Solar Cooking as a Physics Lesson

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Last summer we finally bought a solar oven after previous efforts to build one ended up with a trip to the ER (and why RocketRedNeck only has 9.99 fingers). We’ll discuss the finer points of shop safety with the kids, later, but for now we can show them the power more »

That’s Going to Leave a Mark

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The kids love their Legos, and making dad laugh… got home from work and stepped into this crime scene.  

Coaching the Reluctant Student

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Secondo is our reluctant student and natural contrarian. GranolaGirl has often joked when Secondo was a toddler that he was really a cantankerous 80-year-old Frenchman in a 2-year-old body, and he was not-at-all pleased with the situation. Part of the difficulties stem from multiple double-ear infections starting at about 11 more »

Book Review: Magic Tree House – Dinosaurs Before Dark

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This book report by Secondo is a scan of the report form: click on the link, below, to view. This is actually the most writing Secondo has done this year, and especially significant is that the summary (on the second page) is in his own words (at least as much more »

Coaching the Lethargic Writer

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I find much irony in a child that loves to read, and can express himself verbally, yet resists writing. An even greater irony is the latest challenge surrounding a book report on The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. Primo read the book about three years ago, but picked it up more »

Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth

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About the book: The Phantom Tollbooth is a book Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. It’s first copyright date is 1961, our best guess on the publish date. The story was reprinted 2001. It’s a satire/fantasy-adventure about a boy’s adventure in a land of knowledge. The author has written more »

Extraordinary in the Extraordinary

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The natural world is extraordinary; only the loneliest, bitter souls would deny this with some quip about the ubiquitous nature of nature. Fortunately I have met few who are not awed by the beauty of the natural world, especially the examples found in our National Parks. Every now and then Mother Nature outdoes more »

Science With Secondo: Giving Blood To The Cause

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Science with Secondo is still in the observational stage; for a nearly-nine-year-old we are content with simply building models and running simple experiments for that “gee whiz!” factor. And this is as it should be, since we want to ensnare their curiosity. The current course of study is Biology. Naturally, we reached more »

Kidnapped! (Reading and Writing Tales of Woe)

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The latest round of reading and writing with Primo has been … challenging. If you remember from our post “The Same, But Different” we were struggling with getting Primo to read Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. He didn’t like the abridged version, as it seemed “rushed”, but delving into the original text more »

Book Review: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

The abridged version of Kidnapped (by Robert Louis Stevenson; adapted by Deborah Kestel) left a bad first impression and the full version did nothing to make me like it any more. The book drags out the more boring parts and the parts I might like are super-sped-up. For example; the more »