Santa Claus brought my 7-year son a Learn To Solder kit in his stocking this year. He was anxious to get started, so I had him read through the instructions with me (which bored the CRAP out of him… I could tell). We went through the resistor color bands again (we had done so on occasion), just so we knew which resistors to solder where based on their resistance values on the schematic.
We talked about capacitors and their numbering scheme (btw- he likes that, say, “104” is easier to figure out than “Brown-Black-Yellow” and asked why resistors didn’t “do that” – I had no good answer for him).
So, ready to roll, we plugged in the soldering iron. Waiting for it to heat up, I felt like he was learning to drive or something. My little engineer was about to melt his first 60/40 with his own hands (sniff).
(Later that evening)
He read a few of the resistor codes wrong (I was trying to let him – at his insistence – that he do “most of the work”). When I pointed out that a few resistors were soldered in the wrong place, he was beside himself. I assured him that we could fire up my desoldering iron and make quick work of the mistakes. He would not be comforted. I think he may be a closet over-achiever. I’ve never seen this side of him before. Of course, he is only 7 (though in all fairness he’ll be 8 in February), so he has every right to surprise me once in a while about what exactly makes him tick.
That was yesterday. Today, I got the mistakes desoldered, and they’re ready for re-soldering (none-the-worse for wear). We will be working on this kit more tonight, and I’ll make sure to pitch in a few more helpful suggestions, should things start to head down the wrong road. I never knew he would take this so seriously. Maybe all this talk of his about building stuff will pan out. Maybe not. But I’ll tell you something…this boy is special.