“Diggers moving!”


On Mondays, Esmé has her class at the Lyceum, and while she’s doing that, Hawk and I wander around Kitsilano.  For a while we were going to the family drop-in over there, but to be honest, I do not like it one bit.  It’s crowded, and noisy and far too  people-ish for me.  Hawk liked it though, so when I decided I didn’t want to go anymore, I looked around for something else he might like to do.

Cue library story time.  Conveniently located in the same neighbourhood as the Lyceum, and at the right time.  Off we went.  It’s okay, but not really my thing.  We do so much of that at home, and we’re at the library all the time, and unless “Zoom, zoom, zoom” and the elevator song are included, along with stories exclusively about diggers, then Hawk can take it or leave it, and so can I.  Again, a bit too much people-ness for my liking.

So how awesome was it when Hawk told me he wanted to watch “diggers moving” instead of go to storytime?  So much awesome.  All in the name of Project-based Homeschooling, right?  His project work has gone from brooms, to garbage trucks, all thing with wheels, to diggers (with a minor in firetrucks), and now he’s really into watching digger action happen, for real.

Construction site observation … the latest incarnation of Hawk’s on-going project work.

It was a glorious day, which helps.  And we might end up back at storytime once the Vancouver rain begins in earnest.  For now though, we’re spending a lot of time watching ‘diggers moving,’ which means any tool at work, really.

We got hot chocolate and hunkered down right on the sidewalk with our snack, picnic-style, while people bustled by (we snugged to one side and left lots of room).  We watched a backhoe take down the remnants of an old wall, complete with a swtich from the bucket attachment to the gigantic drill attachment, which was very exciting.  At the same site, a guy was reinforcing the sidewalk, so Hawk got to tell him about all the tools he has at home and ask him about his most excellent assortment on his very impressive toolbelt.

Then we made a mad dash for the nearest potty, and when we came out again, another crew had set up to drill big holes in the road.  The guy there gave us earplugs and a bucket to sit on and told Hawk about what he was doing.  I cannot describe how proud Hawk was to be wearing earplugs from the drill-guy!

Then the daylighting crew came to clear out the hole.  More heavy equipment bliss.

And to top it all off, there was a very spectacular crane working across the street and a guy with a nailgun on top of the roof, and the gorgeous blue sky behind them.

All of this in one square block of West Broadway.

I see many more of these cold-weather hot chocolate construction site dates in our future.  I do believe a pair of ear protectors will be on Hawk’s Christmas list.  If not sooner!  And a pair for me too!






It really is easy to indulge even your youngest children’s interests, in the spirit of project-based homeschooling.  All you need is TIME.  Time to watch and observe and note what grabs your child’s interest.   Lori is talking about time over on her blog this week, and it’s really worth a read.  Her focus is more about play and how the best thing adults can do is just GET OUT OF THE WAY, but it applies to projects too!  Step away from the children, people!

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5 Responses

  1. So true about “time”. Your story is so peaceful in the middle of all of the construction. In my head Im sitting right there with the two of you.

    Did I ever say the normal school sucks? I think I did a couple of time.. and it does. Keep up the great learning with E and now H. It is soooooo worth it. XO

  2. Lori says:

    so great. :) love what you said on twitter about how all it requires is a little observation and then giving them the time they need!

  3. Carrie Mac says:

    Thanks, Lori. More and more the push to hold onto the so-called ‘free’ time we so value is what is so challenging. I think there is more pressure to ‘do’ something with that time, as if we aren’t already. I find it really hard to justify what appears to be doing ‘nothing,’ when really, we are full-up with thinking, planning, inventing, playing, and generally mucking around in the world.
    Our time isn’t ‘free’ at all. It’s completely accounted for, but by a different accounting system than most.

  4. Allison says:

    The Evergreen Line has cameras set up at different points to watch the construction. There’s a very cool pedestrian overpass in PoMo where the track is going right underneath! :)

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