When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with the movie The Goonies.
In fact, I was so obsessed that, one day, I held a tape recorder up to the television speaker for the entire movie and created my very own Goonies Tapes. I would then listen to The Goonies on my walkman, often up in a tree or hidden away in some filthy outdoor nook.
Can you even believe I just confessed such complete and total dorkiness?
I’m sharing this little bit of Cait with you so that you can understand just how much I adored and was amused by, a recent homeschool lesson.
It all started with a marble run…
We used to have a plastic marble run but that one broke easily and the pieces that were not broken or cracked were misshapen and it resulted in marbles that did not run. One Christmas, we decided to replace our marble run with the wooden one our friends raved about.
Our friends were correct: this marble run is amazing. And, it only gets more amazing as your children play with it over time and explore more complicated designs. This marble run is one of our most favorite STEM toys!
One chilly morning in October, the kids were enjoying a lazy morning. It had been a busy week, but this particular Sunday was filled with plenty of space between. Bellies filled with my husband’s pumpkin pancakes, the kids decided to make some marble runs.
I sat, enjoying my coffee while it was still hot, and watched my children play. I loved witnessing their creativity and cooperation, and I smiled to myself knowing that they were learning about chain reactions and cause-and-effect and trial-and-error and physics and engineering as they played. Each new marble run increased in complexity and soon the kids were incorporating other, non-marble run items, into their design plans: dominoes, popsicle sticks, blocks, doll house furniture, magna-tiles, and counting bears, among others.
My children’s marble run designs reminded me of Rube Goldberg machines. Rube Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist known for his wacky cartoons depicting inventions that performed simple tasks.
My children were completely mesmerized watching the videos. Soon, they were inspired. They had great ideas and grand plans. They were ready to burst with creativity. But, before I set them loose on the playroom, I asked that they watch one more Rube Goldberg machine with me:
Folks, I used The Goonies as a learning tool. I totally went there, and the kids loved it.
Homeschooling can be so much fun!