June 14th, 2011

Disney: L&S Caffeine


No sleep last night - not sure why. :sigh:

Started something new with Himself today - narration. He claims he can't write....so I had him tell me a story. He started out with "But I can't Tell Stories! I don't know any!" :shakes head: I asked him about Portal 2 - a game he and SG have been playing - and he went on and on AND on about some scene. :lol: I dutifully took notes, wrote it up properly, and had him rewrite it. He was quite surprised at the fact that a) he CAN tell stories and b) it's not that hard. :rolls eyes: We'll keep this up for a while - when he gets sick of the 3 steps, we'll switch to HIM writing. I'll worry about Grammar and punctuation later (although he's pretty good with both).

Today is errand day. I get to run to Leslie's pool to pick up an automatic vacuum - the trees are filling our pool with pollen, and it has a green tint to it. NO algae; the water samples always register as perfectly balanced, so we don't know what's going on. *I* think our salt system cell is defective, but SG won't commit to that. :sigh: I'm going to go ahead and buy a bobber and chlorine tablets - we have a swim party Sunday, and I'd kinda like the pool to look nice, you know? SG swears it's the tree-poop...but I have vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed, and, while I am getting a LOT of gunk out, it doesn't help. The pool still looks green - it's CLEAR, and sparkly, but green. :sigh: We've NEVER had this problem before.....and the pool guys at Leslie's are stumped, too.

School: I am deep into Chapter 12 - "England, the Northmen, and the Age of Chivalry". I LOVE this time period, and am having a BLAST making up elements for them. The kids are gonna HATE me, though...I'm at 30 elements, and haven't even touched the Early development of England (Celts! LOVE the Celts!) or the Anglo-Saxon invasions. (Vortigern!) And I've only lightly touched on the Vikings......:heh: (Why, yes - I AM going deeper than the textbook does. The kids can live with it - they NEED to know the "Rules of Courtly Love", so they can see just how messed up Eleanor of Aquitaine really was, and why the Arthurian Saga was (and is) so popular. Plus, the "rules" are echoed in a lot of novels.....and Vikings were a big influence on History - without them, the Normans wouldn't have existed. The book mentions this, but doesn't emphasize it...so *I* am. :heh:)

See, this is why I miss the SCA - when I got involved, my persona was a young knight's daughter during the Lionheart's reign. Pop was Sir Hawkwood - a mercenary that led one of the condorrati (spelling...it's been a while since I thought of my first persona!) in Italy. I rapidly realized that, while I LOVE the Plantagenets, and the whole "Courtly Love" thing....I HATE the clothing. I prefer the Boleyn-era gowns....LOVE the sleeves, the cute little French-hoods....so I switched. :lol: Anyway, I can guarantee you that somewhere in the local Barony there's an expert in Early Middle Ages, and would love to have me pick his/her brain on it. The kids would get an almost eye-witness look at things.....but, alas, there is no local SCA group (the closest is.....45 minutes away, I think, and we just can't do that right now.)

So...that's where I'm at today. It hit 100* yesterday, and is supposed to do the same today. :fun: It's only JUNE - we shouldn't be this hot yet!!!! :pout:
Calvin: Happy Dance

2-for-1 Tuesday...

:lol: HAD to come back and update! I have been browsing the Well-Trained Mind forums (ummm....don't. Some of the folks there are SO on the WTM bandwagon it isn't funny. 6 hours of school for a 6th grader? Ummm....no. I even have a psychologist's opinion that 15 minutes a day per subject CAN be enough, IF the kid *gets* the concept. Herself would be expected to do 10 hours of school a day, PLUS free-reading. Again....NO.), and kept seeing mention of something called "scratch". I had no clue, so ignored it...

Until yesterday. Someone posted looking for the "real" link, and it was given. Huh - it's scratch.mit.edu. MIT? Sign me up!

I discussed it with the kids today....Himself used my phone while we were out to see what it was all about. He got ALL excited...so when we got home, I downloaded the FREE program to their Mac....and he is quite happily playing around with it right now.

It's a programming program - you can make animations, movies, etc. Looks like it's drag-and-drop, and it seems to be pretty self-explanatory at this stage. (He's making a cartoon cat walk across the screen right now. :lol:)

There's another program I'll be looking at - Alice. I *think* the addy is Alice.org (EDIT: it is)- it's another programming program, but it seems to be more "working" type rather than games (but I could be wrong). EDIT - looks to be a 3D programming program. Middle school Alice is for story-telling, HS and College is for interactive games and videos.

I think we'll be doing this as our "Computer Arts" class, 2 days a week. Go, check it out - they have it for Mac, Windoze, and Linux, so *everybody* can play, and it's from MIT, so you KNOW it's good. :grin:

Have fun!