Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Model making

A giant green tinted sugar cookie plant cell with some sort of disk shaped organelle
So, a long time ago, I was a new working mother with a toddler, and we were all about the artsy-crafty stuff. We made play dough and finger painted and did all sorts of projects. It continued as kid #2 grew to toddlerhood. I really enjoyed making stuff with them, getting a chance to paint and model again.

When msk hit preschool it was clear that things were different for him. Our preschool did lots of arts and craft activities, and they were oh-so-tough for msk. Sitting, following directions, answering questions - these were beyond him and frustrating as well. I tried a little at home thinking he'd join in with his sisters and have a blast. He didn't engage and wandered off, and I got bummed. Structured projects at home with msk were dropped.

This week msk has his first hands-on homework project for school - build an edible model of a cell. I decided to simplify versus the other two times we've done this project (a cookie this time instead of a cut-away 3D cake) and spread it across several nights to minimize frustration. Night one was making the dough - worst case, I was fine with doing most of it myself since it really doesn't relate to knowing the parts of cells and what they look like.

It turns out that msk as a 13 year old is willing to do projects and follow instructions - at least if it has to do with homework. The beaters were kind of loud and he talked nervously about not touching the blades, but he did it. Measuring, mixing and rolling - he stayed involved through to baking. I know that if it had been cooking for home he wouldn't have done it, but the magic of homework for an OCD kid meant he could, and even was kind of into it. What a shock and what a joy.

Change comes, like a lot of things, when you stop looking for it.

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