Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week Ending 6 July 2014

This should be the time where I'm looking forward to a two week break from the rigours of homeschooling. School holidays have just begun and, for a variety of reasons, we typically take a break from formal work at the same time. This time Miss 13 does not want to. She is still fully engrossed in her Animal Behaviour MOOC and it has a variety of assessments due in the next two week period. Even if she stopped all her other work she feels she wouldn't get a proper break. So she's opted to carry on with all her regular work for two weeks and then take a break once most of the work for the MOOC is over. Mr 16 meanwhile doesn't want to delay his break - and he has a camp scheduled so he'll be away for some of the time anyway. This means instead of a total two week break I'll get four weeks of half-break. I think I'll take a glass half-full approach and look at this as a good development.

Miss 13's health continued to slowly improve this week and she finally made it back to trampoline training on Saturday . The two week break and the fact she is still not 100% recovered showed but she's confident she'll be back to her best in another week.

Miss 19 sat and passed her full driver's licence this week. She's been on a restricted license, meaning she could drive unsupervised but not between 10 pm and 5 am and she was unable to take passengers, for a year. This could be restricting at times so she's glad to finally  have total independence and flexibility now - so long as the car is not required elsewhere that is!

Many years ago, inspired by the cartoon strip above, Miss 19 promised her younger sister that when she got her full licence she would take her out for an ice-cream. Miss 19 had totally forgotten this promise but Miss 13 had not! In the end Miss 13's sickness meant they had to delay for nearly a week but today they finally went, opting to try frozen yoghurt, which is new to the area.

This was the week of the annual Garden Bird Survey. This was a perfect activity for early in  the week when Miss 13 was still unwell since all she had to do was sit and look out the window. We don't get a great variety of species on our yard but it is interesting none the less. We noted a lot of sparrows on our hanging feeders. Previously they've only eaten on the ground. There were fewer greenfinches this year too. They used to use the feeder a lot so have perhaps been driven out by the sparrows.

The three most common species in our garden - sparrows, greenfinches and silvereyes.

Later in the week we made it to a local reserve where we are observing Black Swans for a field notes assignment for the Animal Behaviour MOOC. Last week when we went Miss 13 was limited to observing from  the car but this time she could actually walk around both ponds. This is the same reserve where we observed a Black Swan family last year and we're pretty sure some of those birds are still there but, since they are not banded it is hard to be sure.

Probably the most exciting development of the week is Miss 13 submitting her Writing About Animal Behaviour assignment. Basically she had to pick one scientific article from a selection provided and write about the research it contained for a more general audience. The good news was one of the articles was on birds; the bad news is that it was a very technical physics based article on flight mechanisms - and physics has been the branch of science Miss 13 has done her best to avoid. I certainly didn't understand all of the original article, but she's persevered and plugged away at it a little at a time. I think she's done a great job. It's a peer graded assignment so it'll be interesting to see what her grades and feedback are like.

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