Sydney, especially, had a huge amount of fun with a crock pot full of melted beeswax in the past few days, making candles with me:
She used to be my kid who gagged when she felt oobleck for the first time, but now she loves nothing better than a huge, messy, elaborate, free-form, all-day art project. Will used to be very much that kid, and she'll still immerse herself in projects, but much of her energy and creativity is internalized these days, into reading and absorbing what she's read. Syd used to want to sit on the couch and be read to, or look at picture books, or listen to audiobooks, all day, but these days she's a hands-on girl, ready to jump into an activity and stay there. The two types call for very different learning styles, it seems. Willow's intellectual focus is good for reading, memorizing information by rote, learning languages and grammar, and computation. It's less suited for handwriting, art, mastering math concepts that call for manipulatives, and science projects. Syd's hands-on focus is great for handwriting, art, learning math concepts such as measuring and graphs, science projects, dance, and other physical skill-building. It's less suited for learning to read, math computation, memory work, and knowledge building by rote.
I still require them to do all of the above, of course (learning to read commences, regardless of our inability to get through a reading lesson without exactly one tantrum at some point, because Syd continues to improve, and screw the haters), but these trends are good to notice, because they help explain some things, and help guide me to better methods. Of COURSE Willow likes mental math these days, and resists learning how to carry (which I've been explaining using Base Ten blocks), I finally realize.
New math strategies coming up!