Friday, August 19, 2016

Week Ending 14 August 2016

There's been lots of Olympic watching in our house this week. The highlight (of course) was the trampoline, especially the men's event. Miss 15 had a sleepover two nights in a row as her club mates got together to watch the men's and women's trampoline, both of which started at 5 am our time.   Apparently the tension was really high when the last spot in the finals came down to our representative or the Australian (whom many of them also know from last month's training camp in Australia). Much jubilation ensued when our guy achieved his goal and made finals!

The frustration with my health continued. I had seen Doctor A early in the year.  She  made a tentative diagnosis, prescribed medication and referred me to Specialist B. When I finally got an appointment he overturned the original diagnosis, told me to stop taking the medication and sent me to Health Practitioner C. After two months with a little improvement I started going backwards. She sent me back to Doctor A who is sure her diagnosis is right and has put me back on the original medication, just a higher dosage. Argh! At least Doctor A has promised to try and speed up some tests  which might confirm a diagnosis or at least hopefully rule out some of the nastier possibilities. Still I feel like I'm no closer to finding out exactly what my problem is and being able to deal with it than I was at the start of the year. Not to mention the limitations and uncertainties - will I be well enough to work with Miss 15 today or will she need to work alone? - which impede homeschooling, among other things. Clearly I am not a patient patient!

On a more positive note there were two homeschooling highlights this week. The first was Sound Trees - a lesson on phylogeny from the Cornell Lab. The idea was to try and construct a phylogenetic tree first using bird sound and then using morphology.  Neither was an easy or straight-forward task. The lesson was based on owls and owls are one of Miss 15's favourite species which helped make the challenge more palatable! I had to adapt the lesson a little since it required technology no longer supported by the site. Luckily I discovered this when I pre-read the lesson and had my adaptations all ready to go.

Using spectrograms and morphology to construct a phylogenetic tree was a challenging task.

The other highlight was a new MOOC -edX's Introduction to Animal Behaviour. So far it looks good - very well-structured and each module includes a section on research methods, which will be especially beneficial. The timing isn't ideal. Next year when we are considering a year long course in animal behaviour would be better. But there is no guarantee this will be offered then. Another animal behaviour MOOC we did a couple of years ago hasn't been offered since. So we'll take advantage of this opportunity now. We'll use birds for all the practical work so we could count it towards this year's Ornithology credit. But that credit doesn't really need any extra added to it. Most likely we'll include it next year's Animal Behaviour credit or just enjoy the learning and not worry about how and where to record it.

Linking to the Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. I'm really sorry about your health woes . I know that experience all too well, being submerged in such myself! When my son was going thru his year and a half long diagnosis journey he said he felt like a tablextennis ball being batted about between doctors. Thankfully they got there in the end. Praying for you to get results soon!

    Because we only have free tv in our home, so much of the olympics were not watchable for us! So dissappointing. So we missed virtually all of the gymnastics this time. Just one glimpse of trampoline for two minutes! I thought of you all!

  2. I can definitely relate to the table tennis analogy. We only have free tv as well so Miss 15 was grateful for the slepover opportunity since she could see all the tramploining instead of just one routine which is probably all she would have got otherwise.