Sunday, March 7, 2010

Big Ol' Mama Brag

This here is a big ol' mama brag. Deal with it.

My youngest child is my sweetest treasure in life. I thank God every day that He lets me spend time with this amazing kid.

Last weekend Nine wanted to work on a big science project that his teacher assigned, but I was too sick to help him. I told him to wait until this weekend and I'd feel well enough to help him. Instead, he took out his Legos and built an entire rain forest ecosystem all on his own--complete with a well-thought-out food chain and all of the required components on the teacher's rubric. He had the flow of energy in the food chain, the living and non-living items, all of it.

By. Him. Self. This kid rocks.

Of course, it didn't look at all the way I would have done it, which is even more awesome. See, I would've taken the easy way out. I would've gone to Michael's and bought the little plastic animals, stuck them in a box, and called it fi
nished. My kid not only did the whole thing himself, but he did it on the cheap too, which is even more fantastic. He used his imagination to make each animal and plant out of Legos. It's true, some of them aren't recognizable as the animal they're supposed to represent, but that's what the labels are for, right?

This weekend I fo
und him a shoebox and, because I felt a little mommy guilt about not helping him at all, I painted some trees on the box for him while he played football outside with his dad and brother. Then he sat at the computer with me and I taught him how to use SmartArt to insert pictures to make a chart which shows the flow of energy through the food chain. Whenever his older brother has a project, I end up doing so much of it for him because he loses his spine, gets all whiney, and practically slides out of his chair onto the floor in a heap of helplessness. Not so with Baby Brewer. After showing him ONCE how to find, save, and insert a picture, he did the rest of them himself. He figured out how to type the text to go with each animal all by himself. When he couldn't spell a word, he looked in the rain forest book he'd checked out from the school library and looked it up himself. Yes, that's right. Not only did he take the initiative to get his own research materials at the library, he actually remembered to bring it home. SO not what I'm used to with Kid #1.

Digression: Now, don't get me wrong. Kid #1 is brilliant. He's certified gifted, extremely intelligent, freaky-brained in math, and he makes straight As without really ever trying. That's the problem, I think. He's never really had to work for his grades. He tends toward laziness and gets by with very little effort. Kid #2 works hard every day to earn his good grades and he has a great work ethic.

Back to Kid #2: Then he said, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to have the scientific name for all these things?" So, naturally, he had to Google the scientific name for every organism in the whole diorama. He was only required to have about 8 labels, but he included 20 of them. He even labeled the parts of the rain forest because he'd just seen a BrainPop movie about that at school.

I tell you, it is so much fun to
do projects with him because a) he loves them, b) he actually does them himself, cheerfully, 3) he gets that the whole point of the project is to learn something and he always does, 4) he always wants to do more than the basic required components, 5) he doesn't whine, act lazy, or try to get me to do everything for him because it would be faster. In fact, it took quite a while for him to type in all the labels for the project, but he never gave up or complained. I sat on my hands whenever I was tempted to take over, even though it would have been much faster for me to type it for him.

I love this kid. Oh, and here's the final project:

You can't really see all of it because of the sun's glare. But my camera's flash won't work, so we had to take a picture outside. (For those of you keeping score at home, this is the second camera whose flash I've killed in two years. That's gotta be some kind of record.)

And here's the proud creator himself:

The kid is my hero.

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