Thursday, April 18, 2013

Homeschool Report

I feel like I've really let curricula slide this last month, what with a trip out of town and then DI state.

We're slowly getting back to normal--though summer is fast approaching.

But--[maniacal laugh]--I'm planning to continue educating the kids over the summer. Not only because we're desperately behind in science and need to do make up, but also because I want learning to be a lifestyle choice. Of course we continue to do educational activities over the summer!

Today was the first "normal" day we've had in almost a month. We have done classes, just haphazardly.

Here's my report.


Forced the kids to sit still while I read aloud one chapter of The Secret Garden. (Can you believe they rejected it as a bedtime story?) Due to complaints about the "lack of plot," I started in the middle and asked them to reconstruct what had come before. (It was the chapter where Mary meets Colin for the first time. Based solely on the dialogue, they thought she hadn't yet discovered the garden, bwahaha.)


Modeled quicksand with sugar and water. Daniel modeled it differently with a funnel. Then I was left with a container of very wet sugar. Smoothies, anyone? (Daniel refused to try the smoothie, claiming that the "wet sugar" would make it taste different than "dry sugar." I argued that it was all going to absorb water from the liquid ingredients anyway, and it was all getting mixed together. Plus there was a super abundance of sucrose; I thought kids didn't care about subtleties of flavor, only raw sugar rushes. He still refused. He's very stubborn, sigh.)


Eric and I successfully derived a proof that the diagonals of a kite are perpendicular. We then tried to derive a universal formula for the area of an irregular quadrilateral. We debated whether the formula for a kite (using the diagonals) could be applied successfully to the situation. (Never resolved that one completely.)

Then we got sucked into this diagram and went off on a tangent.

Daniel drew evil, twisty "angle mazes" for me to solve. He got the idea from this:

From the Beast Academy elementary curriculum by The Art of Problem Solving. The photo didn't come out well, but the premise is to navigate the lines using only acute or obtuse angles.

Naturally, he put his own evil twist on things by inventing new obstacles, rules, and unidirectional bridges.

Here is an example, with a key:

(I did manage to solve them, thanks.)


Drat, I knew I'd forgotten something.

Actually, a few months ago I scuttled history as a daily thing and decided we would do it only in the car. On trips to choir and math group earlier in the week, we had fascinating conversations about 1) the Diary of Anne Frank, 2) the social science of celebrity as applies to Justin Bieber, 3) the difference between success and greatness, and 4) an illustration of the maxim "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely" using a hypothetical well-intentioned tribal chieftain who starts by deciding a child custody case, goes on to accept bribes, gets spoiled, forgets how to be frustrated gracefully, and, after two decades, ultimately exiles all opposition. Then we hit 5) Hitler and circled back to Anne Frank. Voila! Social studies for the week.

Not bad, but I still need to find the audio books for Story of the World. That was just me vamping. Reading the above, I can see how one thought led to another. It's really cool. I wish I could say I'd done it on purpose, but really, it was serendipity.


These went surprisingly smoothly today! Well, other than dealing with a "depressingly stupid machine" cleaning the upstairs hall. The Danny-bot was very obtuse. "What's a paper towel?" and "You want me to pick up clothes? Okay! I will start ripping the shirt off this thing you call Baby Jeff..." I threatened to reprogram him repeatedly. He called my bluff; I don't know any programming languages.

So it took three times as long as necessary. At least it didn't involve whining.

If I can get through two weeks without adding new items to my life, I might start to make headway on my "to do" list.


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Kimberly said...

Too funny.