Every day when I pick the boys up from the CDC, Gabriel has a new circuit drawing in his hand. At home, when he's not bouncing off the walls and tormenting Julian, he's sitting studiously on his floor, studying his Getting Started In Electronics book, and making yet more drawings from it. This is really a nice book -- entirely hand-written! Like, published in someone's handwriting. It's got nice illustrations and is very accessible to kids.
I'm not sure how much of this Gabriel is learning from the book, or from Dave, but he's also learning about AND, OR, XOR gates and their negatives, and the logic behind them.
Tonight he got all upset because one of his latest creations got torn, so I promised him I'd tape it up, giving me an opportunity to scan it.
This is what my borderline 2nd-grade behavior problem does in most of his free waking moments.
He's also been learning basic binary arithmetic, or at least writing things down that makes it look like he's learning it. No, correction, I asked him, and indeed, he really does seem to understand how to make numbers in binary. Dave's been teaching him, and he practices.
Though much of what he says or draws isn't technically correct yet, he's certainly got a lot of the vocabulary and a lot of the groundwork, and ton of interest. I think it will come together correctly someday -- most likely without my even knowing it! I can't tell when his rattling off of electronics terms is right or wrong. Fortunately Dave knows and can correct him and discuss something, though Gabriel will get into states when he dogs Dave with nonstop questions.
This is no passing phase. Every day, he has one or two new drawings of some or other circuit, for a burglar alarm, a radio-controlled car IC, a jet airplane's wing lights. They're all over the house. He's only 8, but it's getting hard to imagine how he won't be an engineer of some sort.