than what is on the TV, in your living room or what they can see out their windows. Lots of good ideas in the first post. I will definitely do some with my daughter.

Mike
 

Sabrina

The WildChild
Joined
Dec 19, 2015
Messages
240
Reaction score
170
Here's another idea to stimulate scientific curiosity in young people.

Bring your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, and friends (etc.) to a rocket launch with you and let them launch some of your rockets. :smile:

bt55goblina.jpg

DSCF2280.jpg
 

midpower_madness

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
145
Reaction score
25
For years I have been saying that risk taking and curiosity are healthy for those in the school system. For the past few years I have battled colleagues who believe education must bubble children and any risk is intolerable. When I showed up to my school with the idea of starting a low to mid power rocketry group for our Gr7s - I got a lot of comments - mostly negative. After seeing the enthusiasm from the students and witnessing the rebirth of math and science grades in the students - colleagues are taking notice. Safety is important - but giving real world experience to students to foster critical thinking and cross curricular interaction is essential.

I had two Gr7s build a minimum diameter 29mm rocket. It came back with our Jolly Logic sensor inside. You can imagine the students reaction when they found out their rocket travelled over Mach 1 - 4300 feet on G79W. Lots of cheering parents - and students.

That is what education is all about.
 

kcobbva

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2015
Messages
1,399
Reaction score
76
For years I have been saying that risk taking and curiosity are healthy for those in the school system. For the past few years I have battled colleagues who believe education must bubble children and any risk is intolerable. When I showed up to my school with the idea of starting a low to mid power rocketry group for our Gr7s - I got a lot of comments - mostly negative. After seeing the enthusiasm from the students and witnessing the rebirth of math and science grades in the students - colleagues are taking notice. Safety is important - but giving real world experience to students to foster critical thinking and cross curricular interaction is essential.

I had two Gr7s build a minimum diameter 29mm rocket. It came back with our Jolly Logic sensor inside. You can imagine the students reaction when they found out their rocket travelled over Mach 1 - 4300 feet on G79W. Lots of cheering parents - and students.

That is what education is all about.

That is outstanding!! Way to stick with it and give the kids real science!
 

Barkley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
572
Reaction score
15
For years I have been saying that risk taking and curiosity are healthy for those in the school system. For the past few years I have battled colleagues who believe education must bubble children and any risk is intolerable. When I showed up to my school with the idea of starting a low to mid power rocketry group for our Gr7s - I got a lot of comments - mostly negative. After seeing the enthusiasm from the students and witnessing the rebirth of math and science grades in the students - colleagues are taking notice. Safety is important - but giving real world experience to students to foster critical thinking and cross curricular interaction is essential.

I had two Gr7s build a minimum diameter 29mm rocket. It came back with our Jolly Logic sensor inside. You can imagine the students reaction when they found out their rocket travelled over Mach 1 - 4300 feet on G79W. Lots of cheering parents - and students.

That is what education is all about.

This is gold.

I'm doing two main things with my 8 and 6 year old kids. First, we're doing taekwondo, and we're doing tournaments so they can properly compare themselves to others. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, but the point is that not everyone gets a medal - they are EARNED. If you want to win, you need to train harder than the others, and that there's no substitute for HARD WORK - if you got your ass handed to you, train until you're good enough to properly compete. There have been huge tears, but the message is there and it's understood. Sometimes the juice isn't worth the squeeze, and I get that - not everyone wants to work that hard all the time, but on the flip side, if you don't want to work that hard don't expect to be given a first place trophy.

Second, my kids love rocketry. They sit on my knee and design in OpenRocket, then we build their creations. The best part of scratch building is that there is no manual - if there's a problem, get creative and find a solution. Both kids are doing extremely well in both math and science, and this makes learning fun.
 

boatgeek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
5,236
Reaction score
4,485
Sorta related to this thread, my wife just finished a book on outdoor preschools. In a lot of continental Europe, it's pretty common that kids will be outside for most of the day, every day ages 4-6 or so. In Finland, they don't start teaching in classrooms until age 7. Who is consistently at the top of the standings? Finland.

There are a lot of other factors as well, but it turns out that playing and fooling around in the dirt is a pretty effective way for kids to learn, and that knowledge is a base for everything they learn later. <snark>It's amazing they figured this out, since no other animal every learns through play. </snark> Anyway, yes get kids outside and playing. Because running around getting covered in mud is a good thing.
 

Sooner Boomer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
4,848
Reaction score
2,876
For years I have been saying that risk taking and curiosity are healthy for those in the school system. (snip)
That is what education is all about.

Great program. I agree with your efforts.

There needs to be controlled risk taking to increase confidance (mitigate the effects of failure).

Knowledge comes from experience. Wisdom comes from failure (learning how to deal with and overcome it).
 

midpower_madness

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
145
Reaction score
25
My program is set to expand next year. Due to fire risk from April onwards we were shut down - so when the fall comes, we are going to have a busy rocket season! Parent are joining in and as are a few teachers. We are launching on B - D black powder motors and D- high Gs AeroTechs on our faster builds.

It will be fun!
 
Top