I often find myself wondering what my kids have learned. I don't wonder so much about ideals and morals and ethics, because I feel I actively teach them those every day. I worry about reading, writing, and arithmetic. What practical life skills are they learning from me? What life skills are they learning at school?
Sometimes, they show me when I'm least expecting it. Today was one of those days.
My son, who is nine, used some of his computer time to watch LEGO Hero Factory videos, which are promotional mini-movies. He expressed his frustration with a particular thing he'd seen, explaining that it left him with more questions than answers. He said, "I think I'm going to write a letter to LEGO to ask them some questions about that."
And that is what he did, without a single iota of input from me. He sat down and did a rough draft. This afternoon, I walked into the kitchen to find him at the table with his rough draft, a dictionary, pencil, and paper. He finished his letter right before leaving town for a ski trip with his dad.
Because he didn't have time to research where to mail the letter, he has asked me to do so. We will then go to the post office to purchase appropriate postage to Denmark. I have assured him that some LEGO employee is bound to speak English, which was a matter of some concern. I told him that it's unlikely he'll get a response, but wouldn't it be great if he did? I plan to encourage his letter writing, and I hope those LEGO guys do too.
In case you're curious, my favorite parts of the whole endeavor are the rough draft and use of a dictionary (an actual book dictionary--which I received from my great-aunt Mildred as a high school graduation gift--that sits on the shelf next to my desk).