Friday, May 20, 2011

Jeremiah's 3rd Quarter Report.....

Jeremiah has exceeded the compulsory educational requirements of New York State, as detailed in the Commissioner's Regulations, Section 100.10, for the 2010-2011 school year.

English Language Arts (ELA) -


Jeremiah continues to be a fluent reader, both orally and silently. He enjoys reading stories aloud to Annalise, and does so with great expressiveness.

He has become very interested, of late, in reading for research purposes. We've discussed cross-referencing what he's read, considering the intent of the source material to determine its reliability (i.e. - advertising is not nearly so reliable a source as Wikipedia, newspaper, or other reference sources). This has been particularly helpful as he begins to check online resources for services and items he's interested in. He is learning the art of discerning what facts he needs and how to find them.

Although he still reads fiction books for pleasure, Jeremiah now prefers reading nonfiction periodicals and online fan fiction for most of his pleasure reading.

Jeremiah has become quite adept at internet navigation, and is now able to fill out registration and order forms with no adult assistance. He reads and understands the rules and requirements of the various online accounts he subscribes to.

Jeremiah's level of comprehension is clearly demonstrated as he discusses what he has read, extrapolates and forms questions based upon it, incorporates it into his play and his plans, and utilizes what he has read to help him attain a personal goal.


Jeremiah, who until several months ago avoided writing and spelling assiduously, has blossomed into a new level of competence.

He enjoys independent internet navigation, is able to complete registration and order forms, write notes, fill -in-the-blank stories, and is beginning to write short stories. He also continues to seek out the challenge of breaking codes, and is developing a systematic approach for his decoding efforts.

He copied a long portion (a handwritten page and a half) of a piece of fan fiction he was reading online, because he wanted to share the story with me.

Jeremiah still sometimes struggles with spelling, but is requiring steadily less help, and is now much more likely to ask for help when needed than to move on to something else, as he has done before.

Jeremiah is beginning to truly enjoy the ability to write functionally, to record thoughts or information to meet his own need to remember, reach a goal, or communicate with others.

His writing, when he is being careful, has become quite legible.


Jeremiah is forming a more complex understanding of the English language. He is beginning to understand the need for punctuation, and how to apply that information when reading aloud.

His sentence structure is becoming far more mature, both verbally and in writing. His vocabulary continues to evolve, as well as his understanding of general rules of usage.

We have discussed English as a mongrel and still-evolving language, and Jeremiah enjoys learning the base roots and origins of words he already knows.

He continues to be confident and articulate within a wide scope of circumstances (talking to salespeople, chatting with friends, debating, telephone conversations).

Jeremiah is becoming both very fond of and increasingly adept at wordplay, especially puns. A favorite source for new puns, at the moment, is the Annoying Orange series of YouTube videos.


Jeremiah has visited bookstores this quarter, independently selecting items to explore further and/or purchase.

He understands that various types of literature and other media are available through the library, and enjoys literature both on paper and via electronic sources. He is beginning to understand the purpose of the Dewey Decimal System and computer card catalog searches.

Jeremiah understands how to use the table of contents and index to find desired information, and is becoming increasingly adept at online searches of sites like Google and Wikipedia. He often conducts his own research on game systems, game play, upcoming events, and questions that come up in his day-to-day life.

Resources have included, but are not limited to:Free access to home library and visits to local book stores; reference materials; computer with Internet access; games, programs, and television programming; interaction with younger sister; discussion and wordplay; assorted media for writing and typing; parent facilitators.


Jeremiah continues to be passionately interested in mathematical concepts, both geometrically and numerically.

He enjoys building in two and three dimensions, and often builds structures using toothpicks and miniature marshmallows that feature geodesic bases. He makes great use of the strength of triangular, well-supported base units, configuring them in various ways to suit his particular goal. He was able to translate this skill to a Spaghetti and Marshmallows, a physics building game app.

This quarter, Jeremiah has asked for help in learning to calculate the perimeter of a rectangle, and also for assistance in understanding a word problem (the first he had encountered, although he has been adept at solving similar real-life problems for some time, now). Once he understood how to determine what is being asked, and what operations he would need to perform, he was easily able to calculate his answer.

Jeremiah has researched the cost of a game system he would like to purchase. It is beyond what our family budget can accommodate, at present, and he has decided to save the money for this major purchase. This has led to doing odd jobs for his grandparents, saving his allowance, contemplating entrepreneurial ventures (a lemonade stand, yard sale, selling art, selling unwanted items on Ebay)and balancing his desire to save with his desire to have money available for other incidental purchases.

Jeremiah has been increasingly able to perform calculations in his head. Now he is also beginning to see the benefit of written calculations, so that he can perform more complex operations. His strength in performing the four basic operations, as well as fractions and percentages, counting money and making change, and beginning algebra, have all improved markedly this quarter.

Jeremiah has had the opportunity to explore a scientific calculator. He enjoyed finding out what happened when different applications were attempted. He has also begun to enjoy number games.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Computer with Internet access; games; money; manipulatives; abacus; educational programming; clocks, calendars, and charts; real-life applications; free access to home and public libraries; calculator; parent facilitators.

Sciences -


Visit to Five Rivers Nature Center in Slingerlands, NY - Live and taxidermic specimens of NY Wildlife; NY bird wing display; live bird observatory; maple sugaring tour (life cycle of maple, tree identification by bark and branch, sugaring process, tools of the trade, photosynthesis); specimen discovery table (branches, seeds, bones, stones, feathers, etc., as well as a variety of magnification devices and an identification key). Jeremiah was especially interested in the percentages of waters and sugars in the sap, and in the drilling (he had the opportunity to use the drill himself) and boiling processes.

Visit to the Children's Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in Troy, NY - Touched and learned about live, freshly molted rat snake; other live fish, birds, mammals, and reptiles and their habitats.

Visit to the New York State Museum in Albany, NY- Mastodon exhibit and puzzle; live turtle and fish. Studied various insect mouth parts using a microscope. Birds and Animals of New York exhibits. Fossils and shells.

Attended Journey Through the Body at Colonie Center in Colonie, NY - Jeremiah explored models of lungs, heart, skeletal structure, ear, brain, and mouth, digestive/excretory system exhibit, and others. He especially enjoyed the machines that measured his EKG, pulse oximetry, and the number of germs on his hands before and after washing.

We cared for friends' flock of over 30 chickens while they were away for the weekend. Learned about diet, observed and discussed normal free-range chicken behavior, including mating, scratching, roosting, laying, and avoiding predators. We collected eggs and discussed fertilization.

Jeremiah enjoys National Geographic and PBS programming about animals and ecosystems. He also enjoys learning more about plants and animals through online sources, including games, videos, and other websites.

Jeremiah independently explored and observed a variety of flora and fauna. He enjoyed building habitats and mazes for a series of caterpillars, as well as bug-hunting and identification. We observed crows and a turkey vulture feeding on a deer carcass. We have also observed Canada geese and wild turkeys, as well as live deer.

Jeremiah has assisted with Mom's gardening plans, as well as independently planting wildflowers and observing the changes in flora as spring progressed.


Visit to CMOST - Jeremiah enjoyed light play, a digital planetarium show on the history and future of the telescope ("Two Small Pieces of Glass"), wind turbine, and meteorological reporting.

Visit to NYS Museum - Jeremiah explored a microscope, printing press display, and A train displays.

During our visit to Journey Through the Body, Jeremiah and Annalise were invited to join a group of children who appeared live with anchorwoman Benita Zahn as she filmed for the 5pm WNYT broadcast. He observed cameras and monitors, lighting, teleprompter, crew moving various exhibits used as props, and other aspects of producing a television broadcast.

Through programming on PBS and practical play, Jeremiah increased his knowledge of gears and gearing, and about watts and other units of power. He built several electrical circuits using a kit he received as a holiday gift.

Jeremiah continues to be passionate about computer and gaming technology, which he is using for a steadily widening array of purposes. He has recently begun registering for online accounts, downloading games and programs of interest to him, creating FlipNotes animations, picture and sound morphing, and conducting personal research. He enjoys learning about how various forms of technology function, creating his own concepts for new technology, and exploring the potential of the technology he has access to.


Observed and conducted activities involving combining substances to create reaction or a new product. Baking soda and vinegar fill a balloon; made goop and silly putty at CMOST, and play dough at our homeschool co-op. Jeremiah knew a surprising amount about the chemical reactions he observed and created at CMOST, from PBS programming he has enjoyed over the last several months. Continued exploring independently.

Looked at Periodic Table of the Elements app on Mom's tablet, and discussed several elements, what makes an element, some common compounds with which he is familiar (salt, water), and discussed chemical formulae.

Jeremiah continues to independently form hypotheses, and is becoming more adventurous in his attempts to test them. He is beginning to take notes and make charts of his activities, especially during game play.


We attended Journey Through the Body, where Jeremiah explored anatomy via giant models of the brain and heart; giant interactive displays of the mouth, intestines, and ear; bones, skeletons, and X-rays; digestive and excretory systems; and many other activities, discussions, and displays.


Jeremiah enjoyed the rock and mineral displays at the NYS Museum. He has enjoyed watching the changes in water flow and levels as spring progressed. We discussed the water table, and watched the spring water level reach into a planting hole.

We visited the Five Rivers Nature Center, learning about the maple sugaring process, and how weather and the health of the ecosystem affect the process.

Jeremiah continues to be interested in ecology. He is particularly interested in recycling technology, and the energy required to recycle various items.


Jeremiah continues to be interested in natural forces, especially magnetism and electricity, often exploring and experimenting with assorted aspects of harnessing these forces.

We explored online, and then went outside to observe and photograph the full perigee moon. We discussed the moon's orbit, and the meanings of apogee and perigee.

Resources have included, but are not limited to:Computer and Dsi with Internet access; frequent access to pets, other domesticated animals, and wildlife; various natural surroundings; museums, exhibits, and events; models and specimens; free access to home and public libraries; games and programming; access to assorted technological devices and components for building/inventing; tools, materials, time, and space for free experimentation; discussion and observation; parent facilitators.

Social Sciences-


Jeremiah has explored both paper and online maps this quarter. We have checked several locations on the United States map. He is able to read a compass. We've discussed scales, and, briefly, latitude and longitude; and the international date line. He has begun creating maps of his own to indicate paths through virtual game worlds. He is becoming very interested in time zones, and the differences in time between locations.

Jeremiah had real-life experience with geography during a 3 day trip to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Maps and supplemental directions were integral to our travel. Discussed mileage, learned more about reading road signs, and length of time to get from one destination to the next.

We had a houseguest from New Mexico, who brought with her a bit of tumbleweed from her desert home, and spoke of other creatures that are indigenous to her area.


During a visit to the New York State Museum, Jeremiah explored many aspects of New York state history. Exhibits visited included the A train, NY Metropolis (Holocaust refugees; tenement life and Millionaires' Row; Sesame Street; NY coastline; historic schoolroom; Empire State Building; prehistoric creatures; and Dutch Colonial era archaeological finds (mostly pottery). Briefly explored NY logging exhibit.

Jeremiah continues to be interested in current events, both locally and globally. He has followed reports of the natural disasters in Japan (including making a FlipNote for Hatena's Smiles for Japan campaign), and the local and national reports of flooding. Some discussion of the World Wars, the Holocaust, and the Vietnam and Korean Wars. He also enjoyed watching portions of a PBS special on Ireland, and an Arthur episode that featured the Amish. He was excited to learn that there are Amish settlements close enough that we can plan a visit in the future.


Jeremiah continues to visit many local establishments, and to develop relationships with staff and other visitors. He hosted his cousin, Cameron, age 10, for a several day sleepover visit.

He has become far more independent and helpful within his family and community this quarter. Through his own initiative, he has learned how to cook simple items on the stovetop and using the toaster oven; to use the washer and the dryer; pack his own lunch; rise and get himself ready to make an appointment; and has been far more helpful with general tidying and cleanup.

Jeremiah has begun doing odd jobs for his grandparents on a weekly basis. He rises on his own, and prepares himself. He exhibits a strong work ethic and willingness to learn and try new things.

Jeremiah continues to have and maintain friendships within our homeschool co-ops, with cousins and long-term friends, and to be able to forge temporary friendships with other children he encounters. He is particularly kind to Annalise, and tolerant of and kind to younger children, including toddlers. He is also increasingly comfortable speaking to older children and adults, and has a range of adult friends, as well.

Jeremiah continues to be very interested in laws, particularly copyright, trademark, and patent laws. He enjoys watching shows that deal with various aspects of the legal system, particularly court television shows, from which he has learned a great deal about the judicial system.

We have discussed the role of the President, and that there are various bodies of government that work together to govern. We have also discussed the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, and how these relate to the current revolutionary climate in the Middle East.

Resources have included, but are not limited to:Opportunities to travel various roads and trails by car, bike, or on foot; free access to home and public libraries; visits to programs, exhibits, and museums; computer with Internet access; current events; games and programming; discussion; parent facilitators.


Jeremiah has had a resurgence of interest in drawing and painting this quarter. He has explored various animal subjects, and created an animated Pokemon character he named "Gemtra", and for whom he is creating a storyline to be told through a series of FlipNote animations.

We have explored pottery at the New York State Museum, as well as discussing various exhibits and their artistic elements.

Jeremiah frequently posts and edits FlipNotes on the DSi, as well as exploring photography and photo morphing and editing. He has spent considerable time perusing the FlipNotes of other system users, as well as watching and critiquing Youtube Teen Titans fan videos.
Jeremiah has also written the beginning pages of a paper book, and a series of maps, charts, and other art relating to Pokemon.

Our family, along with several others from our homeschool groups, attended a free Palace Theater screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We explored and discussed the architecture and marquee, watched and voted in a costume contest, and Jeremiah thoroughly delighted in the movie itself.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Computer with Internet access; games and programming; exploration of environmental and performance art; ample materials and free time for artistic exploration in a wide range of styles and media; free access to home library; materials for building and dramatic play; activities and exhibits; parent facilitators.


Jeremiah has enjoyed improvisational composition on piano. He recorded himself with his DSi, and permitted me to record him using my camera, as well. he also enjoyed exploring guitar and piano apps on Mom's tablet.

He has also developed a strong interest in several songs he found on FlipNotes and YouTube. He has spent considerable time practicing the vocals, with the goal of replicating them perfectly.

He has watched friends from co-op playing acoustic and electric guitars.

Jeremiah and Annalise played Donkey Konga, perfecting their ability to play the bongo drums to assorted songs, especially the Pokemon theme. Jeremiah shows a strong sense of rhythm.

Jeremiah continues to enjoy a range of music on television, radio, and through online sources.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Recorded performances; access to sheet music and instruments; television and radio programming; computer with internet access; free access to home library, including music; materials for invented instruments; discussion; parent facilitators.

Foreign Language Arts (FLA)-

Jeremiah enjoyed learning words and phrases in French, Japanese, and Spanish this quarter. He also enjoyed tracing Japanese characters on Mom's tablet. He reports learning more Japanese independently using various features and games on his DSi, and he and Annalise enjoy trying to translate Japanese words, phrases, and songs they hear while watching Japanese anime films (Ponyo, Teen Titans, Magical DoReMi, and others).

We discussed word origins, and the assorted and varied sources English emerged from, and how many words sound similar in several languages with Latin as their root.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Computer with Internet access; free access to home library; exposure to written and spoken languages via programming, games, online, and environmental sources; discussion; subtitles and dictionaries; parent facilitators.

Health -

Safety (Traffic and Bicycle Safety and Regulations, Fire Safety, Fire and Arson Prevention; and Other Safety Issues as Needed) -

Jeremiah has had ample opportunities to practice pedestrian traffic safety during family walks on Albany streets, independent walks and walks (with Annalise and independently) on our rural road, and while crossing parking areas.

Jeremiah continues to learn about vehicular safety, with an increasing emphasis on safe driving practices such as obeying traffic signage (stop, yield, merge, lane closures); right of way, merging safely, paying attention to other drivers and potential dangers, and obeying speed limits.

We have discussed how to escape a car that becomes submerged, and the reasons behind the steps he would take (rolling down windows, unbuckling, and swimming in the direction of the bubbles. This became particularly relevant when a local family died in a submerged car, with the exception of a 10 year old boy who enacted the precise practices we had discussed.

We have discussed our home fire escape plans, and discussed several aspects of fire safety (feeling doors for warmth, staying below the level of smoke, and what to do if clothes catch fire), as well as different types of fire and the basics of fire extinguisher operation.

General Health Issues -

Jeremiah explored many aspects of health during our visit to Journey Through the Body. He had his EKG and pulse oximetry read; checked for germs on his hands before and after washing; learned about the amounts of fats and sugars in various food items; components of a healthy body; and many ways to care for his body and its internal and external systems.

At home, we have discussed nutrition and portion sizes; nutritional values and components of favorite foods; and the balance between food intake and exercise.

Physical exercise of various varieties continues to be an important facet of Jeremiah's day to day life.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Events, and activities; woodstove; opportunities to travel various roads and trails by car, bike, or on foot; computer with Internet access; games and programming; discussion; indoor and outdoor play spaces; environmental sources; parent facilitators.

Physical Education-

Jeremiah indulged in various physical activities this quarter, including but not limited to the following:

Snow shoveling, climbing, digging, and sculpting

Roller skating (first time - Jeremiah really took to this activity, and by the end of our session, he was skating and steering slowly but capably, and able to extend his arms, close his eyes, and meditate while skating!).

Bicycling (on road, driveway, and grass).

Running and nature hikes.

Designed own workouts with 3 and 5 pound free weights

Exercise ball balancing



Frisbee and assorted ball play

Tag, hide and seek, and other running games

Dancing and mock fighting with sister and friends

Balancing and stunts

Playground equipment, bounce houses, and trampoline play

Swimming - focus on underwater swimming, distance swimming (25 meters), treading water, and diving practice.

Resources have included, but are by no means limited to:Indoor and outdoor play spaces; programming; excursions into nature; activities and events; group and individual exercise and play; discussion; programming and games; parent facilitators.


February 2011: 145 hours Year to Date: 1046 hours

March 2011: 132 hours Year to Date: 1183 hours

April 2011: 123 hours Year to Date: 1306 hours

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