Obsessions

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Life Learning Family posted about obsessions this week. Reading her post gets me thinking about all the fasicinating ways our individual interests have enhanced our collective lives.

We’ve been through the dinosaur stage — and because of that, everyone in our house knows how to say “pachycephalosaurus.” (Granted, we say it without the English accent!) We all learned about prehistory and fossils and evolution and anatomy and the differences between carnivores and herbivores, and spent many happy hours visiting dinosaur exhibits in both Wisconsin and Arizona.

The boys also, as I’ve mentioned below, have been through and are re-visiting a YuGiOh obsession. Butterflies were another fascination. We all got interested in the delicate creatures when Boy #2 spent two summers chasing and collecting the critters — a fascination that led us to hatch our own monarchs…which required us to learn how to identify milkweekd…which led us to correspond with Mexican schoolchildren.

The latest fascinations in our house are:

  • Boy #1 — fishing
  • Boy #2 — coin collecting
  • Boy #3 — making and creating his own cookies
  • Boy #4 — construction equipment and tractors

All of us, in some way, have learned something from each obsession. Thanks to the fishing fascination, I can now identify almost all native Wisconsin freshwater fishes. Coin collecting was a fun way to reinforce United States geography (I found a neat coin map to display that state quarters he was collecting), and we all learned, just the other night, that FDR is the president displayed on the dime. (Did you know that the March of Dimes took its name from FDR’s call to contribute dimes to fight polio?)

The cookie making obsession is messy, to say the least, but is teaching me to be more creative in the kitche; not everything, I’m learning, has to come from a recipe.

And as for the construction equipment/tractor obsession…let’s just say I’m a little sick of that one. I’m the child of an excavator, for goodness sake! I GREW UP with backhoes and bulldozers in my backyard. Between that kind of exposure and the fact that he is my SECOND child to exhibit a prolonged and very intense fascination with all things equipment (see point #2 on my post, “You Know You Have Boys When”), I am simply tired of reading the same old machine books over and over and over again. I swear, some of those books have logged more days at my house than at the library over the past 10 years!

How about you? What’s the latest obsession at your house? And what are YOU learning from your kids?

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