Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘crafts’

An Unschool Adventure

Last week was billing week, and exam week. Neither of those is a particularly simple or carefree time, and facing both at once proved – ahem, challenging.  Admittedly, I did have some say in the matter, and better planning would have resulted in a better week for all of us.

Even so, the trials we faced last week were eye-opening, and allowed us to realise and begin to address some issues.

Most glaringly, and the focus of this month’s “fix-it”, is Goldilocks’ approach to school. She’s doing much better than she was, and enjoys most of it. But when we have a challenging week, we tend to butt heads and each bit of learning has to be injected by force, it seems.

So, after some serious thought and prayer, we’ve decided to do a one month unschool experiment. I’ve blogged about unschooling before here, and now I’m ready to wade in and do some field research. I’ve agreed to a one-month trial. We’ll keep some of the basic school day structure, like Bible, Maths and Copywork. We’re also probably going to help a friend of the girls’ with his reading and art, so we’ll include those in every day. But most of the school day (and as much of the rest of the day as she likes) will be dedicated to learning about the things that interest her. Apparently we’re starting with woodwork and plastic injection moulding.

I, for one, am waiting in anticipation of the results.

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Science this week.

"Waterfall" - M.C. Escher

"Waterfall" - M.C. Escher

Well, we’re still working through Trust. Today we were concentrating on optical illusions (which we also touched on in the “Eyesight” section of Attentiveness). We studied the works of Escher and Salvador Dali, which are so mind boggling and fascinating. I love being able to share these great works of art with the girls, and I love having access to the Internet, which makes it so easy to achieve this sharing of knowledge.

We also created a thaumatrope. Ever heard of one? It’s pretty interesting, and at first it completely failed (as my science experiments tend to do), which was disappointing. However, once again the Internet came to the rescue. I found this website, which gave us an explanation of thaumatropes that we could understand, some simple experiments, and a shorty video tutorial.

We also found this website, with a list of animated GIFs, which perform the same illusion as the hard copy thaumatropes we made, but with fewer human errors. 🙂 . Random Motion was very useful in its definition and experiments, which even I managed eventually.

Thaumatrope demonstration

Thaumatrope demonstration

Thaumatrope: n.

The thaumatrope was invented in the 1820s and it proved the phenomena of persistence of vision. The word “thaumatrope” has Greek roots. “Thauma” means magic in Greek and “trope” refers to something that turns. The thaumatrope is somewhat magical because it creates illusions dependent on persistence of vision.

And finally, DH came home and did his Daddy-trick, in which he just looks at a science-y thing and it works. So all of our thaumatropes worked and the girls had a good idea of how easily the eyes can be deceived. A good day for science and discernment, methinks.

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