Friday, April 13, 2012


Not much blogging lately.........but that can be my pattern sometimes, if I turn my attention to other matters.  We recently leveled our front yard on kind of a whim, so I've been slowly bringing it back to life.  And the new puppy, Cobus, just passed his 6 month birthday this week.  He is grand and wonderful and a total love bug at 90 pounds.  Puppy classes and basic obedience have been very good for us.

Still homeschooling, still trying to have some structure.  We've been easing up on the number of subjects we're tackling, mostly concentrating on math, science and reading.  He's reading The Hunger Games right now, pretty much because we feel we have to!  I'll read it when he's done.  We're also working through a fun book about physics, learning about quarks and gluons and the ever-evasive Higgs boson particle.  Stuff we didn't know!  That Large Hadron Collider thingy in Switzerland is neat.

Math consists of multiplying and dividing decimals, figuring percentages, and word problems.  We're going to stick with three pages a day through most of the summer so that by the time we hit 7th grade, he should have had good exposure to the basics, including Cartesian graphing, probability, basic data analysis, ya da, ya da.  Mathematicians Are People, Too and Brain Pop help to make math real and more fun.  Plus, figuring out what 20% off of a Nerf gun equals has pretty much proved useful to him.  He actually said, "finally!  Something in math I can really use."  It was worthy of a facebook post for me because it so describes his reaction to math overall.

The highlight of the last few months has been the discovery of the BBC's Dr. Who series on Netflix.  WHAT FUN!  It's such a quirky show.  Max covets it, if that's the right word.  Better yet, he ABSORBS it.  David Tenent is my favorite as Dr. Who.  Max much prefers Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor.  He is now the proud owner of two sonic screwdrivers from Amazon.  Coolest gadgets.  Not sure if all this qualifies as schooling per say, but it certainly has been an imaginative adventure and it demonstrates that you can sure think out of the box and get fantastical if need be.  Some clever writing and great adventures through time and space.  And darn it, you do get attached to the characters.  Brilliant, I'd say.  We are waiting with baited breath for them to continue work on the series since we've reached the end.  

The other attention-getter has been the Science Channel's How It's Made series.  And last but certainly not least in Max's mind, is the computer game called Mine Craft.  He spends a bunch of time building houses, towns and cities with his friends.  I didn't originally feel it was such a good use of time (and still maybe sort of don't), but I have seen him learn to use the editing software Gimp and create his own texture packs all on his own.  Then he figures out how to upload them and install them into his program.  Then he figures all sorts of other stuff out.  I do appreciate its level of creativity (some people do amazing things with the Mine Craft software), so let him play.  It's something he cares about and has invested himself in - which is so interesting to watch!  If he cares about it, he'll almost self-teach.  I guess that's what unschoolers talk about, huh?

So, even though I don't feel like we've been pressing the school thing over the last month or two, he is still actively taking in his world and figuring it out.  Some directed by me, some self-directed.  In all honesty, he gets way more out of the self-directed stuff.  I wish as a beginning homeschooler that I had trusted that possibility more.


  1. Hi Vicki! Did you check out the "Confidential" Dr. Who stuff? (It's a making-of show that comes as a DVD extra - I'm not sure how Netflix works, so I don't know if it would be included) If Max likes working with computers, he could really learn a lot about how they make the special effects and all the stuff that goes in to creating a science fiction show like that - definitely increase the "schooling" component of Dr. Who, and way cool into the bargain!

  2. I love Dr. Who! I am looking forward to the new episodes as well. David Tennant is my favorite, but I have to admit that I am loving Matt Smith too.

  3. Melissa, I am all over it! Thank you very much for that "lead". If I can get my hands on it, Max will be thrilled. He can't seem to get enough of Dr. Who - thanks!

  4. I was SO disappointed when David Tennant regenerated and it took awhile to appreciate Matt Smith, but I agree - he has turned into quite a fun doctor himself! Very talented actor and I love how he talks so quickly and covers so much!


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