|Building the puzzle/model of the human ear that comes with the Moving Beyond the Page curriculum|
Every Thursday, sweet Larissa of Papa is a Preacher, sets up a linky party on her blog, to which I have been cordially invited and, every Thursday, I forget that it is Thursday and don't post anything there. Or I write something unrelated and stick that up. I am as good at linky parties as I am at Tupperware parties and other womanly things, which is to say, not good at all. Larissa, though, is someone of whom I am very fond and she deserves better than this. So, today, rather than spewing some writerly, ambiguous word spatter at her blog, I am going to respond to her question:
What have I been up to?
Please see below.
That, my friend, is a fractal six feet tall and eight feet wide, made of itty bitty triangles glued onto larger triangles. It took about four days to complete and represented the cutting of one thousand small triangles and one hundred larger colored ones. Mikalh and I worked together to glue them all where they should be. This ambitious thing is called the Cotter Tens Fractal. It is an elegant representation of our base ten number system and a project that my seven year-old Mikalh and I did for his homeschool math curriculum. The math he is using, Right Start Level B, is actually a first grade program, but I have not found so far that it is placing him behind his grade-level peers except in subtraction, which Right Start teaches late. What is great is that he understands place value so well at the level of multiples of tens that he started asking me to show him division signs so that he could think through what he had learned. (We haven't even discussed multiplication.)
I have hated Math all my life and it turns out that I hated Arithmetic. I am thrilled beyond belief to actually be teaching (and, perhaps, learning) Mathematics, which is a subject that I find infinitely more interesting so far.
Anyway, without getting into detail about the arcane world of homeschooling, that is what I have been up to. We have constructed a model of a human ear and are doing a series of demonstrations to model changing pitch and the passage of sound waves through all the states of matter. We are reading about Helen Keller and, through her experience, exploring the power of words to create a world. I am spending hours geeking out on homeschool websites trying to figure out what classical education is and whether I like it, and whether or not grammar should be taught through dictation and copy work or by workbook or by reading books.
It's rather frantic. This is how I get when something interests me. I jump into it and lose myself. I wake up thinking about grammar. I go to sleep wondering about teaching ancient Greece. After a while, I'll settle a bit. Until something else catches my wandering eye and I fall in love with that.