This past week of unschooling for Ethan was eventful but oddly, it started and ended with pancakes. Not sure how that happened, but just roll with it, right? But in between was Ethan’s blue belt to purple belt taekwondo test…
Ethan wanted pancakes today so Dong Eun found a good recipe on YouTube. Ethan helped make the pancake batter. He also cooked the pancakes; usually, this meant some unique and creative looking pancakes. Putting batter wherever and however. Turned out looking and tasting great! Ethan cut up his pancake like a pizza. Next, Ethan and Dong got to work on the 500 piece puzzle we got from my uncle. Teaching himself how to play Vivaldi’s “Spring” from The Four Seasons. He felt that his violin was out-of-tune so he found a YouTube video to help him tune it. It didn’t quite work out but it was still good to see him trying something new and challenging. After practicing violin, Ethan spent some time listening to the Wow in the World Podcast. While listening to the podcast, he was freefolding, a form of origami folding where you just try to create something unique without any plans. Later in the day they finished the puzzle! We spent the evening watching the Story of China DVD. December 10
Ethan went on Khan Academy and studied parts of speech and learned about the modifier; specifically, he learned about the article. He read an article about NASA in Classroom Ready Science News and then answered some comprehension questions. He drew the path that a spacecraft would take to get to the nearest star outside of our solar system and how the spacecraft would have to land on Proxima B, the nearest exoplanet to the earth that might have life. He read an article and answered questions about the ISS and how David Saint-Jacques, a Canadian astronaut, visited the ISS. He learned about how long-term life in space affects the human body and how it affects animals, too. He learned from the article that most of the problems that people develop from long-term living in space could be solved with artificial gravity. Ethan wrote about this solution. Just drawing a smiley for fun. He then learned about parabolas from Khan Academy. And he practiced some exercises about parabolas. He then read about Greek philosophy in his history book. He’s been learning about Socrates from this book and the comic book we borrowed from the library. We read some of Socrates’ quotes and discussed the meaning of them. We reviewed the comprehension questions he answered earlier. And we got to listen to a violin concert. This was a lesson on Mystery Science about sundials. December 11
Morning violin practice. He’s been practicing Minuet 2 and 3, as well as Vivaldi’s “Spring” from The Four Seasons. As part of learning about philosophy, Dong Eun found this illustrated book about Thoreau. Since we visited Walden last year on our road trip, this was a good way to relate to something Ethan has already experienced. Learning about the dangers of erosion from Mystery Science. He continued the lesson about David Saint-Jacques, the Canadian astronaut. But in this part of the lesson, he learned about initialism. He had to guess what the initials in the circles stood for. Dong Eun suggested being creative, rather than worry about what the initials actually stood for. After he told me his guesses, we went through each and learned what the initials actually stood for. Ethan learned some facts about volcanoes from National Geographic Kids. Ethan continued his grammar lessons on Khan Academy and learned about adverbs. But his favourite thing is still math. Here, he’s learning about quadriatics. Learning about using square roots to solve quadratics. Ethan wrote a story about his experience when he got his glasses. He talked about what it was like before getting classes, getting them and how it felt when he first put them on. Later that day, Ethan had taekwondo class. He was happy because he finally got his belt test form, which lets students test for their next belt. Ethan borrowed this book again, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. He read it before and wanted to check it out again. We prepared some Christmas gifts and Ethan helped by making this card for my friend Charles and his family over in Washingoton, DC. December 12
On his way to nature school. Ethan continued learning more about volcanoes. Maps to show the Ring of Fire. Ethan then watched a video about Plato and Aristotle, continuing the study of philosophy. He learned about cheetahs from Classroom Ready Science News. Back to more philosophy and learning about Aristotle online. Playing some beautiful violin music for us. We’re so lucky to have him give us a private violin performance every day. December 13
Learning about finding distance using Pythagorean theorem on Khan Academy. Learning about what a coordinate plane is in his math book. Checking out some articles about black holes on the NASA website. Explaining what he learned about black holes. Explaining the distance between two points on the coordinate plane. After coming home from taekwondo practice, Ethan spent more time learnin about volcanoes on Mystery Science. December 14
Morning violin practice. Here, he’s practicing while the person in the video is playing the duet part of Minuet 3. We went to the library yesterday and picked up another The Far Side book. Ethan really likes The Far Side and always asks when he doesn’t quite get they jokes. Learning about how to take care of goldfish. Ethan wrote about how to keep fish. He must’ve really enjoyed learning about taking care of fish. Learning about box and whisker plots. Waiting for Ethan’s taekwondo belt test to begin! It’s started. Lots of kids this time. Can you spot Ethan? Getting ready to do 60 pushups, which he was able to do very well and with good form. Practicing the blue belt kicks. Every taekwondo belt test has a board breaking component. Ethan gets ready to kick! And easily breaks the board on his first attempt. He did it so quickly that I couldn’t even get my camera ready. At the end, the students close their eyes while the instructors bring their new belts. Congratulations Ethan!!! December 15
We all wanted pancakes for breakfast so Ethan got out the same ingredients and got the batter started. However, we soon realized that we didn’t have enough soy milk for the batter. So instead, we decided to make French toast and Ethan helped with all the preparation and cooking. We’ve noticed how much taller Ethan’s gotten and wanted to check. He did indeed grow????
The rest of Saturday was spent Christmas shopping! We had both lunch and dinner away from home. We didn’t get home until nearly 10pm.
And that was the week!