We we are back at school. We have actually been for three weeks now. We have divided the school year into six, six week blocks and alternated science with social studies. I am realizing just how fast those six week blocks are going to pass. I need to make sure that we have stuff to show for each block.
Ian is studying structures this block he had a number of questions.
How do buildings survive earthquakes? Volcanoes? Hurricanes? Tsunamis?
How long does it take to build a building? We discussed that size would have an effect on that answer. He then named off a number of buildings. Most he has seen built in Minecraft.
We have watched a number of documentaries on buildings including on the advances that allowed us to build higher, building the Burj Khalifa, Building to survive an earthquake and one on building hurricane proof houses.
The fun part is we build an earthquake table where he has been testing to destruction structures he has built out of lego and Keva blocks. It is interesting that you can somewhat replicate the different types of earthquakes. If you push down you get an up/down motion, if you pull it to the side you get horizontal movement. He found that some structure survived one but not the other.
Last weekend we went to our local Catholic Family Camp. It was good community building and I had a number of good talks. We were also treated to a beautiful sunset. On Sunday our local Filipino community roasted up two whole pigs. It was absolutely delicious.
We have new learning outcomes this year which is driving the teachers in the public system a little crazy but for me they are closer to what I do anyways. It is meant to be more student led learning and demonstrations of learning rather than exams.
One new course we have although we have always done it is Applied Skills. So far Margaret has made a Raspberry Pie and Rice Crispie squares. We also have a Raspberry Pi on order. She will do some programming on it.
We also finally got around to celebrating Everyone’s birthdays. I got surprised when friends came over with an yummy Ice Cream cake. It was a wonderful surprise but it did make me feel a tad guilty about how overdue we were in celebrating the kids birthdays. Philip went with a friend to the IPE (local fair with rides) The rest of us and some friends went to the movies and for ice cream. The movie was Kubo and the Two Strings and it was excellent. I highly recommend it.
I am going to do this a little different than my standard one day per post and cover the highlights.
We give our kids a lot of freedom at these. The basic rule is that Ian had to be with another family member but other than that they were free within the hotel / convention space. My wife kept track of the talks they planned to go to and everyone had the hotel room as a meeting point.
For my wife the weekend was largely about two of her favorite authors; Tanya Huff and Janny Wurts. So most of the talks she went to involved one of those two authors. For her the highlight was getting to meet these two authors. She got a lot of her books signed. She also got to buy artwork by Janny Wurts. She mostly bought prints but she also bought one original watercolor. The biggest highlight for her was being able to sit down with Janny Wurts and have her go through her sketchbook. I was there and it was interesting for me but for my wife it was ‘oh is that…’. To which Janny would respond ‘yes’. There was one that I got the impression was a location from a future book. No Spoilers. I don’t think my wife even got any spoilers from it really.
For Philip and Ian there was a film making track where they went through the whole process of making a movie over the four days of the convention. They started with coming up with ideas, writing a plot and finished with actually filming and editing a short movie.
Margaret was much more eclectic taking in talks on writing, arts, Doctor Who and a variety of others.
For me I went mostly to ones on writing with a few Doctor Who and Science ones thrown in.
For all of us the Masquerade was a highlight. All of the kids competed this time in the Rising Star class. Margaret and Ian went on as a team dress as Tiffany Aching and a Feegle. They had recorded a parody of a song talking about Feegles. It was hilarious and probably helped them win. They took Best in Class – Rising Star – Presentation. Philip went as a Ranger from a book series that he has read. He had spent a lot of time on making his costume and his bow. He won Best in Class – Rising Star – Workmanship. A win moves you up to the next class. It means that next time they will be competing with adults.
Time to get caught up again. This is going to be a mix of highlights and the most recent. Basically what ever I can remember.
On Sunday we will present our year end portfolios effectively bring an end to the school year. We have a couple of things planned in the way of field trips and there is somethings to get caught up on. As always we will have some educational aspect to our summer as well.
First we had Ian’s first Communion. Here that happens in the grade two year of catechism.
Second Margaret had her Confirmation. She chose Theresa her confirmation name after Mother Theresa of Calcutta. She asked if she could use the name since Mother Theresa was in the process of becoming a Saint.
Our year end trip for Beavers was to a Wildlife Park about 2 hours north. All the animals are rescues that were not going survive in the wild. As an example the two Bald Eagles had run ins with trucks and can no longer fly. We don’t know how they ended up getting hit. At our old house we had to drive a couple of kilometers on a dirt road. There was a large owl that if we were just after sunset would sometimes appear above us. He would silently glide just in front of us. We figured out that he was using us to flush prey out of the grass.
In our homeschool this week…
Margaret has been working through a microscope book and did a wonderful drawing of a leaf under 10x magnification.
She also did Classification tree with the animal that we took pictures of at the aquarium.
They had year end performance at the music studio we go to. They have all done very well this year.
Grandpa has been taking them on Thursdays to do some art with them. This has been a great resource for them. Both have produced some wonderful pieces. I particularly like the exercise on perspective that Margaret did.