Monday, August 02, 2010

Fourth Quarter Report-in-Progress

  • May/June/July 2010 -

English Language Arts (ELA) -

  • Internet navigation, finding cheat codes and copying them for future use, reading aloud to Annalise in assorted genres: Blackberry Ink, poetry; nonfiction book on grasshoppers; riddles; The Birthday Pony, fiction; and tongue twisters.

  • Independent reading, including nonfiction (Children's Atlas of the Universe, The Official Pokemon Handbook - Your Official Guide to Every Pokemon Including Togepi and Mew), and fiction (Goosebumps series titles, The Time Warp Trio: Not So Jolly Roger; Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of Summer Camp!)

  • Visited the Internet Anagram Server, exploring anagrams, spoonerisms, synonyms, antonyms, and homophones. Also discussed initials and capitalization of proper nouns.

  • Increased interest and facility with typing and spelling. Enjoyed creating with labelmaker, and now routinely watches Wheel of Fortune, sometimes correctly solving the puzzle before the contestants. Also enjoys spelling-oriented children's programming on PBS, including Word World and The Electric Company.

  • Exploration of parody through several independent online video clips combining Pokemon with fairy tale and video game characters.

  • Witnessed and discussed Mom's participation in the New York Writer's Coalition 3,000 words in 24 hours challenge. Read portions of the novel in progress, and why it was important to me personally to do my best. Discussed novel writing; Jeremiah expressed interest in storytelling and made several plot suggestions.
  • Completed multiple pages in Top Secret packets for Australia and Mexico. More independent and functional writing than he's chosen to do in a long while. Reading and comprehension.
  • Many opportunities to practice environmental reading during trips to the Mayflower II, Saratoga National Historical Park, and the Empire State Aerosciences Museum.
  • Discussed anachronisms during visit to Mayflower II (metal gangplank, fire extinguisher); Saratoga National Historical Park (watches); an outdoor production of Hamlet (cell phones to check expected duration of a passing shower); and a production of Once Upon a Mattress (the Lindy and the Jitterbug).
  • Independent letter and wordplay.
  • Attended and thoroughly enjoyed Hamlet, presented in Congress Park (Saratoga Springs) by the Saratoga Shakespeare Company.
  • Attended and enjoyed Once Upon a Mattress, a musical parody of The Princess and the Pea.
  • Discussed the genre of these plays, and contrasted tragedies and musicals, considering the things we liked best about each.
  • Visited and explored animated poetry.

Resources include, but are not limited to: Home and public library access; computer with Internet access; reference books; plays; educational programming; board, computer, and video games; frequent discussion with parents and a wide range of others; activity books and packets; environmental sources; parent facilitators.


  • Strengthened basic mathematical functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Jeremiah performs these functions mentally, generally without writing anything. The complexity and accuracy of his calculations continues to improve.

  • Explored the concept of square roots, using a calculator to check his accuracy. Also, calculator word games.

  • Geometric pattern building in two and three dimensions.

  • Continues to plan his television viewing and other activities by reading calendars, schedules and clocks, and performing necessary calculations.

  • Continues to budget and perform his own accounting, planning whether to purchase or spend his money as he chooses, in a wide variety of gaming and real-life applications.

  • Experimented with Rubik's cube and sodoku puzzles.

  • Independently beginning to apply algebraic principles when "solving for x", where x might be mileage, amount of money he has left. Is beginning to understand that some basic equations are useful for finding out specific information. We have discussed solving for radius and diameter of a circle, the hypotenuse of a triangle, etc.

  • Continued passion for lines and angles. Exploring these through real-life applications, games such as Crayon Physics, and through an increased interest in how these define geometric shapes (number and degree of angles in rectangles and various triangles, flat lines, and circles).

  • Calculated and kept to a budget when selecting and purchasing birthday gifts for Annalise. Accompanied Mom in provisioning for our camping trip, helping to weigh the relative merits of various items, and helping to make payment. He was somewhat astounded at how fast totals can add up!
  • Jeremiah did research, considered carefully, and chose a cell phone within a budget given to him by his parents.
  • Used coin operated shower, and was able to calculate how many quarters he would need for his desired shower length (3 minutes/$.25 = 12 minutes/$1.00).
  • With Mom's guidance, calculated how long it had been since the original Mayflower landed at Plymouth - 390 years! Also independently calculated how much Hamlet T-shirts for three of us would cost at the regular price (3 T-shirts @ $15/each= $45 total), and at the "Rain Sale" price (3 T-shirts@ $5/each =$15 total), or "the same as one at regular price!"
  • Trip to the Game Xchange, where he had budgeted to buy a new game for his cousin, as well as one for himself. Did some research and comparison shopping in order to plan future purchases.
Resources including but not limited to: Logic games and puzzles; educational programming; access to pocket money, allowance and savings account; budgeting and purchasing; board, video, card, and computer games; clocks, calendars, charts, and schedules; abacus and calculator; frequent conversations and environmental opportunities; computer with internet access; pattern blocks and other manipulatives; parent facilitators.


  • Began Parelli Natural Horsemanship classes with instructor Kresney Craft. Learned differences between predatory animal behavior and prey animal behavior. Learned to observe and begin to interpret body language, and to avoid direct-line approach. Learned three horse communication games (friendly game, yo-yo game, and porcupine game), and how to use the techniques to communicate instructions to horses (playful intent, move toward/away, stop,turn). Horse anatomy, focusing on hoof and leg. Interacted with dogs, goat, horses, miniature donkey, and pigs. Successfully led donkey, groomed horses, learned some anatomy and dietary needs.

  • Erie Canal Lock 2, Waterford, NY - explored the fault lines in shale, discussed slate. Explored a hole we suspect belonged to a groundhog. Examined various rain gutters, patterns made by sticks thrown into the canal, and various features of the docked boats. Observed storm system's approach, and discussed weather fronts, wind strength and direction, and electrical force.
  • Played The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, a computer game requiring logical thought, attention to detail, deduction, and the process of elimination. Also, Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time, in which, through trial and error, he repaired the lead pipes for a Roman plumbing system, dealing with fresh water and sewage, and learning about the mechanics of plumbing and the dangers of lead. Further experimentation with Scratch, MIT's animation program, and enjoyed adding sound effects to his animations.
  • Exploration of and experimentation with magnetic properties. Poles (attraction/repulsion; strength of force; using magnetic forces to create magnetic sculptures).
  • Observing chipmunks, katydid, (also Wikipedia search), bullfrogs in various life stages, minnows,crayfish, creek and lake flora, birds (including seagulls, ducks, a cormorant, and a fledgling sparrow). Google search for luna moth. Spent time exploring pond, creek, lake, and ocean ecosystems. Discussed tides, and the effect of lunar pull. Discussed currents, and how they affected his ability to ford a shallow creek. Experienced thermoclines and discussed.
  • Live and Learn Co-op Trip to Cherry Plain Sanctuary Farm (Cherry Plain, NY) - Learned about and interacted with llamas. Exploring organic garden and using indoor composting toilet. nature walk - explored fungi, rocks and crystals, forest and meadow ecosystems.
  • Live and Learn Homeschool Co-op - Take It Apart Day offered an opportunity to explore what is inside electronic devices such as VHS/DVD player, antenna, telephone, and a computer keyboard. Jeremiah was particularly interested in the laser for the DVD player, theorizing about its operation.
  • Read and explored nonfiction books about grasshoppers and the universe. Explored constellations and navigating by them; orbits; and nebulae. Deepening interest in identifying constellations.

  • Leaf and bud observation throughout the spring and summer months.

  • Live and Learn Homeschool Co-op - Trip to Shepherd's Hey Sheep Farm. Learned about farm safety, flocking behavior, the process of shearing and preparing wool, spinning, petted a newborn lamb. Explored skirt fleece, washed fleece, carded fleece, finished, dyed fleece, and yarn.

  • Explored strengths and weaknesses of eggs. Compared cracking eggs to the fracture of the shale from the Erie Canal.

  • Visit to the Dorsey family in Kingston MA and to Duxbury Beach. Explored shells, beach pebbles, crab claws left by sea birds, tides and currents, salinity, waves.

  • Enjoyed many video clips through the Internet, including: new research into genome and hemoglobin of mammoths; minimum size to which miniature horses might be bred; fire illusion; 3-story German playground built entirely by children; first microchip and early personal computers; stop action Lego movie; sneezing panda baby; elephants bathing; discovery of new galaxy cluster; last space station mission of shuttle Atlantis; newest volcano in Mexico; venomous snakes.

  • Successfully performed knee surgery online.

  • Explored several Youtube clips featuring the Periodic Table of the Elements (Jeremiah is very fascinated by elements, both the chemical variety and the mythological variety), including the Periodic Table Rap; the Periodic Table song with and without captioned lyric; They Might Be Giants' "Meet the Elements"; and most of a documentary, The History of the Periodic Table , Part 1. Explored online documentary about jellyfish.
  • Discussed with Mom what drowning looks like and the physiological effects of drowning on the body. Observed a frog who had drowned in grandparents' pool. Discussed tadpole to frog development, and why frogs can drown while tadpoles can't (lungs vs. gills).
  • Explored the classic and modern versions of the Hippocratic Oath after viewing a news report of a doctor who had molested patients. Discussed both versions, and the importance of Greece in the development of medicine.
  • Explored Exogeology ROCKS!". a website created by unschooling teen Zoe Bentley.

  • Viewed "The Unbroken Thread" from the Symphonies of Science online series. This segment featured commentary by David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, and Carl Sagan.
  • Online research about the effects of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Watched a bird being cleaned of oil, and a related story of an oil driller which breached a salt mine in Louisiana.
  • Discussed the developing Flyfire technology - laser images stopped in air - and compared this to the holodeck technology featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Online video clip of Tesla coil dance performed by Arc Attack; discussed nature of electricity and safety concerns. Sculpture slideshow- Creatures of the Mechazoic Era. Also, a video of a pair of mating dragonflies; speculation on whether aliens exist on a Saturn moon; and a functioning printer made of Legos.
  • Used deduction skills to complete several pages of Top Secret Australia and Mexico.
  • Invented a simple propeller machine.
  • Swimming at Peerless Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park - pool was closed for fecal contamination, and we discussed why the pool would not be safe until it had been cleaned.
  • Explored fulcrums through playground seesaws.
  • Creating and animating virtual machines using Scratch.
  • Learned to use his new cell phone (including calling, charging, camera and internet access) through a combination of tutorials, reading the manual, and trial and error.
  • Continued fascination with the physics of claw machines. 6 toys for $8 attests to how successful he was in solving the puzzle!
  • Read and asked questions about environmental aspects of metered shower.
  • Learned more about navigation on the Mayflower, and began to understand the practice of steering by the constellations. Examined assorted navigational tools.
  • Explored old ship's anchors, and a rain garden.
  • Purchased a device called Optic Wonder at Plymouth gift shop. Spent considerable time exploring magnifying glass, binoculars, mirror, and modeling functions.
  • Saw a paddlewheel boat and discussed how the paddlewheel moved the boat, comparing to a water wheel.
  • Used knowledge gained from the DVD player he dismantled at Live and Learn Take It Apart Day to restore functionality to a computer DVD player that wasn't working.
  • Visit to Empire State Aerosciences Museum (ESAM) in Scotia, NY - Pioneering in ballooning and aviation; exploring cockpits of modern airplanes, helicopters, and replicas of early aircraft; interactive exhibits including a hand-operated electrical generator, engine, takeoff/landing model, balloon exhibit; South Pole exploration missions; military airflight, including a scale aircraft carrier model and fighter planes; navigational and repair tools; history of space flight including model shuttles, lunar rovers, shuttles, space suits, lunar module and moonscape models.

Resources include but are not limited to: educational programming; computer with Internet access; family pets; wildlife observation; access to home and public libraries; visits to museums, farms, and exhibits; board, computer, and video games; materials for free experimentation; environmental opportunities; discussion; models and specimens; reference materials; parent facilitators.

Social Sciences:

  • Visit to Shepherd's Hey Sheep Farm. Farm safety and operation, how wool is harvested and prepared for use. This was a Live and Learn Co-op group trip.
  • Visit to our online unschooling friends, the Dorsey family of Kingston, MA. Assorted group play and activities, including: visit to cemetery; bullfrog catching and observation; trampoline and water slide play, trip to Atlantic Ocean at Duxbury Beach. Hot dog and marshmallow roasting; Pokemon play using gaming cards and DS. Play with Drue, 11; Declan,9; Maeve,6; Zella,9; Milly, 2; and Annalise, 5. Mapreading during return trip - asked toll booth attendant for his own MA map.
  • Parelli Natural Horsemanship classes with Kresney Craft. Barn and horse safety, operation of horse farm.
  • Erie Canal Lock 2 (Waterford, NY) - Canal Festival, opening of canal system for 2010 season. Canal history, examined tracks, displays, and canal map. Bridge, road, and water safety. Explored architecture, learned that Waterford is the oldest incorporated village in America. Mapreading.
  • Mother's Day visit to grandparents' house. Indoor and outdoor play with cousins Sam, 5.5 and Nate, 3.5.
  • Much greater independence in the kitchen. Able to make coffee, tea, and reheat food items without assistance.
  • Mentored Annalise in several games on DS, computer, and Gamecube. He is patient and kind while helping her to gain new skills.
  • Reading aloud to Annalise from a variety of sources of her choosing.
  • Independent reading: The Not-so-Jolly Roger and Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of Summer Camp, Goosebumps series titles. From these, Jeremiah learned about pirates, and also has a reference for the lives of children being educated in public school.
  • Assorted Internet material, including: Mammoth hemoglobin and genome discovery articles; Cinco de Mayo; classic Looney Tunes cartoons; child-built German playground; early personal computers; first microchip; Horrible Histories, including Henry VIII's wives, plague, child labor, Victorian life; Swedish singer/songwriter Markoolio video (Vilse I Skogen), Wikipedia search to learn more about the artist led to discussion of mandatory military service, selective service, and drafting; space shuttle Atlantis' final mission to the space station; school Silly Bandz bans; world's newest volcano in Mexico; read "Ninja Worm", the blog of friend Maeve, 6.
  • Played Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time, completing missions to repair Roman plumbing; help the Vikings conduct a Thing; chose kimonos for the world's first novelist in Japan; and began missions to reorder Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and to go to war with William the Conqueror. Also played Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? with Mom's assistance, and was particularly fascinated by the mileage and air travel time between destinations, and the facts learned as we solved clues to catch villains.
  • Live and Learn Co-op trip to Cherry Plain Sanctuary Farm - Explored organic farm and a canvas tipi, sampled organic food made by our hosts.
  • Listened to modern aboriginal Australian music.
  • Viewed portions of Steve Jobs' commencement speech for Stanford's 2005 graduating class.
  • Explored Hippocratic oath, classic and modern, and discussed how the oath protects patients.
  • Explored website for the King Tut Exhibition currently at Times Square in New York City. We've tentatively planned a trip for early October.
  • Explored Sterling Renaissance Festival website; planned visit for August.
  • Watched video clip online, "Sounds of the Australian Rain Forest."
  • Current events: Iraq War, Deepwater Horizon oil spill/cleanup efforts.
  • July 4th visit to Saratoga National Historical Park(Stillwater, NY) - Attended reading of the Declaration of Independence by a "town crier"; musket and cannon salutes; toasted in authentic colonial fashion (but with lemonade); visited encampment tent, interactive exhibits, and uniforms. Watched Battles of Saratoga documentary; studied interactive chronological map display very carefully (he remembered it from a previous visit when he was 5); toured visitor's center exhibits. Drove tour road.
  • Several pages each from Top Secret Australia and Mexico, including geography and cultural exposure.
  • Live and Learn Co-op Trip to Peerless Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park. Many social interactions of many types with a wide range of children and adults.
  • 4 day, 3 night visit from cousin Cameron, age 10.
  • Learned portions of "The Spirit of Massuchusetts" prior to our trip to Plymouth. Also discussed MA state bird is the black-capped chickadee, and NY's is the bluebird.
  • 5 day/4 night trip to Unschoolers Rock the Campground II, a regional gathering (Plymouth, MA). Jeremiah packed independently, and remembered all his essential items. Hosted overnight tent guests Alana,6, and Gabrielle, 5. Made a friend at a neighboring campsite, and spent 2 hours in Pokemon adventures, needing only occasional check-ins from Mom and his cell phone to feel secure.
  • Group activities including campfires; trips to the lake; a camp dance; "drive-in" style computer-projected viewing of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?; boffer sword making and battling. Interacted with adults and children from toddler to teen.
  • Trip into Plymouth, MA. Began at visitors' center, for a book, paper, postcards. Jeremiah enjoyed talking with the volunteers, who told us about cranberry dogs. Visited the Mayflower II, and explored period costume; ocean navigation; period maps; deck; poop deck; riggings and portholes; galley; berths and chamberpots; spoke with re-enactors. Visited Plymouth Rock.
  • Helped Annalise play Crayola First Ladies, a computer program based on notable Presidential wives.
  • Visit to ESAM - Aircraft history, Amelia Earhart and Carlotta Myers exhibits; history of spaceflight; WWII plane spotter station and South Pole exploration exhibits; history of military flight.
  • Watched several YouTube clips in the category Scary 1970's British Public Information Films - Jeremiah was intrigued by these.
  • Saratoga National Historical Park Events on
  • Visited website of the Pony Express National Museum, and discussed the Pony Express as the precursor to the modern mail.
Resources include but are not limited to: visits to museums, national historic park, farms, Massachusetts, and national landmarks; access to home and public libraries; educational programming; discussion; social interaction with a diverse community; computer with internet access; board, video and computer games; maps, atlases, and globes; parent facilitators.

Visual/Performing Arts and Music

  • Watched portion of a Yo Yo Ma classical performance on PBS.
  • Pokemon card floor art, in spirals and loops.
  • Graph and computer art using Animal Crossing and Scratch (
  • Attended and participated in magic show given by fellow Live and Learn Co-op members Jessa and Abba (ages 11 and 12).
  • Lego building and battle play with Annalise.
  • Pattern block art, Lincoln Log building, carpentry.
  • Explored photography and videography.
  • Explored several music videos and dramatic clips online, including: Horrible Histories; Markoolio (Vilse I Skogen and others); Peter Gabriel (Big Time, Sledgehammer); Genesis (Land of Confusion); clips from Monty Python and the Holy Grail; 8-bit, stop action Lego movies. Explored vintage clips of Abbott and Costello ("Who's on First"); I Love Lucy ("Grape Crushing", "Chocolate Factory"; and" Vitameatavegamin").
  • Watched several Paul Simon videos, from the 1970's - 1990's. Also viewed John Lennon's "Imagine"; Ladysmith Black Mambazo, "Homeless"; Miriam Makeba, "Under Africa Skies' with Paul Simon, and "Tula Baba", an African lullabye; Jason Shimabukaro, "Ukelele Weeps"; and longtime Sesame Street favorite, "Put Down the Duckie", with epilogue we'd never before seen!
  • Viewed and discussed Chalk Art Festival slideshow; Arc Attack tesla coil dancing to Doctor Who theme song; sculpture slideshow, "Creatures of the Mechazoic Era"; video of a hotel lobby being transformed with packing tape "spiderwebs" that could be investigated and played within.
  • Viewed several videos from the 2010 Life is Good Unschooling Conference talent show, including: singing and dancing, classical piano improvisation, and hula hooping dancers.
  • Attended performances of Hamlet (Shakespearean trgedy) and Once Upon a Mattress (musical parody). Discussed differences between the two, and explored the set of Mattress.
  • Exploration of parody, via assorted independent Pokemon videos on YouTube; watched stop action Mario Brothers/Lego videos; Lego printer.
  • Experienced impromptu guitar/singing performance by two teen girls at Cherry Plain Sanctuary Farm.
  • Beading and jewelrymaking.
  • Made boffer sword (pugil stick) out of PVC pipe, pool noodle, and duct tape.
  • Viewed slideshow of MassMoCA exhibit, "Secret Selves", a photography exhibit by Leonard Nimoy. Discussed a possible trip to view the full show.
  • Viewed Step into the Sensory Box, a special-effects/music video. Also, the website Mom read poetry aloud as the children chose from playful animations.
  • Viewed music video, "You Look Like Gold to Me", by Ben Harper, a storybook animation based upon "The Pardoner's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales.
Resources include, but are not limited to: Live and recorded performances, plays, and exhibits; computer with internet access; discussion; access to home and public libraries; computer and video games; art materials; camera with video feature; open-ended play and building materials; educational programming; environmental opportunities; parent facilitators.

Foreign Language Arts:

  • Viewed "Vilse I Skogen" and other Swedish language videos by Markoolio.
  • Continued exposure to spoken and written French and Spanish.
  • Discussed Latin as source of genus/species names, and as the root language of Spanish, French, and Italian, which are in turn major building blocks of English.
  • Viewed classic Hippocratic oath; discussed Greek alphabet (a longtime interest). Renewed interest in Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!
  • Played Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? exposure to a variety of languages, both written and spoken, during game play.
  • Exposed to a variety of written languages while playing Scratch.
  • Exposure to Japanese language and culture through playing assorted Pokemon games.
  • Discussed Latin phrase "Semper Fi" as a shortened form of "semper fidelis", or "always faithful".
Resources include, but are not limited to: Computer with internet access; educational programming; access to home and public libraries; computer, video, and board games; discussion; environmental opportunities; parent facilitators.

Physical Education:

  • Indoor and outdoor play including pop-up baseball; trampoline; tag; fort building; obstacle courses; playground equipment; swinging; hiking; swimming; splash and slide pools; diving; underwater swimming and tricks,;bicycling; boffer sword battles; creek fording; climbing; sliding; and balancing.
  • Continues to learn about food choices, portion sizes, and the balance of nutrition his own body requires. Understands that food is energy and the effects of taking in more or less energy than he is using. Discussed calories as a measure of energy.
  • Interest in personal hygiene and the possible effects of neglecting it, is increasing, especially as concerns oral hygiene and hair combing.
  • Jeremiah is much better at recognizing when he is fatigued and choosing to slow down and rest.
  • Applied knowledge of stranger/crowd, traffic, fire, and water safety appropriately and consistently throughout the quarter, and is seeking more personal independence while still enjoying the guidance of his parents.
Resources include, but are not limited to: Access to numerous indoor and outdoor play spaces including parks, pools, playgrounds, lake, creek, ocean, and hiking trails; range of sports equipment; educational programming; computer with internet access; access to nutritional information; environmental opportunities for solo and group play and exercise; parent facilitators.

Jeremiah was considered in attendance for:

May 2010 - 31 days

June 2010- 30 days

July 2010 - 31 days

Total: 91 days this quarter

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