First week of Spring Break, although for us, it might not be much different. It’s definitely a benefit when we’re not trying to scramble to enjoy time together over a two week period. Unschooling has allowed us to spend so much more time together as a family. Here’s Ethan’s week…
Sunday morning. Ethan watered our neighbour’s plants to start off the day. We then headed to the beach to collect glass and ran into Kal. Kal and Ethan played together non-stop, as they often do. Here, they were throwing rocks at a board in the water. Earlier, they were practicing skipping stones. Then they found a long piece of wood that became a see-saw. We went to Costco and one of Ethan’s favourite things to do there is grab some books and read them while we push him around. Today, it was STEM Lab and Maker Lab that got his attention. After shopping, we went to my parents’ place and then out to dinner. My parents are regulars at this restaurant so they gave Ethan a treat… a glass of Coke! He tried to refuse because he knows we don’t allow it, but we said it was ok because it was a nice gesture by the restaurant staff. He enjoyed it, for sure. He’s playing chess on my phone. After dinner, Ethan wanted to rush home to play chess on the computer. But he had to clean up his stuff so he watched some chess videos while tidying up his things. After he finished cleaning up, he read one of his blog posts before getting ready for bed. We read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea before bedtime. Reading Natasha’s comments and feedback for Ethan’s last week of learning. Ethan made this card for rutherfordium earlier in the day. March 18
Ethan learned what similar triangles are. He was studying the chapter about similar figures and scale drawings. Some violin practice after math. Beautiful spring day so Ethan was out playing with Kal. They came in and played some chess. He learned about alliteration and Buddy Benches. He made an element card for protactinium. He did some chess practice and learning on Chess.com. He learned more about medieval India today and wrote about the Mongol Prince Babur. He worked on remixing some platform games in Scratch and played a few, too. He did his musical notation homework and did some extra work, too. He saw something about limacon drawings and was very curious about them. He tried to figure out how to draw a limacon with a compass. He figured it out! Thanks to Natasha for suggesting Jamie York’s website. Here’s where Ethan downloaded the limacon drawings. Ethan and Dong Eun wanted to colour in the limacon drawings and follow a sequence of colours without getting them mixed up. Ethan came up with the idea of making a ramp for the felt pens. You remove a pen from the left and put them back on the right. The pens move to the left because of gravity. Ethan finished colouring his. He liked it and said that it’s like him, a bit messy and more freestyle. He said his mom’s was just like her, neat and clean. March 19
Ethan started his day by doing some work with tables and ratios. He also did the practice at the end of the tables and ratios section. Element number 92, uranium! He learned about adjective order from Khan Academy. He then wrote about adjective order. He wrote a funny story using dashes. He was interested in this planetary fact sheet so he printed it out. We don’t have a colour printer anymore so he coloured each planet’s facts in the colours of that particular planet. He’s been really into chess lately and spent some time learning and playing online today. Later on, he set up a chess puzzle for me to solve. The object is for white to capture all the black pieces in row 7. It took a while, as well as a hint from Ethan, but I eventually figured it out. This was a fun challenge. While waiting for violin class to start, Ethan reviewed his music notation homework. Remember that if he gets everything right, he earns a prize. Sadly, he got the most challenging question wrong by just a little bit. We went to the library after violin practice. Ethan borrowed a few chess books after enjoying some Garfield. Once we got home, Ethan practiced violin again. His teacher said he shouldn’t start a new song on his own but then followed up by saying she knows he will anyway 🙂
Ethan ended the day by going to Don Steward’s math teaching blog (https://donsteward.blogspot.com/) and checking out some of the lessons there. He wasn’t too interested because it’s a plain looking website but he found something interesting related to geometry.
This morning, Ethan went upstairs to water our neighbour’s plants, as it’s been pretty warm lately so they need watering more often. Afterwards, he spent most of the morning making this representation of all the types of numbers. This type of diagram is known as a Euler (pronounced OY-ler) diagram. He learned a version of this in his middle school math book and decided to make one for himself. He included examples of each type of number. He labelled each section. The number c starts at 0.1234567891011 and continues on forever. He practiced violin and did his music notation homework, even though he’s off for Spring Break. He listened to the Wow in the World podcast while having his lunch. He also read Chess for Children. We did the 60-second exercise challenge together today. He made a card for element number 106, dubnium. Explaining the Euler diagram of the numbers. Ethan practiced playing Waltz in the evening and then settled into reading A Wrinkle In Time. March 21
Ethan completed his math board game. The object is to answer the questions on each square and try to get to the finish first. He practiced Hunters’ Chorus, Long, Long Ago and Waltz on the violin. He went out to play with Kal. Ethan read Owls in the Family and A Wrinkle in Time. He finished both books. Ethan continued his studies about India and wrote about Shah Jahan. Ethan has really improved his writing by remembering to capitalize words at the beginning of sentences and he’s also been more careful with his spelling. He learned about apostrophes and plurals today and wrote a fun story using them. Today’s element card was number 93, neptunium. Ethan read about Remembrance Day in The Canadian Reader and answered some true/false questions. He completed the editing of his video about types of numbers that he explained using a Euler diagram. March 22
Today, Ethan decided to take the day off because we had a family lunch and would be out for most of the day.
Family lunch with the cousins. We went shopping for most of the afternoon and after we came home, Ethan went to water our neighbour’s plants. He then tried a cube-in-a-cube pattern on his 8×8 cube but failed. He wanted to solve his Square 1 cube so he watched a video to help him. He also spent some time playing chess.
We read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea before Ethan went to bed.
Day off yesterday, so he had to finish his Friday activities today.
He practiced violin. For math, he learned about rates and solved some word problems. For history, he continued learning about India and answered comprehension questions from that chapter in his history book. He loves playing chess online, so he said that he would complete two tasks and then play a match. After the match, he has to complete two more tasks before playing chess again. Since he’s using the computer quite regularly, we have him use a laptop stand so he can maintain good posture. Good posture is important when trying to defeat opponents at chess. He learned about subjects and predicates from Khan Academy. He learned about intensifiers and wrote a story using them. Here’s the story using intensifiers. Next, he started working on an element card for seaborgium. He showed me this chart, which is used for giving placeholder names to elements that don’t have an official name, yet. He explained how the chart works and gave me some examples. Seaborgium done. He learned about using numbers in writing. It was a nice day out so we had lunch out. After we got home, Ethan and I went to the library. He read Garfield and I found some classic books for him to read at home. Ethan rode his bike and I took his scooter. We stopped at the park on the way home because Ethan wanted to play at the playground. One of the books we got was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Ethan chose Because of Winn-Dixie and I thought Ethan would love The Hobbit. He also got some chess books. It’s been warm and sunny lately so more frequent watering of our neighbour’s plants has been needed. He learned about checking if a number is a prime number from Mathemagic. We watched Bill Nye: Science Guy, a documentary about Bill Nye. This scene is from the solar sail project Bill was working on. This is the solar sail spacecraft. Yes, it’s that tiny. The sail itself is gigantic but is folded up inside the spacecraft. Ethan knew that it was folded using origami techniques similar to the flasher origami he used to like making. One of the main topics of the documentary is Bill’s fight against the anti-science community. He’s also involved in trying to bring awareness to climate change. We learned that the solar sail spacecraft could travel indefinitely without needing it’s own power source so it can visit deep space or other galaxies. The spacecraft could also be used to monitor climate change on earth.
After watching Bill Nye, Ethan and Dong Eun had a chat before bedtime and talked about the similarities and differences between chess and Rubik’s Cubes.
Ethan said that the similarities are:
Need strategy to solve or win Taking control of the centre is important Both have colours Can be done blindfolded
The differences between chess and Rubik’s Cubes are:
There are more pieces on a chessboard 2D vs 3D, as chess in played on a flat board More possibilities on a chessboard More colours on a Rubik’s Cube Two players for chess versus one person for a Rubik’s Cube
And that was Ethan’s week. A lot of chess this week!