Wednesday, March 26, 2014

LEGO David and Goliath

In our curriculum for the 2013-2014 school year, we're using Connecting with History. It's a unit-study, timelined approach to history, with a focus on salvation history. The kids just finished learning about the Davidic kingdom of Israel. They just got done studying Samuel, Saul, David, and Solomon, and are moving into the divided kingdom.

Thing #2 is such a tactile, hands-on kid that for him to really "get" a topic, he needs to touch it and feel it for it make sense to him. So, Wife and I have been trying to get him more "hands-on" assignments lately so he can become more engaged. For this past unit, we had him construct David and Goliath's battle with Legos.

David (green shirt) facing Goliath (in helmet and sword). King Saul (seated in throne) looking
on, with the assembly of Israel in the foreground. David holds a smooth stone, and Saul
is seated with his armor. The hosts look on at the battle....

His attention to detail in these dioramas in outstanding, from the "period" weaponry to the delineation of the battle lines.

This shot shows the Philistine tents arrayed against Israel.
Goliath stands in front of the Philistine encampment, indicated by the soldier and
the two tents in the background. The Philistine soldier holding a flag is a nice touch.
Even better is that the symbol on the flag matches the Philistine shields.
And, Israel's camp:

The three Israelite tents behind David and Saul. The Israelite elders have long white hair.
He depicted some of the Israelites still in their tents, scared of Goliath.
And apparently,  the guy in blue got hungry and grabbed a chicken leg....
His spacial awareness is also wonderful for an 8-year-old. Here's an aerial shot of the entire event:

The delineation between the Israelites and Philistines can be seen quite clearly here.
I love that there are two snakes are on the Philistine side. Yay symbolism!
It is precisely in projects like this that the true value of homeschooling shines. I just can't imagine taking a tactile kid like Thing #2 and expecting him to thrive in a classroom environment designed for auditory and visual learners. He is so energetic and active that he would be labelled the "bad kid" who doesn't "sit still and listen." He's not at all - he's a bright kid with strong virtue; he just learns differently than most.

Thing #1, however, would have trouble building something 3-D like this. She would be able to illustrate the battle, or to talk about the events that occurred. But she had a different project to work on, suited to her strengths and allowing her to be challenged in her own way.

I absolutely love homeschooling. It provides such a rich, warm environment for the kids, and truly allows us to focus our attention on areas where each child needs it. We can play to their strengths while improving their weak areas at the same time.

And, as a bonus, we get to see our kids make awesome projects like this. ^^

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