Journal Entry – Friday 1Jan2010

We haven’t been homeschooling the entire Christmas break, but Jack has been working pretty feverishly on his movie for 4-H Presentation Day, as well as some reading and math. Today, he went over to Walden’s house to work for about 5 hours on the movie together, and he took along the sequence he did Wednesday (while Luke and I were out at a playdate in SF) where he animated a little yellow (made out of paper) fish eating some plastic from the Great Pacific Gyre, and also a size comparison he did showing how large the Gyre is compared to the United States (twice as large as Texas). Daddy had brought home a tripod, and with the “I Can Animate” computer program, he was able to produce a pretty effective clip, it was fun to watch it when I came home and see how proud he was. He said that Walden and his mom were also suitable impressed, and they got a good amount of work finished, but there is still a lot to be done, and he’s worried about finishing in time. I had previously thought that he just was just anxious about actually doing the presentation in front of the judges and audience, but it turned out that he was more worried about having to quit again (he and Walden had planned on a movie last year as well, but had to quit since they didn’t start early enough), so I am trying my very best to support his efforts so he can actually finish! It is an ambitious project, 5 minutes of a movie takes many hours of thinking, planning, shooting and learning the ropes of work, I just hope the judges realize this as well and give them credit for doing a movie.

Chance worked on his 4-H presentation today as well on using social media (blogs, Google Sites) in 4-H to record project activities, communicate between members, and more. I also talked to him about his Spring semester classes – he’s going to be taking a Art of Problem Solving class in Number Theory with a friend in San Francisco, as well as a group math class on Algebra 2 topics (hopefully, since I’m still working on making it happen). He is also signed up for Latin 1B at Lukeion to continue Latin, although I am hoping to go back to using a tutor in the fall for another small group class, which was so successful this past year. He is also taking the AP Biology exam in May, and we will be continuing the labs every other Friday until April, with a friend and Jack, and finally, both of them still have a few more physics meeting (Quantum Camp 1) in the next month, although I am discussing doing a more standard physics course with the same teachers this coming up summer/fall. So, Chance’s dance card is full.

The big news today, however, was Luke! Of course, we have tried to read to him as much as possible, and he’s always been interested in reading his science and math books (Magic School Bus, I Love Math series, and the Stuart Murphy math books), but last night, when we were playing 10,000 (a dice game where you try to score 10,000), he stopped playing in order to write down numbers on the score keeping sheet, asking me to write numbers for him so he could copy them very carefully, He didn’t just do a few numbers, he did 2 pages worth, and then he asked for some more this morning! I asked him if he would like to start some math workbooks, and he cheerfully agreed, so I got out the Miquon math books I used with Chance and Jack when they were little (there’s an advantage to keeping everything). I can’t find any place that has sample pages of the books, but you can see in the pictures below – they are very simple, almost child-like, with no fancy pictures or even colors, but the exercises are imaginative and fun, and use a manipulative called Cuisenaire Rods, which are explained in the link. He really enjoyed it, and very proudly announced to both Daddy and Grandma that he is doing real math now!!

Leave a Comment