Sea Monkeys and Rock Tumblers... and Dribbling Basketballs

in this age of immediate gratification it is great for the kids to have some lessons in patience
video games must skew reality
real skateboarding is hard... it hurts to fall... and even the most basic trick takes a grand time investment that some would call practice
while in the electronic world... people can ride like the pros and the worst result of an injury in a video game is either losing a turn or being forced to restart the game

there are very few things that people can be very good at the first time they try it
for most any activity there is always a learning curve
even the seasoned professional was once an absolute beginner even if they showed signs of natural talent

in life things like guitar show that practice and hard work are the key to success
hours and hours of effort need to be invested before there is some reward
GUITAR HERO is another example of the electronic age falsifying a reality... simulating the guitar in the same way that a Tony Hawk game simulates skateboarding
there really is not much similarity between these games in the electronic world and these activities in reality
video games take skill... but the skills of the Guitar Hero are not applicable to playing guitar and so on and so forth

it is important for children to be introduced to the concept of practice... practice and patience
just as they need to set aside time for homework... children must learn to set aside time to practice their hobbies
if they want to be good in the game they need to polish their skills through drills
this is true with soccer... basketball... whatever

over the last few weeks my boys have been ecstatic on the process of the Rock Tumbler
they collected the rocks and along side of momma Lisa they have loaded the Rock Tumbler
they wait in anticipation... asking if each day is the day where they get to "change the grit"

well... we are in the final stage of the process... rocks are almost done
the results are pretty close to amazing

similarly... we have a batch of Sea Monkeys that have yet to hatch
but if the directions are followed... there will soon be life in this oversize petri dish

both the Rock Tumbler and the Sea Monkeys contain elements of cookbook science where the person needs to follow the instructions... use the right ingredients... be precise about the timing and the procedures and there will be some sort of success
deviation from the ingredients or the timing could jeopardize the end result

there are lessons to be learned

no shortcuts... no skipping steps
nothing can be rushed

last night Dean's basketball practice was canceled
with nothing but darkness and ice outside we took to the basement

down in the basement Dean dribbled the basketball... right hand... left hand... back and forth while Grant and I discussed the world's problems
the efforts are cumulative... just like you need to do homework to do well in school... you need to practice outside of practice to do well in your sport of choice

setting aside time to practice will make playing the game that much more fun
as well as making practice fun
knowing that practice is something we do rather than viewing it as a chore is a step in the right direction

images from Lisa's camera phone of Dean's class' Dragon to celebrate the Chinese New Year!

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