Here we go with another week of Ethan’s unschooling.
Ethan finished the last of the elements today! He only had three more to do, 103, 117 and 118, so he made a final push this morning and got them all done. Number 103 is lawrencium. Number 117 is tennessine and 118 is oganesson. Great job, Ethan! Nico and Paulo came over for a play date today. After playing outside, Ethan taught them some origami and had a great time with them. At night, Ethan watched another documentary about origami called “Between the Folds,” which was a fascinating look at origami artists and mathematicians. Ethan and Dong Eun spent over an hour to put together a modular origami design with 12 interlocking pieces. And they did it! April 15
They made a bigger one of the modular origami things first thing in the morning. Working on more converting percentages. He learned about measles. We’ve talked about immunizations before and why we get them. Doing his violin homework. He wrote about the Tokugawa period in Japan. Beautiful day to play outside. The completed periodic table. More modular origami. And more origami at night. Today was actually origami day, btw 🙂 Ethan and I went grocery shopping on our own. Ethan had the list and picked out all the groceries. April 16
Ethan worked on some percent word problems in the morning. For most of the day, he did origami but he also practiced some violin. He practiced Waltz, Bourrée and Winter from Four Seasons. He practiced Winter in his symphony class and since he had already learned some of it on his own, he was the only one that could play it during class. For language arts, he learned about alliteration, assonance, onomatopeia, the scale of formality and under- and overstatement. After he was done those tasks, he played with Universe Sandbox. Ethan worked on a project he’s been wanting to try for a while. The project is simulating a whirlpool effect using two plastic bottles. It took a while for him to do this project because we normally don’t have plastic bottles at home. Anyway, he’s pouring in some coloured water into one bottle. He punched holes in the lids and joined the two bottles together with rainbow duct tape. Very important to use rainbow coloured! Next, you turn the bottles upside down and swish the water around so that a vortex is created to move the water down into the empty bottle. It didn’t work too well but it was still a fun project. Ethan went outside to play and then had taekwondo and violin. After dinner, he watched this video about how big things are in the universe. He also did some more origami. He made this box with a heart on it for his mom 🙂
And we received the summary of last week’s nature school session today from Ethan’s teacher, Scott…
Under the wildly rainy sky, as we sat underneath the tarp, we made sure to gather some rainwater and some hemlock to make a hearty and warm brew for everyone who needed it. At the same time, there was a gathering of 12 kids who orchestrated a game of “Catch the Poacher”. It took a while for everyone to settle and to agree to focus on the game, but once we did, we had a great time.
We also played a game called “Deadly Handshake” in which one person in a big group is secretly named as the hunter while one other is secretly the detective. Everyone goes around shaking hands normally except the hunter who gives a special squeeze. The detective tries to tell who the hunter is while the hunter tries to keep their secret safe! April 17
Ethan went to nature school today and was glad it didn’t rain. They did some carving today and worked on making a wooden spoon. That’s Luca, Ethan’s friend who also lives nearby. Back home, Ethan watered our neighbour’s plants and picked up her mail. Now that Ethan is finished the big periodic table, he’s making a smaller one. This time, he’s writing down what each element is used for. He did hydrogen and helium today. Ethan practiced the violin, too.
In the evening, Ethan answered some questions from Natasha, his LC, about what he wants to learn now and in the future, along with his goals and dreams.
He answered them in SelfDesign’s weekly observation system but didn’t hit save and closed the window. Everything he wrote was gone and he was pretty upset because he was quite tired from being out all day.
It was a good opportunity to talk about putting things in perspective and about how much work Ethan should do on nature school days. We also talked about maybe getting more exercise so that Ethan can better handle being outside and walking around for the day.
If there’s one update SelfDesign needs to implement, though, it’s definitely autosave! Anyway, Ethan started rewriting his answers in a word processing app that does have autosave 🙂
Ethan and Dong Eun went for a walk along the beach and collected some more glass. Ethan worked on some division. Ethan watched a video of the recent SpaceX launch. He thought it was live 🙂 He answered some comprehension questions about division by using Google Slides. He learned more about the Pythagorean theorem. He taught Dong Eun about how to find out if a triangle is a right triangle. One of the questions Natasha had for Ethan was about what he dreamed of doing when he grows up. He said that he either wants to join NASA or become a teacher. So he did some research into how to join NASA. We then went to my law firm client’s office for their annual Easter party. While there, I had to take a headshot photo for a new lawyer and asked Ethan to help with setting the white balance. He was much more interested in eating snacks and watching Netflix. Time for the Easter egg hunt. No Easter games this year because it was raining outside but Ethan still had fun. Group photo for Easter 2019. April 19
Good Friday. After going for a very quick jog in the morning, we all headed out to the beach to look for glass. We found a lot today! While walking back, Ethan stopped to entertain the kids at the playground with his bubble wand. We went looking for crabs since the tide was really low. Can you spot the crabs amongst the glass? We went for Vietnamese noodle soup and while waiting for our food, Ethan did some origami. He created a sculpture of an airplane. Back home, he learned about the dangers of Asian carp and did an exercise to create new words from the letters of words from the carp article. He answered some comprehension questions about Japan. And he learned about surface area. Ethan was very excited to watch a “live” video of a SpaceX rocket launch. We watched as the boosters returned to Earth and landed on a landing pad. Very cool. This was the first time all three boosters returned to Earth and landed safely. This was the mission: to launch a satellite. But what we also discovered is that this was a previously recorded event from April 11! In fact, it was the same one that Ethan watched the other day, also thinking it was actually live. Oops. Still cool, though. Ethan then practiced some violin. And he did some Scratch. One of the things Natasha asked him was what he wanted to be when he grows up. He said he wanted to work for NASA but we found out that NASA might only hire US citizens. So we looked into the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and found a lot of great information about working for the CSA, including what it takes to be an astronaut. The CSA site has lots of information and activities for kids and was a great find. Ethan seemed very excited and motivated to achieve his dream of working for the CSA. This was a quiz/mission about becoming an astronaut and included many great videos. In one of the videos, Ethan learned the importance of swimming if you want to be an astronaut and was open to restarting swimming lessons. He continued doing some origami, like this one where he learned a new kind of fold. The finished object is a tetrahedron that can be viewed in different ways. His final project for the day was folding a 16×16 grid that turns into a 3D hat. He didn’t quite finish it tonight so he’ll continue tomorrow! April 20
Ethan surprised us this morning by waking up early and being all ready to go jogging. So I quickly got up and headed out with him. Maybe he’s motivated by what he learned about becoming an astronaut?
After jogging, Ethan watered our neighbour’s plants. The flowers on this one are so unique because the petals go up. We then headed out to the beach to collect glass but the tide was high. Luckily, it was very windy and Ethan brought his bubble wand. Instead of collecting glass, Ethan collected sand fleas. Enough of the sand fleas. Time for more bubbles. He also worked on the tree fort he built last year(?), as it’s still up. We were at the beach for a couple of hours and finally came home around lunchtime. Ethan immediately started doing more origami. An origami pig! Just as he was getting into more origami, we got a message asking if Ethan would like to play outside with Kal and his brother, so of course, he wanted to. Back home again and, again, working on origami. This time, he’s making an object he saw in the origami documentary that was used to expand blood vessels in the body. Finished! This is what it looks like somewhat compressed. Yep, it’s a tube! And here it is expanded. He also started working on designs that only use one sheet of paper, like this ninja star. This design is usually made with two sheets of paper but he learned how to make it with only one. These interlocking rings are actually only one sheet of paper with no cuts. This was another design he tried. He has been really into origami lately! We finished the night watching a DVD called Walking with Cavemen and learned about our descendants, how they came from certain types of upright walking apes. It was very cool. After the DVD, Ethan did a little more origami… of course. And I almost forgot to include these new element cards that Ethan has been working on. He’s putting information about where the element is used.
And that was Ethan’s latest week of unschooling. It was pretty much all origami sprinkled with some math, science and language arts.