I have a 22-year-old college graduate son. When I told him we were working on a homework assignment and the younger kids needed to know what his job is, he answered, “Professional Adventurer, Specializing in Spontaneity.” He’s actually a Field Service Rep for the same global company my sister works for. This dude keeps me on my toes … he’s brilliant and naturally thinks globally, with a unique perspective on politics, governments, religion, and life, and he’s funny, too!
When this son, Jack, who rarely initiates conversation, texted me from hundreds of miles away to tell me about a product he’d come across that he thought would be good for the younger siblings (What?? He remembers they exist?? Amazing!), I thought I might have to go lie down from the shock.
As soon as he told me what it was, I remembered scrolling past it on Amazon, stopping long enough to watch a little video about it, then dismissing it because of the price.
This is where you have to know that Jack doesn’t have a materialistic bone in his body. He lived a fairly spartan, yet normal, lifestyle during college as he roomed with several other guys. Now that he has his first real job in a different state, he was forced to get his first un-shared apartment. Besides being frugal, he’s also extremely independent. I, as his mother, never visited the last house he lived in during college, and haven’t been to his new apartment either. Thus, I haven’t helped with furnishing it, or giving advice on how to “set up house.” (If you know me, you know it makes sense to not ask me. Give me a fridge, a couch, and a laptop – oh, and a coffeemaker and a mug – and I’m set. I’m not the example to follow when it comes to “setting up house.” Thank goodness for my husband! He’s the domestic one.)
So, Mr. Frugal moved into his first solitary, adult, out-of-state apartment unencumbered. No bed, no couch, no table, no chair. (I learned all of this much later.) Mr. Adventure pulled his hammock from his supplies, used his outdoorsy skills to somehow hang it indoorsy, blew up an inflatable couch (with cupholder, no less!), and called it home.
All this is to say: Jack wouldn’t suggest that we spend a bunch of money on anything unless he thought it could make a significant difference for these kids!
Mr. Fun-Loving is older than the two left at home by seven and nine years. He’s one of two children from my first marriage and spent half of his time at his dad’s house growing up. Due to the age difference, I think he spent most of his growing up years thinking of these younger two as annoyances or not even thinking of them at all … except to realize the disappointment of them not being all that much fun at any stage he was in.
But this brilliant (non-drinking) young man, now living on his own in a big city far away, with the local Barnes and Noble as his favorite haunt, came across something new, fun, exciting, and educational … and he thought of us back home! He does know that these two have non-traditional learning styles, are working through vision therapy to improve their eye sight (they have Convergence Excess) – which we hope will, in turn, improve their reading as well – and that they learn best through hands-on activities.
It’s too bad he told us about it so late … the budget had already been spent for the year and now I have to save again to afford this … but upon Jack’s recommendation (AND his tip to go to Instructables.com for step-by-step info on using these kits), I will soon be investing in something entirely new and exciting for our homeschool! littleBits Electronics! (Click on image below. Be sure to scroll down the linked page and watch the video, and explore to see what other sets are available!)
Let me know if you already own any of these sets, and if so, what you think of them! I love honest reviews from other homeschoolers!
Click on any image …
Speaking of reviews, watch for my upcoming reviews of Sarah Janisse Brown’s original homeschooling books! We’re going to begin using them starting on Monday, and since I’ve got a couple of eclectic, possibly dyslexic, non-traditional learners on my hands, I’m extremely hopeful that I’ll see LOTS OF LEARNING going on! Despite their challenges, we still must work on both the reading and writing, and it looks like Sarah’s books might be just what the doctor ordered!
Happy Homeschooling, Friends!