Thursday, November 15, 2012

November Daybook

A month without blogging!
I can't say I didn't think about the blog often. I was tempted to post numerous times but gave in to lethargy and decided to prolong my break. It was nice to JUST DO IT and live for the moment instead of thinking about collecting blog-worthy events each time kiddo did something memorable. I enjoyed the break despite missing the blog.

The Rube Goldberg project...
I had mentioned that we were fixing up a Rube Goldberg project. It was organized by one of the parents from our local homeschool group (thanks G!) and was inspired by the annual MIT FAT event. Kiddo and his friend teamed up to create a really fun contraption. It made up one link of a five-link chain. The other links were built by four other teams from our homeschool group. We had a great time!

Unfortunately, I'm unable to share the video (I don't have permission from the other teams) but I can walk you through how it works. The pivot-arm is anchored by a paperclip to the wood base. When a golf ball rolls into the cup attached to the arm, the arm swings thanks to nifty counterweights, and throws the ball into a funnel (it didn't work the first time we linked all the machines though lol). At the same time, a wooden domino chain that spells the boys' names in Morse code is triggered when the paperclip drops (see green string at the base). Meanwhile, the golf ball drops from the funnel into a ramp, rolls down the ramp and hits a Lego knight facing a pinwheel "windmill" (echoes of Don Quixote!) and exits the machine before entering the next link in the chain. And yes, the boys used oodles of duct tape! :)

What's new...
Books and things we've enjoyed in the past month...

Victorian crime fiction by Anna Katharine Green. Many of her titles are free via Kindle.

Thames and Kosmos Milestones in Science. A birthday gift from a dear friend. He built two projects so far without help. Although I do fuss about him growing up too soon, there are some clear benefits to him being older. :)

41 Stories by O. Henry.

Plays from Shakespeare in Bits and reading Shakespeare On Toast by Ben Crystal. Kiddo is loving his Shakespeare studies this year. Thanks to the book, I might be able to tease an essay on Shakespeare out of him when we return. Yup, he liked it that much! Happy me!

Math Circle! The boy is clearly having fun although some of the topics go quite over his head.

And tomorrow...
Kiddo and I leave for a ten-day holiday to Malaysia. I haven't seen my folks for over two years (although we chat often on the phone). I can't wait to tell them all about the fun things we've been learning this year. Kiddo is looking forward to playing board games with his grandma (always a treat each time he sees her) and watching the Discovery channel on cable TV on demand instead of waiting for good documentaries to turn up on Netflix! What can I say? We're too cheap and thankfully my parents are not lol!

We are so looking forward to the food too! Yum!

Adios for now, dear reader. Hope to write more when we return. Have a lovely rest-of-November and Happy Thanksgiving to all!


  1. I love the Rube Goldberg project your son worked on. It looks great from the picture, and I bet the video was amazing.

    Also glad you shared some book recommendations. Shakespeare on Toast looks great. I am going to have to add that to my Amazon cart!

    I hope you have a wonderful time in Malaysia with your parents!

  2. That Rube Goldberg machine is so cool!!

    Have a safe and wonderful trip away.

  3. Oh my, I wish I could stow away in your bag and see Malaysia. Have a lovely time!

  4. Havea a good holiday back home! Wow, you must be really looking forward to it. Glad to see another post from you again. :-) Tiger seems to be trailing behind kiddo in a few areas... :-)


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