Second week of Spring Break and Ethan started it with a little bit of a cold. He rested for the first day or so but found ways to keep himself busy.
Ethan had been working on figuring out whether a number is a prime number. He learned about it in the Mathemagic book. He was also on Khan Academy learning about complex planes. He then practiced some violin. He was watching this without the sound on. I was curious as to why and realized that he wanted to try the riddle on me! He was learning about the riddle while also reading Because of Winn-Dixie. He watched another video about proving the Pythagorean theorem. Ethan chose this book because we’re trying to encourage him to read more classic books. Teaching us how to prove the Pythagorean theorem. The element card was number 107, bohrium. He found the audiobook for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and listened while following along in the book. The audiobook is really well done because they have different actors for all the characters and the narrator. Ethan wrote the algorithms for solving the Square One cube. And he read some of the chess books he borrowed from the library. March 25
Ethan was feeling better today and started the day making a different kind of cube-in-a-cube pattern. Here are the other sides of the cube. He did quite a lot of experimenting with his Snap Circuits set today, especially this one with spinning coloured discs and an LED light. He could change the rate at which the LED would pulse. This would cause the pattern in the disk to look different. He then made his own discs to try out. In total, he made 13 of them. The camera’s shutter speed matched the flicker of the LED. That’s why the LED appears to be off. Same disc as above but with the LED flickering at a different speed. After he finished with the LED project, he tried the morse code project. The Snap Circuits manual had the morse code so we could try it out. We played around by sending each other messages and trying to decode them. The receiver looked at a morse code chart while the sender used the Snap Circuits manual.
We finished the night by reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
He was feeling much better today so he did a lot, starting with keeping a log of his morning while listening to the Wow in the World podcast. He took all the stickers off one of his miniature cubes and has been thinking of ways to play with it. He practiced the violin. He started learning about China today. He started with the golden age of China and the Sui dynasty. He wrote about the Sui dynasty. He read about plutonium and was telling me about how it’s used in nuclear bombs. He wondered why the bombs had cute nicknames. Plutonium done. Taking a break to admire his work. He did his 60-second exercise challenge. He then learned about angles, triangles and transversal lines. He answered comprehension questions. He learned about cheetahs in captivity and answered some comprehension questions. He learned about fragments and wrote a fun story using them. Once he finished his work for the day, he did some coding in Scratch and played some games, too. This one just needed him to continuously tap on the trackpad. He decided to change the code so that when you tap, you get 10 points, instead of 1. Ethan’s friend Eldon came over in the afternoon to hang out before the two of them went to the Canucks game. They played chess and chatted, and they also read Q&As from xkcd.com. Time to head out to the game. Eldon’s mom was able to get box seats. Both boys were very excited to go, even though neither of them actually like hockey. They definitely had fun, though. Couldn’t add this higher up because once we write the captions, you can’t re-order the pictures. If you do, all the captions disappear! Anyway, these are the first half of the questions Ethan answered and his answer sheet for angles, triangles and transversal lines. March 27
Ethan started the day by watering our neighbour’s plants and checking her mail. He listened to a BBC podcast called Elements, which talks about each element in greater detail. Ethan then made his element card, which was hassium. He did some work simplifying exponents. For history, he learned about the Tang dynasty and wrote a summary about it. For language arts, he learned about tag questions and wrote a fun story using them. He learned about how Canadians waste a lot of food and ‘ugly’ food. Once he was done his work for the day, he did some remixing of a platform game in Scratch. After he finished with Scratch, he headed outside for the next couple of hours to play with his friend Kal. After dinner, Ethan and I took the bike and scooter to the library to pick up some books on hold and for Ethan to read some Garfield comics. Back at home, we read the article about the Hubble image that shows a cross-section of the universe. Thanks to Natasha for sending Ethan this link after she saw Ethan’s cross-section drawing. In the article, they talked about how Hubble used a 14-hour exposure to capture the image. I explained what that meant to Ethan and used my camera to demonstrate what happens when you open the shutter for a long time. This first image was with the shutter open for only 2 seconds. For this image, the shutter was open for 30 seconds. If you look closely on the left you can see a constellation. And obviously, the tree outside looks like a light is shining on it. March 28
Ethan made one of the projects from a STEM-inspired book. This device shows the air pressure. The skewer rises and falls according to the air pressure as it changes inside the jar. The lid is actually a balloon. After, Ethan practiced violin. He saw a cool experiment on YouTube called the Leaning Tower of Lire. Pieces of wood were placed at a set location on top of another piece of wood to form this very cool shape. Ethan learned about the Song dynasty and wrote a summary about it. He learned about a man who walked and then did some practice with adjectives. After he was done his tasks, he played 4-player chess. A change in air pressure occurred because the skewer went up. Time to play outside. Later after he came home, he learned about solving inequalities and taught it to Dong Eun. Here, he did some work on number lines. He learned about yes-and-no commas and wrote a fun dialogue using them. Today’s element card was meitnerium. He was done his things for the day, so he got to play some more 4-player chess. March 29
Ethan has been reading Because of Winn-Dixie and seems to enjoy it. He spent a couple hours outside playing with Kal on their scooters. Kal came over for lunch and afterwards, they made stick bombs. After Kal went home, Ethan practiced the violin. He learned about graphing inequalities and taught it to Dong Eun. He learned about homelessness in Canada and answered some T/F questions. He learned more about the Song dynasty today and wrote a summary of what he read. March 30
This morning, Ethan came out to help take out the recycling and was obviously happy to do so 🙂 He headed upstairs after helping with the recycling to water our neighbour’s plants and check her mail. Ethan also checked our mail and was happy to see that the latest edition of Nature Wild had arrived. We learned that hummingbirds fly up and then dive down in order to attract a mate. One particular hummingbird experiences as much as 10 g when it pulls up from its dive. Ethan also spent the morning trying to learn grammar. He scanned some of the lessons from Khan Academy until he found something interesting. He watched a video about prepositions of place. He then watched a Crash Course video about chemistry, where they talked about how we came to visualizing atoms as balls with stuff stuck on them and other models of atoms. While watching that video, Ethan made an element card for americium. Ethan said that he’s now made 100 cards! Here’s Ethan doing his 60-second exercise challenge for today. Burpees in this shot. And doing squats in this photo. Later on, he played some games in Scratch, like this platform game. But he always returned to playing chess and has been playing a lot of online chess lately. Later on, he went outside to play on his scooter with Kal and his brother. We watched the BBC’s Prehistoric Earth DVD tonight after dinner. At first, Ethan didn’t want to watch it but we’re trying to encourage Ethan to be more open to trying new things. He wanted to just play chess but ended up really enjoying the show. They talked about how the first animals came to be on Earth and how our own ancestor was a simple fish, so that was very cool. Ethan ended up learning about indefinite pronouns today and wrote a little story using them.
And that was the week. Ethan spent some time with friends and played lots of chess. We got Ethan enrolled for another year of SelfDesign and we’re all happy about that, as unschooling has been so great for Ethan.