Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rockets, Trigonometry and Monkey Ella

Firstly a photo of Lily-Grace. What a little cutie. Holding herself up for tummy time and rolling over.

One of the many reasons why I love homeschool. Last night Joshua was reading on the New Zealand Rocketry Association website (NZRA). He was reading an account by a group of boys who were very successful at making and launching their model rockets. He is very interested in rockets and explosives and prior to me finding this site for him, he had found a recipe for solid rocket fuel. A comment captured his attention... the boys who were good at trigonometry were good at calculating the heights of their launched rockets.

This led him to comment to me. Remind me in the morning to do my mathsbuddy. This was exciting for me as he himself was becoming motivated to study in the area which a year ago was his weakest area of interest... and not because he couldn't do it, but because of the repetitive simple maths he was required to do over and over again.

So this morning (and on a Saturday too) I reminded him to do his mathsbuddy. I suggested he do his year 5 angles and progress from there through all the year levels till he reach trigonometry  Well he had other ideas. He picked the year 10 trigonometry lesson. After watching it for a few seconds he pressed pause. I was thinking ok... he wants to go back and do the more basic lessons, but he surprised me and said
"you'd better get me a pencil and paper so I can write all this stuff down." 
So there he was scribbling down pictures of right angled triangles and labelling with new words such as theta, hypotenuse, opposite and adjacent. Then he was introduced to the equations of SOHCAHTOA. Once again he eagerly wrote those down and then proceeded to complete the worksheet. He really enjoyed it and asked me why he hadn't learnt this at school, and then was very interested in real life examples of this. So his dad took him outside and they used trigonometry to find the height of a tree in the back-yard.

It was so cool to
a. be a part of the learning process
b. teach him something he has a real interest in

And after that he went up the hill to our friends house, who happens to be an engineer, to help them split wood, play in the water and eat pizza. So I was left wondering how much of that he had taken in... but when he came back he had more questions about what he had learnt... and he didn't do too badly either getting 83 percent for his first attempt.

A few funny comments by the kids...

Ella came walking in with a mouth full of something. I asked her "What's in your mouth?"
She opens her mouth wide and points inside and states matter-of-factly, "Grandma!".
I look surprised and ask her "Is grandma in your mouth?"
Ella answers "Yes!".

Ella climbs on the top bunk, laughs and chants "Monkey Ella, Monkey Ella", referring to herself.
My little monkey Ella

Ella loves movie night and goes round saying "Moome"

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