Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week Ending 2 February 2014

This week has been mainly about easing into and adjusting to new routines. Miss 13's new training schedule  has had lots of flow-on effects into what we do and when and, although there are some advantages (more family time in the evenings), the changes takes some getting used to - clearly I'm a creature of habit.

Mr 16 started his computing course through the polytechnic. It's relatively low-level but a pre-requisite for the higher level ones which he wants to do. In the meantime I think it'll do him a lot of good to have learning time away from home and apart from me. I'm also aware that if this strikes a chord with him it could lead to full-time study next year. Therefore this could be his last year homeschooling so I'd better make sure we cover everything I feel the need to before he heads to bigger and brighter pastures.

Miss 13 continued easing back into more formal, academic work adding science to her schedule.The highlight was probably the plot study which we did in our back yard. Conclusions were that our "lawn" is more weed than grass, and that an amazing variety of life forms live under dead logs but it is really hard to identify them all because of their small size and propensity to run and/or hide once the log is moved!

 Initially there were no animals in our plot, except for those under the log but while we were there one strolled in and, a little late, another flew in to join us.

She also enjoyed the small research task - this week looking at polio. The course also has a large microscope component. Right now we don't have a suitable microscope so I've decided to skip those for now and we'll do a "microscope intensive" when we acquire suitable equipment.

We also started this year's Journey's North Mystery Class project, calculating and analysing photoperiod data and later using cultural clues to find the location of ten secret sites around the world. The project runs until May, and mostly takes less than an hour per week. It's not too late to join in  and there is a handy participation guide to get you started. We've taken part for several years and there is always a great sense of satisfaction when we successfully nail the locations - especially the tricky ones!

Our main highlight this week was the family celebration of my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. It was just a small, family affair (their choice) but we don't get together very often as an extended family so it was nice to catch up and fifty years marriage is definitely worth celebrating.

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