Magnifying Glass, Sunlight, And Seven year Old Avi

Big day in the problem solving and scientific curiosity development of Avi today. Today he saw in real life, how using a magnifying glass transfers the energy of the sun to objects it magnifies on. In the case of the damp bark he was experimenting on, it darkened, then actually started to smoke for him. No flames were produced, even when he tried paper, but this dry wood from the yard would indeed smoke for him, and didnt take much time.

Of course, I was immediately concerned when I saw the interest and the progresion of the experimentation, if I might not be making a little firebug here, I hope not. I was pretty hands on and vocal about it. taught hgim about safe surfaces, to treat it as an experiment, not a game. Made him get water buckets, just in case. Want him to be thinking odf safety first, safety first.

Made it clear what was acceptable experimental material. Made it very clear living creatures, insects, etcetera, were NOT on that list. neither were his brother and sister, or any of his friends.

The house was off limits. Paper was off limits without asking. Pretty much bark and twigs were his limits.

No way did I want to ban the curiosity, take the magnifying glass away. Afraid that might just make it an obsession, the forbidden fruit. I know how badly that can go. No, I would rather have him know he can come and ask me about what may be dangerous topics. Be able to structure learning that is inevitable anyhow, in a positive, safe fashion.

So we had a very supervised afternoon learning how powerful the sun really is.

… and I am pretty sure I haven’t turned him into a raving arsonist.


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