The Young Horse Whisperer: Like Mother, Like Son

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Our 7.5-year-old son was super curious about horses and he wanted to take riding lessons. We decided the beginning of the 2-week Easter holiday would be a good opportunity to explore the nearby centers and then made an appointment for a trial lesson in one of them. My wife, who used to ride horses as a young girl, was as excited as her son.

It turned out to be a mixed experience for us. It was very exciting for all the family members, but I and my wife were a bit anxious. After all, even if the horse our son started with was relatively smaller compared to others, it was still a huge animal that he had to control. I’ll never forget him tell the horse to “stop! please stop! come on horsie, stop!”. The instructors were very experienced and after a short while, in addition to an adult instructor, a very young girl started to walk next to the horse, talking to our son. I think he was impressed by the girl, very close to his age, guiding him and the horse, in full control, relaxed, and treating the whole activity as business as usual. More

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Explain it like I’m 7.5: Does the space have an “outside”? Does it even have a “surface”?

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A while ago, my 7.5 year old son asked a seemingly simple question that had no easy answers at all. Instead of struggling with the question alone, I decided to tap into the collective intelligence of the whole world. Internet, after all, is supposed to be used for more than sharing cat videos, right? Right?

So, I asked:

One of the Internet denizens suggested that I ask the same question on Reddit’s ELI5 channel, that is, “Explain it Like I’m 5” channel. Being a casual Redditor for the last 14 years, I said “why not?” More

A kid has to start programming

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Our older son is now 7.5 years old, and he expressed his interest in learning how to program. We had a Dutch translation of Scratch programming book for children, but before starting with the book, I made him program me. That is, I told him that “now I’m the robot, and I can only follow the instructions that you’ll issue, and I can do them exactly as you say, in the order you say, and nothing else. Now make this robot pick that toy from your brothers bed’s corner.” For both of us, it turned out to be a funny, as well as challenging exercise. In only a few minutes, he quickly realized how many things he takes for granted, and how even a seemingly super simple and straightforward task is composed of many intricate details. He also saw how things can go wrong, because he had to “debug” his robot-dad. He became also a little frustrated when I insisted doing exactly as he said without any interpretation. “Welcome to my world son!” was a natural reaction from me.

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