Saturday, March 3, 2007

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

We have had an interesting end of the week (and month).

We thought we'd escaped the snow that the rest of the country is getting. We just had an interminable low pressure over us--and terrible wind.
But last night we had some clouds and when we took the dogs out for their before bedtime walk, we thought it might snow.

This morning, we woke up to a light dusting of snow--right--sunshine and a rising barometer. It was one of those, blue-and-white sparkly mornings. It was only 17 degrees, but already the morning sun was melting the snow off the bottom of the driveway.

Ah, the power of the sun!

Now there is no snow left on the driveway.

N. has been investigating the possibility of getting an air compressor in order to use a paint-blower to paint his models. We priced the paint-blower sets, but they are very expensive. So on Tuesday, we ended up getting some of our usual: Testors Model paints.

N. did find some spray paint that he had used on his last Pinewood Derby car, though, and he used it spray paint his old shoes--thank goodness, he did it in the garage.

What do you think?

N. thinks they look "sporty" and he has been wearing them everywhere as we go out and about.

N. has been waiting impatiently for his Kamana I set to come from the Wilderness Awareness School.

On Thursday, he took the unprecedented step of getting the mail-key from me and then he rode his bike down to the mailbox to greet our postal worker ("she can't be a mailman, Mom!") and see if his box had come. It did.

Here is N., as he and Lily investigate the box. It is Lily's job to pass olfactory judgement on everything that comes into the house.

The Kamana program will start in earnest on Monday, but N. has been looking up birds he sees in the North American Wildlife book he got.

N. and I read Part I of the Kamana book. I think I will be a lot slower than N. I have mid-terms this week and then during the Spring Break I have to get the house ready for Pesach and write the first draft of a hypothesis and support paper for my neurobiology class.

We did take the Pop Quiz at the beginning of Kamana I.

I know where our water comes from because Bruce is on the water cooperative's engineering committee. I know where it goes because I have a wonderful stand of scrub oak that lies downstream of the septic field. I know where north is from where I sit--after all, I live with an astronomer! I know that the closest plant to my front door is a New Mexico Desert Lilac--being a plant ecologist helped with THAT question. I was able to identify two poisionous spiders in our area--Black Widow and Brown Recluse and name important identifying marks. We don't use pesticides due to our animals, so we had to learn that information in order to use other means--Bruce's trap and release program--to maintain safe and effective insect control. I could not name two North American birds that resemble the robin--nobody in our house is a birder, although we do know the redtail-hawks, goshawks, and golden eagles that fly over our mountains. But I do know two mammals that feed within 30 meters of my house: cottontail rabbit and coyote. The cottontails eat the grasses, and coyote eats the cottontails. Finally, I know exactly what phase the moon is in for two reasons--I am married to an astronomer, so I have a cold bed on new moon nights, and secondly, the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar phases. Months start on the new moon, and most of the major holidays are either new moon (Rosh Hashannah) or full moon (the pilgrimage festivals).

N. did rather well on the quiz, too, although he did not know where our water came from. He could name the two birds, though.

However, we looked over "the alien test" (much longer)--so-called because most of us are "aliens" in our own backyards-- and we both know that we have a lot to learn.

The only question I have is this: What if this becomes more fun than graduate school?


Megan Bayliss said...

The picture of the tree reflected in the snow is FANTASTIC.

N's shoes are fine and dandy - I would say very trendy rather than sporty. I hope you start a new fashion trend N.

As for the Kamana quizes - go, you two clever things. Are you able to share the quizzes? It may be a nice exersize for other home schoolers to go through. By sharing responses, we'd all learn a lot about each other's area.

And is graduate school. Follow what is right for you.


MamaLion said...

I ordered Kamana I after finding your blog (via Dewey's Treehouse) and investigating it further at the Kamana site. I also have a nature-loving boy. Mine is 12yo. I am always wondering how to direct and challenge him so I'm hoping this resource will help. We are excited to get our package and to check in with you to see how your adventure is going. Thanks for sharing!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I am so happy that we stumbled on Kamana and that others have found it--whether through us or not.

Megan, I did put the questions on the blog by stating what my answers were. The entire alien test can be found at the Kamana website, which I linked to on the post "Unveiling his Passion." I'll post a direct link shortly!