[Squeakland] Observations from a parent Squeaker

Kim Rose kim.rose at squeakland.org
Wed Feb 4 07:08:55 PST 2004

Hello -

I've been corresponding with Daniel Vareika, a 
parent in Uruguay, who has been playing with 
Squeak with his 7 year old son.  I asked his 
permission to share his comments and observations 
as I thought you might find them of interest.  I 
think many of you have/will have similiar 
experiences with your children.  I am sure Daniel 
would appreciate your comments, too.
cheers to all,


>Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2004 11:32:38 -0300
>Subject: Re: Buying book and DVD
>From: Daniel Vareika <dvareika at redfacil.com.uy>
>To: Kim Rose <kim.rose at squeakland.org>
>Dear Kim,
>The day before yesterday and yesterday I was able to start playing with my
>son, Gaston with Squeak.
>Right now he is on vacation (here it is summer) and he was with my wife on
>another city next to the beach (I had to remain working).
>>From the experience of this past two days I only can tell you that we..
>Even my son jokes about both being Squeakers!!!
>It really helped a lot the book "Powerful ideas.." and the DVD was excellent
>for me to wholly understand what is Squeak about and used for.
>My son didn´t like much the DVD (he thought it was a game, not a movie) and
>latter on was impatient with the book, because he wanted to build a car
>right away.
>>From this little experience I have several observations:
>I have found that on one hand, my son being only 7 (he will be on
>02/07/2004) and not being very fluent in reading (both in English and in
>Spanish - still need more practicing) nonetheless he was able to start all
>by himself, at least painting the car and finding his way around!!
>Latter on, I found that wanting to make things (like in a hurry) doesn´t
>help much learning the big concepts, he has too much hurry wanting to
>achieve things that he has seen on the DVD!!!
>Still I was really amazed how quickly he picked up concepts like x and y
>axis positive and negative numbers (a little more difficult) and the concept
>of building scripts (I don´t know whether he understand the concept of
>connecting objects or finds it to be completely natural).
>Still what I see is that he learns more buy doing, maybe not fully
>understanding the concepts like connecting two objects, and knowing his way
>around, more buy knowing what this button does than buy reading what it
>We encouraged him to explain to my wife the concepts that he has learned so
>far and he did on the other hand beautifully though he lacked vocabulary.
>Summing up:
>a) On one hand he is truly learning by playing.
>b) On the other he might be too young to show sometimes some patience.
>c) He still has a little difficult in reading both in his native tongue and
>in English.
>d) It is difficult to see him seat still on a chair that swings in front of
>the computer and one is not sure how much attention he is paying.
>e) He is young comparing the kids on the DVD (7 versus 10).
>f) He remembers things by position, not by what it says.
>g) He seems to be in a hurry.
>Sorry this mail is kind of a mess... Am I doing the right thing?
>To be truthful, being a teacher of adults is one thing, trying to teach a 7
>year old is another, and being him my son probably another.
>On one hand I love how quickly he is going, on the other I am afraid he will
>learn "nice tricks" like a monkey but not "concepts".
>Please let me know what you think about. Your input is invaluable to me!
>Kim Rose wrote:
>>  Hello, Daniel -
>>  I am delightged you have received the DVD -- I 
>>hope you and your son enjoy it!
>>  best regards,
>>  Kim

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