Homeschooling Means You Start On Labor Day

At least in this house. And everyone concerned felt like it went pretty well. PK did some argumentative “writing”: we tested out the Apple OS’s dictation software while he explained what he sees as the unique formal features that make video games effective art forms. We will need some practice with the software, I think, before deciding whether or not it’s actually going to be useable; possibly, with luck and time, PK will learn how to pace his monologues a bit less breathlessly to help the software out. Which will also help me out, and any future partners or friends he has.

Also, science: PK experimented to find out whether he prefers club soda or tonic water. Experimental results forced him to revise his hypothesis that he would like the tonic water better, and again, he actually wrote down his observations, so. He also played with the Natural Selection demo at the U Colorado Boulder Interactive Demonstrations site, which has lots of math and science demos, along with the one about Neuron Stimulation and the one about Radioactive Dating. Kinda random, and he didn’t quite have the patience to figure out the answers to the quiz on that last one, but he did get the concept and spent quite a lot of time on the Natural Selection one, actually–including realizing before I did that using “food” as a selection factor actually makes it a *limitation*; the bunnies can’t overrun their food source without dying off, but if you have no limiting factors, they just breed until they take over the earth. We talked about how we, as humans, have effectively removed or control most of our natural predators (disease) and have artificially inflated our food sources so that now we mostly die of disease rather than external factors. He played, too, with having the bunnies “mutate” their coat colors and seeing if he could effectively breed a dominant gene trait out by having the predator wolves preferentially kill rabbits expressing the dominant phenoytype. So I’d call that pretty damn good science for a 7th grade kid.

Finally, his papa had taken a graph that PK had made expressing relative levels of badassery in relationship to two variables–level of shit given and level of shit going down–and rendered it as a 3-d graph, and they spent a lot of time with the husband explaining how that worked, how they could improve it, and how they might be able to express it as a formula. Later PK got kind of excited about learning how to express other emotions as mathematical formulas, so perhaps that will be how we get him to figure out algebra….

I was frankly surprised that he was willing to do so much, and at the end of the day on our evening walk he said, “wait, that counted?” when I asked him what he’d thought of his first day of home school, and said that he’d enjoyed it. And when I told him that he had to go to bed a little earlier because we’ll have to get up at o-dark-thirty on Wednesday to get to San Diego, he was cool with that, too.

So far so good!


One response to “Homeschooling Means You Start On Labor Day

  • paperkingdoms

    PK might enjoy the book An Abundance of Katherines, whose main character (a) has dated a bunch of Katherines, and thus has the data to (b) try to come up with a formula that describes his relationships with them.

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