It has been a while since I updated so I am just going to give the highlights. Our biggest news is that we have finally gone back to being a two car family. We bought a brand new 2017 Toyota Sienna. It is our first new vehicle since before we even met. It was a little scary to drive for the first bit as we didn’t want to scratch it but now it is more comfortable. It is great having all the room. Fitting five of us and camping gear in Hyundia Elantra was challenging.
Philip is doing the war of 1812 for Social Studies. He is reading four living books representing both sides in the conflict and told from both female and male points of view. Both sides claim to have won the war. Philip’s conclusion is that neither side really won.
We bought a 3d printer kit that we are planning on working on. It is a long term project which we haven’t started. Part of that is we have other things that we need to get done the other is that the kids want to start a YouTube channel and have started filming various activities. They want the printer build to be one of their series and thus they are waiting until they have more practice with the camera.
Ian and Margaret got big Lego kits for Christmas. Margaret’s was the Tardis and Ian got a Lighthouse with a Orca to remind him of our earlier trip. He was so proud that he made it all by himself. He keeps telling people exactly how many pieces there are in it.
For my regular reader you can see that I have finally updated the website. The main goal was to make it friendly to mobile devices. Yes it was old enough that it was very hard to read on anything but a computer.
Ian did more on his investigation of structures. This week we had him build a bridge out of Keva blocks. To provide a sufficient gap I took a leaf out of our table. His first structure ingeniously used the existing structure of the table. I of course had make the challenge more difficult. It took a while and demonstrating balance but he succeeded.
We wanted one good experiment for Margaret to do a write up on. It didn’t work out that way but it was still a cool experiment. The idea is to heat magnesium to a high temperature and thus oxidize it. The result would be Magnesium Oxide. Since we are adding oxygen we end up with more material and that can be measured. The problem was that my scale only does grams so I would need a whole gram of magnesium and I was scraping it off a firestarter. We did get the scale to show a difference. Eg burnt was now 1g but the scale is not accurate enough to do it right. Margaret quickly came up with the answer to what happened and we discussed it.
I had a number of questions about the Raspberry Pi last week. We bought ours from Robotshop.ca. There is also a US (it is a US company) site: Robotshop.com.
We did a fieldtrip on Tuesday to our local museum. The homeschool group had organized a session on how our first nations people lived before we arrived. The got to hear some of the oral histories on the local people, handle some artifacts. They also talked about the arrival of the first settlers and the stories the first nations had of their arrival. The also did an archeological dig and found arrow heads.
On the weekend we had Canadian Thanksgiving and went to Grandparents for dinner. I was responsible for the pies. Margaret made a traditional pumpkin pie and I made a pumpkin chiffon pie with pecan and gingersnap crust.
We also went for a walk with more grandparents. There is a nice park near our house that is a protected wetland and as such has lots of ducks and other wildlife. We found fresh scat that was most likely from a coyote.
We are almost at the end of our first six week block. We have one more week and then we switch out science for social studies and novel writing for grammar and novel study.
Our Raspberry Pi arrived and Margaret got it setup on her own including installing the operating system. Raspberry Pis are credit card sized computers which run a version of linux. The pins on the left hand side allow you to wire the computer into other electronic projects. Our goal is twofold, first is to wire a number of hidden switches to their bed to provide TARDIS sound effects. Second is to allow them to access Spotify in their bedroom so they can have music at bedtime.
Ian continued his exploration of structures, testing his ability to build towers that withstood a windstorm. He built them in Keva blocks, Lego and K’Nex. It was interesting to see his thought processes and the different results. He managed to build a structure out of Keva blocks that he blew a hole in and it stayed standing. Of course he immediately blew another hole in it and that caused it to collapse denying me a photo. Oh well. The wind is provided by a Shop Vac with the hose on the exhaust.
Margaret made some crystals using Magnesium Sulfate after researching experiments that looked interesting and had components that we could actually buy. We had bought and great book that has all sorts of experiments in all fields and where to obtain the material. Unfortunately the rules are different between the US and Canada. What I could order through Amazon in the US is restricted in Canada. It was frustrating for her but she was determined and in the end she found one that worked.
Margaret made cupcakes for our church’s fall bazaar, cakewalk. I made cakes but it was being run differently than last year so my cakes ended up on the bake sale table.
We also spent a fair amount of time catching up on math. Both Philip and Margaret had fallen behind. While both are behind they are gaining ground.
Philip, Margaret and my wife went to a scout camp last weekend. There is a group from our region going to the Canadian Scout Jamboree next year in Elderbank, Nova Scotia. This camp was to let the all the kids and leader get to know each other as they are from multiple groups.
I am continuing my walks and it is the time of the year when I can get beautiful sunrises.