These are various pictures of the boys doing schoolwork in February, doing various things…

This is Chance at our friend’s house looking at Drosophila (fruit flies) for the genetics portion of our AP Biology lab class. He’s figuring out which phenotype is present, or in other words, if they have red, sepia or white eyes, black or brown wings and body, and normal v.s vestigial wings from the experiements we did crossing the different strains. We’ve been taking care of fruit flies ever since early December, all in preparation for this particular lab, so it was nice to see all the preparation ending in a great lab.

This is Jack counting flies when it was his turn…

This is a picture of Chance at another Biology lab session, where the kids were modeling population genetics, which as it runs out, is quite boring when you are doing it by hand! This is Chance trying to stay awake…

Now that Luke is almost 5, he’s been doing some math almost every day, usually in the form of reading math literature, which are picture books that incorporate math ideas and concepts (The MathStart books are some of the best, but we also have some oldie but goodie books, like the I Love Math series, and the Young Math books) but I am also starting some more formal math, mostly in the form of games and concrete counting with pennies and whatever else we can find (we usually incorporate counting in other activities instead of making it a “math” activity). These pictures show Luke and Jack playing a math game, which involves throwing pennies at a numbered grid, and then counting out that number of pennies to see who can end up with the most pennies after 5 tosses.

Chance has been working on getting ready for the AP Biology test coming up in May, and since I have all the chapter tests on the computer, I’ve been sending the tests to him via email, he takes it, and then sends it back to me. I correct it, and send it back for a second try, and we’re getting through 55 chapters of Campbell’s Biology this way. He’s trying to finish with a few weeks to take some practice tests, but he is trying to learn a lot of material in a pretty short amount of time, so we’ll see what happens. Next year, we’ll start earlier on the review, that’s for sure.

Chance also has an online Latin and Number Theory class this year, so he is actually on the computer a lot.

Luke and Chance are playing with some Polydrons, which are geometric construction toys. The pieces come in triangular, rectangular, hexagon, circular, conical and more shapes I can’t remember, and all 4 boys have been building these fantasitc structures with them.

The above picture is the math book Jack is currently working in, and this picture is him doing some problems. It is a really cool introduction to functions and graphs, by having the student look at various graphs visually and try to figure out what they mean before the book starts going into the equation of the line, slopes and y-intercepts, and it has been fun to see the lightbulb go off in Jack’s head about what those concepts really mean. Equations and slopes are the foundation of algebra and beyond, so we’ll move into more algebra after he finishes this book, probably just a few more weeks.

And finally, a picture of Luke working on his letters, using a template Grandpa sent a while ago for the brothers. Luke has been writing his name for awhile now, so I think we’ll probably start some beginning reading and phonics soon to see how he does with it.