Kai’s Valentines “Wrant” 2017

Wrant
To the Moon and Back

“I love you to the moon and back”. Did you know that people could reach the moon with a piece of paper? No, I’m not talking about a little love note giving an astronaut enough drive to go to the moon. I mean someone could literally go to the moon with a piece of paper. Theoretically, anyways.

If you took a very fine piece of paper that is one thousandth of a centimeter thick and folded it in half, it would be 0.002 cm thick. That’s not very thick. Well, what you may not know is that repeating this action many times can get you very far. This is called exponential growth.

Say you fold that very same sheet another time. Then it will be .004 cm thick. Then .008 cm thick. Then .016 cm thick. After folding this theoretical sheet of paper 10 times, it will be 1.024 cm thick. That’s just a little 1 centimeter. Although, after 17 folds, the paper will be 131 cm thick. That’s just a little under 4 feet. At grand fold number 25, the thickness will be at 33,554 cm, or just under 1,100 ft. That is roughly equivalent to the height of the Empire State Building. Let’s take a moment to reflect.

We took a hypothetical sheet of paper that was .001 cm thick and folded it in half 25 times only. It is now hypothetically the size of the Empire State Building. We did want it to go to the moon, though, so shall we continue?

So, at 25 folds we are on the Empire State Building. At 30 folds we are 6.5 miles in the sky. This is the average height that planes fly. The air’s gettin’ thin up here, eh? At 40 folds we are 6,832 miles high. This is about where GPS Satellites orbit. Almost there! Finally, at 45 folds, we are on the moon. One more fold and now we’re back on earth. That’s how folding PAPER could get you to the moon and back.

Now that we’ve got that interesting tidbit out of the way, let’s talk about the phrase itself. “I love you to the moon and back”. What do people mean when they say that? I know it means they love you “a lot” but how much exactly? Maybe the distance between the moon and the Earth doubled should be multiplied by, say, how much you love… a cookie? Maybe I could turn that into a formula:

love of cookie(distance*2) =
c(d*2)

No, that won’t work. How do you measure the love of a cookie? Shouldn’t the distance be a set medium? What if you don’t even like cookies?? Hmm. Lemme try something else:

(distance*2)how many times you think of them per day=
(d miles*2)t/day

What if when someone says “I love you to the Moon and back” they mean “I would go to the Moon and back with you”? Maybe “I would go to the Moon and back for you”? It could be. People say something completely different that what they mean LOADS of times. Like when someone says “I could care less”. They MEAN “I don’t care” but they’re actually SAYING “I care a little bit”. Huh.

Well, there is some brain food for you. A little something for you to chew on for the rest of your day. This is the end of my Wrant. Congrats, you made it through.

And remember, I love you to the Moon and back.

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Homeschooling – 1 Year Later

“Everyone has a purpose in life . . . a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal.” Deepak Chopra

Reflection is an important part of the process. I like to take a look and see what worked and what didn’t. Why we thought it would work and / or why it failed? What can we do to improve and make it better? What idea should we never attempt ever again?

One year ago, we made our very first blog post. A lot has happened in a year. We have learned that weekly posts, do not work for us. Monthly or quarterly are way better. We will try to post a lot more this year. We have learned, you CAN learn a lot in the span of one year. So many things can change.

This year, as we embark on a new fresh school year, we now have Ten’s younger brother beginning his homeschooling journey. In case I have yet to name him, we will call him Seven. Will it be just like his sister’s journey? The short answer is NO. I hope not. Since each journey is different and unique, I want to be able to acknowledge and share that same feeling with each of my children. Our journey’s, our paths in life are different. They are unique to us. They should be. I want them to learn and experience what talents they have to offer the world. The Verse.

My entry is a combination of a new year while still summing up last year. Last year was amazing. Yes, there were some rocky days and there were some days where we were rocking it out! It is a constant learning experience, not only for my children, but myself as well.

Here are a few things we have learned.

Some days, we are just not on our A game. There were days, where we just could not get our minds to work. You all know it. Those “off” days. Kids are upset. One kid is not feeling well. The other kids crying in frustration because she isn’t able to fully process why there needs to be a graph and plotting lines. We have all had those days. What we learned, it is ok if it cannot be comprehended at the exact moment, tomorrow is another day and will be a new outlook on whatever thing is perplexing to us. That’s ok. No one is on top of their game each and every single moment of each and every single day. If you are…. I sure as hell would love to meet you! Seriously, inbox me.

Some days, there cannot be enough learning. Ok guys, its been 9 hours…. you are done. Put away the books and relax. You totally and completely over-achieved and hit it out of the ball park. That is ok too!

Do not be afraid to use your iPad as a learning tool! (or video games) Yeah, I said it… Tech can be amazing if it’s power is harnessed for good. There are so many useful apps out there to help with learning. Guess what? It makes it WAY more fun for them. Just because we didn’t have that luxury when we were kids doesn’t mean that we should deprive them of it. It’s truly been an experience to have Ten get excited about building the Taj Mahal in Minecraft with working bits. Oh and Netflix, it totally your friend for practically anything animal or history related. YouTube also has some pretty cool things, from some pretty cool people out there. “The King of Random” comes to mind as a fun one. You’ll be hooked.

The most important thing, I learned is they are learning enough. In our case, waaaaaay more than enough. It is interesting to me to how education is absorbed and what may or may not trigger their minds to suck it all up. Kids will find their balance, just like we do. It’s all about finding the balance.

So here are some words from Ten (on ending her year) as she is currently finished with her first day and wants nothing to do with the blog post at the moment. I will catch her later to add-on. She was supposed to start the post, but in light oh her now playing with her brother, I will add on her post.

 


 

Hi! It’s me, Ten! This time I’ll be starting our blog post. This blog post will also be our last one, wrapping up the school year. That said, I guess I should probably give my opinion on how homeschooling has gone for us in the past year. We have been very productive in the sense that in just this year I have completed all of middle school. Homeschooling has also done me good because I could go to sleep early and not have to wake up early unlike students in a regular school. During school hours, if I get stuck on anything, I’m allowed to move on to the next thing and come back to the tricky bit. Oh, and one of the best parts of being homeschooled is that when I’m done with all my work, I’m done with school. I don’t have to wait until the six hours of school is over. When I’m done, I’m done. Homeschooling is definitely a different experience then regular school, and I’d have to say I like it better. It’s quieter, more convenient, and more fit to me than a regular school could ever try to be. I’ve had bad dreams about going back to regular school, and that’s gotta be saying something.

Next year I’ll be doing high school level work and I’ll be able to take it slow because I’m already ahead of the game (I should be going into 6th grade next year). Mom has decided that next year my little brother will be homeschooled just like me.

 


 

That’s all for now folks. Till next time. 🙂

 

Photo credit –  Water Lotus

 

 

 

Updates and Science

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science. -Albert Einstein

Who knew an 11 year old would be interested in solving Einstein’s riddle? I certainly did not. Normal day of homeschooling and I am wondering why Ten has yet to begin her lessons an hour into the school day. I look over to see her frustrated face, tears in her eyes, working SO very hard with determination to solve this riddle. I told her to take a break and then come back to it. Sure enough, given some time to allow it to roll around in her head, she figured it out. Clever little whippersnapper. She actually figured it out. Such pride.

It is truly fascinating when other homeschoolers say that it takes a while to find your groove. It really does. It is a constant of trying new and different things. If one thing does not work, then off to try another and another until we find what does work. The true beauty, is there is no set method. It is not a traditional school. This was why we decided to homeschool. To break away from what is now considered “traditional”. I still do not understand how it can be a one size fits all education when in fact most children do not learn the same way.

Father of Ten found this awesome guy on You Tube. He does all these random science type projects. In fact, we just did 3 of them today and it was a lot of fun. Here is the link. I highly recommend this You Tuber.

https://www.youtube.com/user/01032010814

There was a lego mold, a penny battery and a butter candle. We are seriously considering making the family blow darts as well. That will be a fun family project. 🙂

I will let Ten fill you in on the rest.


 

Hi!

I had lots of fun with the three projects we did today, but first I want to tell you about Einstein’s Riddle. I love brain teasers and trick questions and I know lots (How do you draw a square with three lines?) but I always watch the answer videos on YouTube and I can never solve them on my own. Einstein’s Riddle was the only one I had not known the answer to. So, I said “What could go wrong?”.

When Einstein was younger and when he didn’t turn everything we knew upside down, he wrote a logic-based riddle that went like this: The worlds rarest fish has been stolen from the City Aquarium. The police have followed the scent to a street with 5 identical looking houses. They can’t search all the houses at once and if they search them one at a time the thief will know that they are on his trail and escape. It’s up to you, the city’s best detective, to find out who the thief is and solve the case. When you arrive on the scene the police tell you what they know. (Here’s the important bit, so pay attention) They say that the interior wall color is different in each house (Red, yellow, green, blue, or white), each house owner is a different race, they all drink something different, they all smoke a different brand of cigar, and they all have a different pet, one of which is the fish. After a few hours of expert inspecting, you gather 15 clues:

  1. The Brit lives in the house with red walls
  2. The Swede has a dog
  3. The Dane drinks tea
  4. The house with green walls is directly to the left of the house with white walls
  5. The owner of the house with green walls drinks coffee
  6. The person who smokes Pall Mall Cigars owns a bird
  7. The owner of the house with yellow walls smokes Dunhill
  8. The man living in the center house drinks milk
  9. The Norwegian lives in the first house
  10. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the cat owner
  11. The horses owner lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill
  12. The man who smokes Blue Master drinks root beer
  13. The German smokes Prince
  14. The Norwegian lives next to the house with blue walls
  15. The man who smokes Blends has a next door neighbor who drinks water

 

It is a good idea to make a chart to help you solve this tricky riddle. I will never doubt my problem solving skills again after solving this. Good Luck. If you don’t want to solve the riddle, then it was the German 😛

Anyway, today we had loads of fun making 3 different projects. the first project was homemade, connectable fruit punch LEGO gummy candies that are enriched with vitamin C. They were delicious and slightly sour. Yum! I also made a battery out of pennies that held 4 volts of electricity. I attached a small LED light to it and it has been shining for 5 hours and it’s still going. I sanded pennies so they’d show zinc and then stacked them with vinegar-soaked cardboard in-between. the last thing I made was a butter candle. I just stuck a paper towel into a 1/4 block of butter and let it burn inside a cup. it made a big flame and lasted an hour. It made a great in-scent as well. I really love science projects. I hate not knowing stuff, so when I’m done making something, I learn how it works, like the penny battery. Dad explained the zinc and copper release their electrons when they meet the vinegar. Well, that’ll be all from me. Bye!

P.S. To draw a square with 3 lines, you draw a square with 3 straight lines inside it. 😉

** Featured Image**

 

 


 

The New Year…

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

 

Happy New Year! Welcome 2016!

This post I’ll be starting. We haven’t posted since Halloween so you have a lot to catch up on! For starters, Christmas was really great. I got a lot of cool stuff and it was fun watching the rest of my family open the gifts from me. I got a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! book, Harry Potter Illustrated Edition, a never drying clay set with professional molding tools, a Bellz game, an EYN case for me iPhone, and a plush taco from the Times Square Toys R Us in New York which is currently closed down since the New Year. I didn’t even ask for anything!

The best part about Christmas this year was the fact that I knew the deal with Santa. I knew that Mom and Dad were playing Santa for my whole life. So, I wrapped the presents from Santa, I ate his cookies, and I filled the stockings. It was the best Christmas ever, knowing that I made my little brother’s month special.

There are perks of being homeschooled, you know. I got a head start on my Winter Break and started a week earlier than everyone else! I also didn’t get homework over the break. My parents believe that a break is a break.

After Christmas came the New Year. This year was the first year in a while where we spent New Year’s Eve at someone else’s house. We had a brand new cotton candy machine so we had cotton candy, we banged pots and pans outside at New Year and we had a really fun time.

Now that the holidays are out of the way, I’ve been homeschooled since August. The daily routine has gotten a lot easier and I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve progressed in math, science, social studies and language arts. I also started learning ASL (American Sign Language). I know the whole alphabet!


 

This time I thought it was nice to have Ten start off. It seems the first half of the term was a little bit of an adjustment and we have to find our groove. Once we found it, it almost seemed like homeschooling became easier. There is not the same strict schedule. We go at our own pace. Its just like any day. Some days we have really good days and rock out a ton of work and just keep going. Other days, it is slower and maybe we feel a little off and not in the mood for hardcore work. Every day is different, however the important thing is progression. There is a lot of progression. Even though we had to take a step back in math and do some decimals and a few things, she is 85% of the way through the 6th grade book. I think we will start 7th in another month at this rate.

Among other things, it was important to realize, the most important thing I feel, is that we have control. I can see her creativity really flowing in the things she wants to do either in her lessons, or when she is done with lessons. I do not need to push that on her. She just does it. We also had a wonderful opportunity over the holiday to do some volunteer work for a Senior Center. Ten wrapped over 100 pairs of socks and we got to deliver them first hand with Santa. It makes the heart feel good to do some real good in the world. You cannot have the same experience in schools now. Not in the same way as a one on one.

Right now she is into stop motion movie making. She sculpts and had competitions with her dad. She is re-reading Harry Potter and finding whole new meanings to books she loves. We are learning ASL and she has in interest in Mandarin and Latin.

Overall I am really enjoying seeing the benefits of homeschooling. I think my younger son will be homeschooled soon as well. I wanted to wait and see how he did as time went on, but clearly his experience is NOT the same as my daughters and he has even less time to be a child due to the constant changes.

I have full confidence no one else can do a better job, because we as parents care the most about their education.

Anyway, I know it has been a long time since our last update, but truly we have been so busy and so involved, there has been no time We will still be posting, but it won’t be weekly. I am thinking after more of the major holidays will be a good time.

Next time might not be till Valentines Day, or in that time frame.

Until next time folks.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Halloween Weekend!

“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative.”

Judy Gold

It has been a while since we have had the chance to publish. We have purposely switched to once a month because we wanted to be able to have a more substantial post. I may have mentioned that in our last post.

Anyway, to get on with our post. One of the things I realized this month of Halloween, amongst the decor and gore, is children who still love the cute adorable Halloween. They love the furry, scented Halloween stickers of cute little black cats, ghosts, and not-so scary witches. They want the elementary Halloween experience. While there are a lot of kids who quickly get more into the scare your eyeballs out of your head side of things, there are a lot of littles who still just want Halloween to be Casper kinda fun. Why not? Why scare the innocence out of them with the world already being scarier than fiction. Let them have their fun as long as they can. Let them eat candy, trick or treat, dress in whichever costume they love, sleep with their glow sticks and their bag of spoils. Let them color and decorate the house however they like. There are plenty of years for that professional polished haunted house appeal. Let the kids have their Halloween, they way they want it. For the teenagers who are even still going trick or treating, I did stop to think, maybe they do not even realize how much they might want to go trick or treating until the last minute. They are not done and they want to still have some of the fun. So let them, before they have to trade in their Halloween buckets for cars and jobs, let them have their Halloween.

Over the last few weeks, Ten mentioned how much she missed doing some school projects which were holiday related. I pulled up some coloring sheets and she set to work and we hung them up on the wall next to her little brothers pumpkin colored sheets. While we are doing projects and immersed in school work, I have to remember to take the time to have some fun holiday projects ready to go. Why not? Ten really enjoys them still. I will take it while I can get it.

Over this month we also finally cracked into the Tinker Crates. Ten really loved these and it added a little extra enrichment to science bringing a fun, hands on experience to the mix. I will let her chat about it for a few.


The Tinker Crates were really fun. The first one I built (and learned about, of course) was a wooden hand that I made out of sturdy wood. You tied ropes around your fingers and the hand would mimic you! I messed around with the strings a little (hence the name “tinker”) and made it work even better. I also made straw puppets that would demonstrate the tendons and the muscles pulling on the bones and making the joints bend. I cut diamonds into the side of the straws, threaded a string through the straw (not the holes) and taped the end of the string to the straw so it wouldn’t slide out. Then all I had to do was pull the string and would bend. The other Tinker Crates were about Rocket Science with Carbon Dioxide, and Airplanes.

I really like that these Tinker Crates give you something to work on that is really fun. They also let you make many small projects to go along with the big, main one. Plus you make them with sturdy materials that they even give you extras of. 

On Halloween, as my friends and I went Trick or Treating, there was this one house that was really awesome because it had a fake man who stood by the door, holding candy. Although, when you went for the candy, he moved and talked. We hadn’t gotten to see it yet so when we got there, it had been ransacked or something. The pots, broken, the decorations, littered everywhere, even the man, on the floor and broken with all the candy gone. Sometimes teenagers can be so cruel… 😦

Happy Back to the Future Day, everyone, before I forget. I was a mad scientist for Halloween and everyone who saw was joking about it. Haha. Fell on the potty… 1.21 gigawatts… Marty McFly… ;-P


Oh yes, this month we introduced our children to Back to the Future, not even realizing it was the 30 year anniversary. I am going to stop here before I completely give away my age. Great Scott!

Until next time!

Homeschool and a Sick Day?

The Grandson: “Grandpa, maybe you could come over and read it again to me tomorrow.”

Grandpa: “As you wish.” – The Princess Bride 

If you do not know this quote, then you have missed out in life. This has been one of my favorite movies since I was Ten’s age. In our family, it is a classic fav. We tend to watch it when we are home sick, or when we are in need of a day of soup, tea and cuddles.

What is a homeschooler to do when you wake up and are not feeling your best? Ten woke up this week and was not feeling her usual ready to go self. She had a sinus headache and overall aches. When she used to be in school and she stayed home she always managed to get her work done on time. There was always some point in the day when she was feeling a little bit better to tackle the school work. There was never much, but she always managed to do something.

I supposed being homeschooled is no different. Of course if she has a fever and chills and cannot move at all, then off to bed she stays. We had a bit a of a lighter day. Instead of hitting it hard with the usual subjects, we just went over spelling words and did an art course until she felt like she was done. We kept it light and a little bit more fun. Had a bit of a shorter day. PJs were worn all day and OTC meds helped with comfort along with a nice hot shower. Of course, let us not forget Blue. Blue is her ever faithful best friend companion since she was a baby. She carries Blue with her practically everywhere. Blue is her wubba. 🙂

Now she is feeling better and today is the lazy, cozy day, because we have a busy week planned.

A few words from Ten.


You may think that now that I’m homeschooled I can still do work even when I am sick. Well, that is the question. To work or not to work! To be sick or not to be sick! To take the day off or – well, you get the idea.

The first day of being sick, I minimized my world to my parent’s bed. I did no work. The worst part was that I had to brace my head when I moved. It hurt so much. The trash filled up with tissues overnight. It was one whirlwind of a sick day.The next day I did a little work. Then I did more work from there. I’m still a little stuffed up, but I’m getting there. 

The way sicknesses go is that the whole family gets it at once. First my little brother got an ear infection, then I got a sinus infection, then dad got a cold, and now mom is sick. Sicknesses can spread so easily sometimes… 😉


Sinus infections and ear infection run easily to each of us. It it one of those things. I have always had sinus issues as a child and now my kids have them. Oh well. Today is a lazy day. We may decide to start posting every other week instead of every week. The end of the week seems to come around so quickly. This week we managed to cover the end of super long division, Hindu Culture in India and some art lessons. She is also still learning about video editing and recording. She decided to scrap the 1st bit of her YouTube video and start over. We have also started sign language this week. I am happy she is interested in learning.

Till next time folks. Hope everyone enjoys the Fall day.

Good Days vs Bad Days

There are so many quotes on good and bad days. This week, I just could not choose one. Instead I have my own.

Everyone has those mixtures of good days and bad days. Whenever we are having a particularly bad day, I always like to think, “Tomorrow is a brand new day to start again with a fresh clear mind and plenty of rest.”  – Me

I hug and kiss my children good night.

Each and every day we have on earth to live and interact with our loved ones, is a precious gift. I do my best to not waste it. I try to teach my kids the same.

This week was a short week, but it still feels more and more like a normal school week for us. I learned my daughter has some trouble with long division. There was not a lot of time spend on this when she was in school. I was surprised, because when I went to school we did this until we mastered it and then moved on to fractions and algebra. So we took a step back, and did a bunch of long division worksheets. To be clear, she knows how to do them, she just did not feel like she understood it well enough. Practice makes perfect right?

We spent time and several different websites showing her all the ways to do long division. The problem I discovered was she was trying to do it all in her head. Mental Math. While I think its great to do some math or as much as you can in your head, there is a strong connection to learning something when it is written down and worked out the old-fashioned way. We took pen to paper and tucked right in. After 2 days, the first day being a very bad day, she learned to do proper long division and show her work. On day 3, she took a few math tests and passed them all with 100%.

Through this week, we went into the “why do I have to know how to do this?” phase. I explained to her math and language arts are in our everyday lives and these are important life skills. We took a lunch break and went out to run some errands. Simple enough yeah? Ah, there was a lesson.

I asked Ten to pick up the dry cleaning at the counter. I walked her through what she needed to do and more importantly how to interact with the person at the counter. She did well. Notice I said “well” and not “good”.

At Costco, we did some quick math to compare prices and see which would have been the better value for our money. It is amazing to me how a few simple real world interactions help put things into perspective for Ten.

Lesson Learned. 🙂

Ten has really been drawing a lot lately. She loves her art. She drew me a cartoon person eating cartoon food. Why? Well, who does not love cartoon food?  She also drew this awesome scene of a cat looking out of a window and looking at a carnival. There are hot air balloons and lots of lanterns floating in the sky. Her daddy loved it so much he asked her to do it again with paints. This was just a simple sketch with pencil. There are so many little details.

Maybe Ten might want to add some more info on her artwork.


Good days are fun, hence the word “Good” but they never last forever. When you’re not having good or normal days, your having bad ones. Whether it’s because of work, school or just bad luck, we all have them.

A few days ago on Wednesday the 16th, my day didn’t go so well. Although, the 16th of any month goes horribly for me. Last year, in school the 16th meant  brace yourself, a substitute is coming, or it was a very loud, ear-bursting day. My class was the chattiest, noisiest, most inconsiderate and misbehaved class in the entire grade. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not, and every teacher knows it. Especially the substitutes.  So the 16th was the worst day of the month for me. 

However, bad luck isn’t all of it. Sometimes it’s only a bad day if you let it be. Believe it or not, bad days are actually pretty healthy. You cannot always have good days. The more bad days you have you understand other people better. 

The good part is that after a bad day, you can just laugh at it. That’s why I always enjoy the 17th! 😉

The cat drawing is what I did  with my free time. Took me just a few hours. Sometimes I like just doing little sketches like that. They’re fun.