Sunday, June 15, 2014

Week Ending June 15 2014

The old adages, "It never rains but it pours" and "It's either a feast or a famine" have certainly been proved true around here - at least with the number of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) we've added to our schedule. Last week we started  Literature of the English Country House, then discovered Introduction to Ecosystems and decided to join that too, even though it had started a couple of weeks previously. This week we've added a third MOOC to the mix. Clearly browsing the internet is a dangerous pastime since it led me to a Coursera course on Animal Behaviour. It started the week before I discovered it and I thought we'd just watch the videos a week late. However, as I've explored more and Miss 13 has ventured further into the course, we've started toying with the idea of having her submit the assignments and trying to earn a piece of paper at the end. Only trouble is this course has firm deadlines and we are a week behind. That plus the fact that the assignments are reasonably rigorous and advanced has Miss 13 a little daunted. But she's determined to give it a go. So we've rejigged the rest of our  schedule - no regular science this week, no regular maths next week and probably a break from foreign languages (Latin and French)  the following week -  plus adopted a slower pace with the ecosystems course. Hopefully this will buy Miss 13 the time she needs to complete the first assignment to a level she is happy with. If not we'll revert to just watching the videos, plus maybe doing the assignments for fun (they can both relate to birds so have a natural appeal for Miss 13).

Compounding the time squeeze was the number of times we were out of the house this week. It seemed that every day there was something that just couldn't be put off (a visit to my mother-in-law since it was her birthday,  and getting Mr 16 booked in for his next driver's test among other things). I declared that this coming week we won't leave the house at all. But then I had to amend that since Miss 13 wasn't keen on no trampoline training, especially with a big competition next weekend!

We've been busy , but not too busy to have fun with Basil.

One highlight of the week for Miss 13 and I was spending a whole day at the theatre. First up was a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. This performance was unique since half the cast was from China, with the remainder being a mix of professional actors and senior students from a performing arts academy. The reviews weren't glowing (the reviewer and others found the Chinese actors difficult to understand) so I wasn't sure what to expect but we really enjoyed the performance and only occasionally found one of the actors a little hard to understand. (You can get a bit of a feel for the performance from this promo clip.) The costuming was great - a very unified look -  and the play by Nick Bottom, Peter Quince and company was hilarious. I haven't laughed so much in a long time. After the performance was over there was a question and answer session with the cast. This was a special performance for school students and I was surprised that most school groups didn't stay for this extra session. We found it to be a good way to learn more about the actors, how they prepared for their roles etc. After a quick and belated lunch break our homeschool group got a behind the scenes tour. A good chance to get a feel for sound, lighting, costuming, props, and set design, not to mention marketing, fundraising and other less well-known roles that are important to the operation of a successful theatre. All in all a great day out.

This weekend Miss 13  attended the second module of a  Gymsports coaching and leadership development course. This one focussed on fundamental movement patterns and she enjoyed it more than the first module which she found a bit basic and boring. She has two more modules this year and another four or five to complete next year. I think she'll enjoy next year's modules more and hopefully she'll be able to pick up a few hours coaching once she's finished.

Today we went out birding, the first time we've gone this month. I think we were getting withdrawal symptoms! I'd heard a Little Egret was back at a local lake after moving elsewhere for the summer. So we went to see if we could spot it . Mission successful and another addition to our list of species seen this year. It was a lovely morning and there were lots of birding highlights - a Great Egret standing right at the edge of the lake, the largest number of fantails we've ever seen in one place, large numbers of Caspian Terns fishing and several Crested Grebe diving for food.

A great end to the week. I just hope next week is less busy.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great and full week. All the new courses sound awesome.