Over the past week of unschooling, Ethan spent a lot of time learning about cube roots. It was also the end of activities for the Christmas break and the start of really gearing up for Santa’s big day.
Still, there was lots of learning going on for Ethan so here’s what happened…
We asked Ethan to make one of his unique cards for his friends Nico and Paolo for Christmas. Calculating inches to centimetres to help me with box measurements for a Christmas package we were sending out. We all chipped in and helped wrap Christmas presents for friends and family. We made a card for my parents and Ethan found how to write Merry Christmas in Chinese. And here it is after Ethan wrote Merry Christmas in Chinese. This is a parachute he made from paper. He later attached some string and a weight to it. The parachute totally worked! December 17
Ethan got a new set of magnets the day before and spent a lot of time playing and trying different things with them. He found a lesson on Mystery Science about magnetism and how you can magnetize metal objects. Ethan had been learning about square roots and this week, he learned about calculating cube roots. He found a way to quickly calculate the cube root of large numbers and created flashcards to practice. The different coloured cards represent the level of difficulty. Here, he’s taking an online quiz to solve cube roots. Learning about performing mental math. He got Dong Eun to test him on cube roots. The technique he learned didn’t work for anything over 6 digits, so Ethan did some research and found a way to calculate cube roots for those larger numbers. This is the method he found. He created an updated to-do list for Thursdays. And he created a to-do list for other days and added a little comic strip about two fish talking about “ fryday vs Friday.” Messing around with messing up his hair after a shower. December 18
Started the day with a jog. Morning violin practice. He’s been working on Minuet 2 and 3, as well as Happy Farmer from Suzuki book 2. One of his favourite websites… Mystery Science. In this lesson, the overall topic was erosion engineering. Heading out to play. He’s very focused when he’s doing his learning, whether it’s online or reading a book. In this case, he wanted to learn about solving cube roots by approximation. On the way to taekwondo class, we stopped by the florist to pick up some flowers. The next day was Ethan’s maternal grandfather’s death anniversary so instead of a traditional Korean observation of this day, we purchase this type of white flowers and light a candle by his photo. The traditional ceremony involves special food, drink and visiting the deceased person’s grave. Unfortunately, Ethan never met his maternal grandfather but we hope that this reminds him of his roots. Ethan made a video to teach percentages and used an app called Graphic to illustrate his teaching.
This is the video he made about percents. December 19
Heading out for some exercise. Once home, Ethan learned about finding a non-perfect cube. Practicing what he was learning about cube roots. The numbers on the left are a guide to help him figure out the answers for figuring out 5th roots. Learning about the weather on Mystery Science. I needed some illustrations for a video and asked Ethan to help draw one of the characters. He used the Graphic app for Mac and the drawing tablet and stylus to draw this and several others. He’s seeing how the illustrations would animate. The illustrations were great and I used two of them in the video project I was working on. Good job, Ethan!! Learning about ancient Greece on Khan Academy. Learning about nouns on Khan Academy. making a book about math He made a little happy face from pieces of paper he was using. December 20
Practicing order of operations with his calculator. A little wet but he still went out for a jog. He wanted to calculate how old each of us was in hours. This was really fun. Practicing The Happy Farmer. He watched a lesson on Mystery Science about how and why plants need sunlight. There was a comparison using two plants. One had sunlight and the other didn’t. In another experiment, they cut a hole on the side of a box below the plant and the grew towards the hole to reach the light. He watched this lesson about building a paper house before but wanted to learn about this topic again. He watched a video about mental math tricks and solving for the cube of a number. We were talking about how fast the International Space Station (ISS) travels and wanted to compare it to other machines. I was curious how many times a day the ISS orbits the earth. Ethan told us about how NASA is observing the brightest comet of 2018. The NASA website has been a new favourite of his to visit. He learned about NASA’s first mission to the Trojan asteroids. He was excited about how the spacecraft would actually make their journey and the time it will take. He learned about solving fractional exponents on Khan Academy. He also took a quiz about exponents and radicals. Later, he asked me if I could solve fractional exponents. I had no idea, so he taught me how to do it. Not sure I completely remember but Ethan had it down pat. December 21
Learning how to simplify square roots. Practicing simplifying square roots. Learning more about simplifying square roots from Khan Academy. He did this experiment before about stored energy. He must have really enjoyed it because he tried it again. Heading out to play with friends. Ethan took some shots of the sun moon. Learning about neutron stars. He wrote about what he learned. He must have really enjoyed what he learned because he wrote quite a bit. He asked me if knew how to simplify square roots. Uh, no. So he explained it to me. We were curious about how fast different objects were and he found a website with information about the fastest plane, car, animal, human, etc.
To finish the night, we all watched a few episodes of Brainchild, a fun and engaging science show for kids on Netflix.
Today, Ethan started learning about probabilities. He also learned about dependent and independent probability. We went out for a walk to the library and to pick up some things from the grocery store. Ethan brought his skip rope to keep himself entertained. At the grocery store, Ethan picked up this local newsletter. He likes it because they have jokes and riddles in it. On the way home, he folded the newsletter into a pyramid for fun. Back home, he was right back into Mystery Science and he did the lesson on engineering and bridge building again. While we were out walking and the other day while driving, we noticed some signal lights had gone out or were flashing yellow. Ethan was curious about power outages and found this lesson about electricity on Mystery Science. We all played a board game together called Blue Marble. It’s one of Ethan’s favourite games and is kind of like Monopoly. Back to math and learning about dependent and independent probability. Of course, there is almost always violin practice. Chilling out with some Roald Dahl before we wrapped up our day with some Brainchild on Netflix.
This is a video I made about our walk to the library.
We again watched Brainchild on Netflix and learned a few things about how our memory works. There was a memory trick that hopefully, helps Ethan remember lists of things… hope it helps me, too!
We’ve also been reading the first Cosmic Trilogy book by C.S. Lewis. Ethan seems to like it because it’s set on Mars. The language is a bit older for him, I believe, so I sometimes stop to ask him if he knows a certain word or expression. ( Ethan here… I like it because Mars is a great planet. Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, it is half the size of earth, and it might have had
Anyway, that was the week! Have a Happy Holidays and all the best in 2019!