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April/May Homeschooling Miscellany

Posted on: Saturday, 8 June 2019 @ 8:42pm
Blatting about
More specifically

By necessity we ended term 1 pretty quietly with the Scitech homeschooling lessons.  Occasionally one or both boys missed some lessons due to colds, which I didn't realise at the time was a taste of things to come.

at the traino with fly glasses

After one of the lessons both of them got to, 10yo decided to blow some pocket money at the Scitech shop on some compound eye glasses.  There was some hilarity when both of them had a go with it the first time.


One of the last two lessons involved programming an extremely basic AI to win an extremely basic game, and the paperwork task was to graph the robot's wins.

line graphs of robot wins

Top one is 10yo's, bottom one is 14yo's.  They were told to do a line graph, however 10yo ended up putting dots in his so he could see what he was doing, and the facilitator said he thought that was a much better way of doing it than the line graph.

I watch a number of people on ArtStation and one of them posted an anagram in some artwork of a soon-to-be released game that you could apparently get a sneak peek or something at (I can't remember specifics now) if you could solve the anagram to get the password.

10yo trying to solve anagram    boys trying to solve anagram   14yo trying to solve anagram

This kept us occupied for a good couple of hours at least.  I was genuinely surprised that 10yo stuck with it for so long.  14yo came up with a few novel ways to try to solve it but in the end we admitted defeat.

10yo had a cold on the second last Scitech lesson so I had to get JJ to stay home with him while I took 14yo.  The task for that one was to work in a group make a Rube Goldberg machine.  Half the group would work on half the machine and the other group would work on the other half.  Inspired by a machine in one of the examples to give a dog a treat (called the "good boy machine"), they decided to make a "bad boy" machine which would slap 14yo (who volunteered to be on the receiving end).

14yo helping build Rube Goldberg machine   building Rube Goldberg machine at Scitech, Perth, Western Australia

The facilitator was impressed  with their group and intergroup communication and rapid iterative testing.  Unfortunately while they successfully tested each component and possibly even the two halves of it they couldn't get the entire machine to run.  They had been warned that they might not have time to complete this particular one.

After that class 14yo wanted to hang out at Scitech for a bit.  He did investigate most of the things that interested him, but an inordinate amount of time was spent determinedly making a periscope that would utilise all the holes.

14yo building periscope 1, Scitech, Perth, Western Australia   14yo building periscope 2, Scitech, Perth, Western Australia   IMG 4928

He very smugly got there eventually using up every available part.  I did try to take a photo through one of the holes but couldn't get any good ones.

The last Scitech lesson where they would have gotten their certificates was missed because everyone but JJ succumbed to "a virus" (including yours truly who also received a bonus chest infection) which lasted for two and a half weeks.  10yo ran a high enough temperature to warrant a hospital trip and they kept him in for a few hours for observations and a urine test (which is how we found out it was "a virus").  It was not fun for anyone

Even after recovering everyone was left in a weakened/lethargic state and we didn't really feel like doing much.  I did make a few attempts to get the boys to do work but they didn't really want to and I didn't really feel like pushing it.  They all did get to hear controlled rants from me and JJ about people relying too much on antibiotics and flu vaccines and the delusion that you have to show up at any and all costs and whatever other excuses people come up with to completely ignore their or their kids' symptoms that show they're contagious and go to work/send them off to school anyway because that's how epidemics hppen when 12yo reported that one of her teachers had told her off for missing so much school (I had been texting in telling the school that she would be absent and why) and both JJ and I told her to tell them to call home then.  The school has not rung at this stage and they will hopefully continue to not do so as they will get a roasting.  I guess they have no way of knowing that my life will be infinitely easier if I don't have to deal with them and we'd go back to homeschooling rather than 12yo not showing up because she simply didn't feel like it.

The only other exciting thing that's been happening was the emergency renovations that had to be done on our main bathroom (some termites managed to circumvent our termite barriers some years ago and apparently had awesome fun times in the untreated timber supports in the bathroom which we didn't notice til now when the floor started slowly collapsing).  The boys got to observe the process and help out here and there (but not much initially as we were all sick when work was started).  We did remain housebound for a lot of it mostly becase aside from tilers and plumbers a lot of the work was done by my father in law and a friend of his with me and mother in law and the boys lending a hand every now and then when requested.

Weather permitting (because I don't like driving in inclement weather mostly because certain other people refuse to turn their lights on and don't seem to understand how to drive to conditions) I'm hoping to start getting out a bit more again now that everyone seems to be fully recovered.

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