Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Boy Homeschooling His Mom

We've been doing a bit-o-dis and a bit-o-dat...

Spiral timeline for History
as a final wrap-up of our Prehistoric Humans - Neolithic Revolution unit

In Math, we're learning about
Measurements and Conversion, Geometry, and Divisibility.

We recently started on some basic geometry with MEP Year 4. I've been suffering terribly with it, and came to the realization that I am stuck at the exact same point at which I got stuck the first time around - 4th grade, right after long division. I remember struggling to get my head around long division, and I finally did, but as soon as I had... fractions and geometry jumped out from behind the bushes and knocked me out. That traumatizing blow left me with a life-long math phobia. A math problem might not even be that difficult, but if I don't understand it at first glance, that's it, I freak.

Fortunately, I finally discovered that MEP has an interactive site where I can get all the answers (
duh). So I'm feeling much better now :)

Last week we finished one of our 4th grade math resources
and started this new one,
which has us on divisibility in the second lesson???
I was told it was for fourth grade,even though I can't find where it says so on the site... hmm...
We'll see how it goes, but we like it so far.

So far, our math resources have only given us a small taste of fractions, so we've been doing some extra fractions on CoolMath. I love how clear and straightforward the lessons are. Lu thinks the games aren't that great, but he does enjoy the lessons.

In Science, we're learning about Taxonomy with
Mr. Q Life Science (his free book)

and, the Scientific Method - another dragon slain -

which I had originally planned to include this year, then chickened out and pushed to next year, knowing that at some point we have to do it. But Lu has been asking for it, wanting to do more experiments, which I'd been resisting because I did want to make sure to cover the Scientific Method before doing more experiments (conveniently), but I couldn't face actually sitting down and grasping it. Something about the variables and the constants and the control groups make my head spin.

I'd been dreading tackling the Scientific Method, but at the end of the day, it wasn't all that bad. Seven steps to help organize an experiment. That's not so hard. So why did the idea of it have me breaking into cold sweats?

We decided to try a very simple experiment for our first time following the 7 Steps. Lu formed the hypothesis that a rubber-band would travel 5 times the distance that it is pulled back before being let go.

We learned how to calculate averages. We discovered flaws in our procedure. Lu's hypothesis was squashed to a pulp. I was bored out of my mind measuring the distances of the 25 throws that Lu decided were necessary for the experiment. BUT, at the end of the activity, he said that it had "opened his mind about experiments". He thought you could only test things that had already been proven or discovered. He didn't realize that he could make up his own experiments. So, that was pretty awesome, and definitely worth the two+ hours invested. He also again expressed his great interest in science. He makes sure to remind me of this from time to time, with a very serious tone - "Mama, I really like science. I mean really, really." This kid is making me stretch my thinking cap to places I never knew I could reach. The description of this blog should read: A Boy Homeschooling his Mom.


  1. I love that discovery that he can make up his own experiments...and that the hypothesis he chose was something he could actually easily test without too much difficulty. My son seems to always want to do things that are to expensive, difficult, dangerous, etc. Sigh...

  2. One of the things that I have loved about homeschooling is how much I learn by spending time exploring all kinds of topics with my son.

    Malea, your comment made me smile. My son considers all experiments to be vastly improved by a little danger. We insist on safety goggles and otherwise try to stay calm ;-)