Here we go with this week’s unschooling. Ethan had a full schedule as all his activities started this week.
We had a family event today. One of my cousins was having a red egg and ginger party to celebrate the birth of her daughter. So we had Ethan make a card for her. He wanted to make a kirigami design. He started making the kirigami but something wasn’t quite right and since we had to leave soon… He switched gears and created an oldie buy goodie, the pop-up card. Here’s Ethan with his cousin Ezra. Ethan’s the oldest of the cousins in the younger generation of our family. Ezra was the first child to come after Ethan. That night, Ethan finished working on his SelfDesign Learning Plan for 2019-20. September 9
Ethan and Dong Eun went jogging with the GoPro. He likes making himself look like a giant. Or really small. Selfie while jogging. He did some Spanish practice today. He used Duolingo and then wrote down the words he learned. This is also his journal for him to keep track of his day. He learned about limit properties on Khan Academy. Cursive practice. More math. Violin practice before the first violin class on the fall. He was quite excited about starting class again. He did his music notation practice, too. He started working on his history timeline again tonight. He added things that happened between 800 CE and 1000 CE. He tried typing with a new online typing program we found called All The Right Type. This was introduced to me by the owner of the company. He then practiced using Typing.com to show me the difference between the two programs. Ethan also did some coding in Python. He was adding to the adventure game he started working on yesterday. He was excited to learn that if he uses a hashtag, the code becomes a comment. He worked on limits of combined functions for his math practice and he also did some cursive practice. For science, he learned about entropy and he wrote a sort of letter essary about Esio Trot. He used the sentence openers found in The Reading Zone by Nancie Atwell. For physics, he learned about frames of reference. He then practiced approximating limits from tables for some more math work. September 10
Some physics. Learned about frame of reference from Khan Academy. He read an article in Canadian Reader about cellphones being banned in schools and then he answered comprehension questions. Cursive practice. Writing about Esio Trot. Zoom call with Natasha, Ethan’s SelfDesign LC. We had lots of questions regarding content for Ethan’s learning. We learned that Ethan’s doing great and to just let him lead. Easier said than done but we’ll keep trying. That’s the thing about unschooling that’s most difficult, the letting go and trusting the child. Spanish practice using Duolingo. He continued his learning of frames of reference and he wrote more about Esio Trot. September 11
Report from Soaring Eagle Nature School about Ethan’s group:
Mink’s group busted out of basecamp like a pack of wolves and gathered atop a peak on the east side of the lake to practice some forest skills. The first challenge was to test their tracking skills through the “art of questioning”. A seemingly simple object was passed around many times, and the goal was to always ask new questions about it. Mink feels they could use some work in this area. That said, she was quickly impressed by their mastery of the “fox walk”. A good grasp of the foundational skill allowed the group to dive deeper into the skill through various exercises and sneaking games. If you want to see the types of games Mink’s group plays, you’ll have to sneak up on them! They talked about “baseline” and as they did so, watched the bird activity and animal life slowly return to the area. The return of forest baseline brought with it a mysterious woodpecker, and the group spotted a Stellar’s Jay making a strange alarm as a Douglas Squirrel approached. A the end of the day, the students had to earn their nature names through a group challenge which put their team-building skills to the test.
Ethan went to nature school for the first time this school year. He was a bit concerned that he might not know anyone this year but quickly made some new friends. He also went to taekwondo class and afterwards, he wanted pasta for dinner. We went out and had a great meal. September 12 – Morning Jog
Out for a morning jog and taking selfies with the GoPro. September 12 – At Home
SelfDesign has a weekly online workshop and Ethan joined it today. We weren’t sure what to expect but Ethan had a great time interacting with other SelfDesigners. There was a small group activity and lots of sharing things about one another. I think Ethan’s going to continue attending the workshop. He created a flowchart to demonstrate how to calculate the limit function of x. These photos are slightly out of order but in the evening he used instructions from How Things Work to create a binary calculator. He expanded on the design in the book because he wanted an easier way to hold the yellow flaps on the bottom and an easier way to slide the numbers up and down. He explained how to use the calculator with various examples. I asked a lot of questions and he was able to answer my questions with a demonstration. Here is what he learned about limits and continuity from Khan Academy. He learned to calculate average velocity or speed. It might be hard to see, but he wrote down that he learned about calculating the limit of f(x) for math practice. He then did made some notes about calculating average speed. He read an article about Kawhi Leonard and did some practice learning about common nouns and proper nouns. Today’s cursive practice was the letter ‘f’. He started putting the periodic table of the elements in his room in different places and in different formats.
He spent the evening listening to The Alchemist audiobook with Dong Eun before going to bed.
We went for a jog in the morning. Ethan was interested in the seagull nearby that was cawing. Lots of seagulls around lately. Back home, Ethan was curious about my Trello boards. He decided to set one up for himself to track his daily tasks. Learning about one-dimensional motion from Khan Academy. This is a behaviour monitoring chart for Ethan and Dong Eun. If Ethan displays good behaviour, he gets 2%; bad behaviour sees him lose 1%. For Dong Eun, if she doesn’t get mad about something and reacts calmly, she gets 2%. If she does get upset, then it’s minus 1%. Ethan was given a base score of 30%. If he reaches 50%, he gets a prize. As you can see, he made it. Working with an average velocity graph. He learned about the OSIRIS-REx mission to Bennu. He then wrote a summary of the mission and added some drawings, too. Learning about limits and continuity from Khan Academy. His completed summary of the OSIRIS-REx mission. He also worked on his history timeline, adding events such as the end of the Mayan civilization and the beginning of Swedish vikings. Cursive practice. Spanish practice. Proud to get his prize for hitting 50% on the behaviour chart. Reading the crystal lab instructions. And now we wait for the crystal to form. September 14
In between symphony practice and swimming lessons, we went to the library to chill. After we got home, he did some coding in Scratch. We then went to Indigo and had some late lunch. We bought some sparkling water to drink and got some ketchup packs at lunch. Ethan was very excited about that and wanted to try an experiment with buoyancy once we got home. After putting the ketchup pack in the bottle, he filled th bottle with water. He tried three different ketchup packs to find one that had just the right amount of air in it. If you squeeze the bottle, the ketchup pack should move down on its own. Success! This was really quite fun.
That was a very busy week of unschooling for Ethan but he seemed to really enjoy it. He ended most nights listening to The Alchemist with Dong Eun so he also quite enjoyed that. Although it can sometimes be challenging for Ethan to find his study materials, what he finds he enjoys for the most part.
So let’s see what he does next week.