In my life this week…
I am finally caught up on my my vacation posts, Pender Island and Sasquan the World Science Fiction Convention and my curriculum posts, Philip Grade 8, Margaret Grade 6, Ian Grade 2. The vacation posts I like doing because they provide a way for our family to look back and remember past trips. The curriculum post besides being my most popular every year are also used as my submitted plans for our support teacher. She has to document a SLP (Student Learning Plan) for all the students. She does that with what we tell her that we are going to do. I fulfill that requirement by writing the posts. Two birds with one stone and all that.
For the past several months I have been trying to eat better, eat less and get more exercise. The result is I am down 25 pounds and feeling better than I have in years. This is just a random update as I hate regular check-ins. One thing I have been doing is going for morning walks. I started out with 2km, worked up to 4 and I am now walking 6.5km every morning. One of the nice things is that it is a beautiful view from on top of the bench I climb up to. You can see most of Kelowna in the photo and Okanagan Lake in the background.
All the kids activities have started back up. So we have swimming, catechism, Beavers, Scouts and music lessons.
In our homeschool this week…
We are actually finishing our fourth week. We started a week early with a lighter schedule. We decided to use Homeschool Tracker this year. Christy over at Unexpected Homeschool has mentioned it several times positively. After four weeks of it I both love it and hate it. I believe that the kids are getting more done, particularly me and Ian but I have gotten less housework done. Philip is behind as always, Margaret is pretty much on schedule as is Ian. I am finding it more stressful on average as I can see exactly how far behind Philip is. I am hoping that it will mean that I am less stressed out at portfolio time.
The exciting thing has been building our robot. We bought an Arduino based rover kit from Robot Shop. It came completely flat packed which I wasn’t expecting. Building the gear box looked intimidating especially since the sheet of paper was in Chinese but then we found they have a video online that went through the whole assembly. It still took us longer than I expected. I also took the time to back out a few steps and solder the connections to the motors. Technically it wasn’t required but I could see them coming loose over and over. That would have loosened the connection more and eventually we would have broken the tabs on the motors. Now they are very solid.
Right now we have it running with just the on-board program. I have Philip experimenting on how far it goes forward within a given time. The commands basically turn on the motors and run until it is given another command. So we have been seeing what different run times result in. We also figured out how to make it do a 90 degree turn.
I do have an ultrasound range sensor with a range of about 3 meters and an accuracy of about a centimeter. Hooking that up will require attaching a prototyping breadboard and wiring it up.
Margaret wrote a post about her experience at Sasquan that is worth a read. This is her first blog post. I am hoping to get more from them. Philip still owes me a post.
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