Rich started his project with some really broad questions:
1) How does the computer know what to do?
2) How does it know what pictures to send to the screen
3) How does the internet work?
People think I'm a computer geek, but I'm not. I understand software a little more deeply than some, but these questions are daunting for me.
If it was something I already knew about, I could tell him all about it. But he wouldn't care. As it is, he's spent the last three days gutting a computer, pulling out itty bitty chips, pouring through some books he got at the library to identify them, and making notes (writing!? He HATES writing!).
The whole thing belongs to him. He even asked the librarian where to find the books - his initiative, not mine or mom's. So the whole process is taking place - identifying the knowledge he needs to obtain, figuring out how to get it, then assessing and organizing it in a way that makes sense. Much better than someone telling him a bunch of stuff about computers then giving him a worksheet to fill out. And to top it off, he's asking better, more specific questions and staying interested. I'm learning lots too.