Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our Letter of Intent


[Our District Superintendent]

Dear Sir,

We are sending this letter of intent as required by Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the New York State Commissioner of Education.

We intend to homeschool our son, ___________________, who will be entering kindergarten, for the 2009-10 school year. We will file our Quarterly reports as follows: October 15, 2009, January 15, 2010, March 31, 2010, July 1, 2010.

Please communicate with us in writing directed to the above address.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Pipefish, Striped Bass and Hogchokers at Beczak

Did you know that there are 216 species of fish living in the Hudson River? Some are freshwater fish, some salt water fish, some prefer brackish water, and some spend part of their lifecycle in the Atlantic Ocean, and part in the river. But they all have 6 senses, which we learned about. In addition to the five we humans have, fish have an extra sense called Distant Touch. They use their lateral line to detect movement in the water.

TasteYesTastebuds, TongueYesTongue and Barbels
SmellYesNoseYesBarbels, Nares (nostrils)
Distant TouchNoNoneYesLateral line

Trying to see like a fish and find all the food of a given type. Those masks are hard to see through!

Sense of touch sorting and smell sort. Lots of fun!

Mikro says touch was easiest, and sight was most difficult.

Next, the kids learned to use a dichotomous key to identify various critters:

Northern pipefish:

White perch:

Mikro got a big kick out of being able to read the key and figure out the answers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boy Meets Pool

I think this is the first time since Mikro was old enough to talk that he's been in a pool....

He loves it. When asked which he likes better, the beach or the pool, he gives his usual answer: "Um, both!"

Silver Lake Season Extended

We got very welcome news that our local swimming hole's season has been extended a week till Labor Day. We love Silver Lake, and every year about this time I start to mourn for the peaceful simple times we spend there, which are drawing all too rapidly to a close.

We got a lot of rain, which made the current very strong, and kicked up some serious white water over the dam.

And we spotted the biggest fish we've yet seen there, about 12 inches long, and tentatively identified it as a carp...

I can't believe summer has flown by so quickly. I need to be drafting my Letter of Intent and Individual Home Instruction Plan to keep the NY educational powers that be happy... I'd rather be at the beach!

Library Fridays

Mikro is always excited to go to the library.

This time, we read:
The Little Yellow Leaf
When the Wolves Returned
Christopher Wren, Avian Architect
Monster Bones: The Story of a Dinosaur Fossil
Let's Go Dinosaur Tracking
A Child's First Book of Dinosaurs

Monster Bones was a huge hit. He insisted on reading it to me twice!

He also really enjoyed Let's Go Dinosaur Tracking, and it inspired some experimentation.

This photo may look like nothing more than a kid playing on the beach. Actually, it's a little scientist observing the difference in tracks created when walking versus running. He got a concrete demonstration that running prints are deeper and more widely spaced than walking tracks. Science with a smile, and a suitful of sand!

Coney Island Reprise

We got in a second visit to Coney Island, again with my friend Vicky and her family. Mikro visited the playground, got a close up view of the landmark Parachute Drop, played in the sprinkler, and had his first serious experience with waves. He laid down in the surf with a new friend, giggling like a maniac as the water washed over him. Later, Vicky and I took him out a little deeper and let him bob in the waves a bit. He loved it. He thinks he should be able to just swim off on his own, but he really doesn't understand that there is a huge difference between swimming in calm fresh water, and taking on the power of the ocean. So he was reigned in and required to stay physically in contact with either me or Vicky. He had a blast, and wants to do it again as soon as possible.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Library Fridays

We have declared Friday to be Library Day around here. Some of our recent reads have been:

Ocean's Child: This is a beautifully illustrated picture book, in which various marine creatures settle down for the night. It's soothing, and lovely, and would make a great bedtime book. Our next unit study will be on Oceans, so we are taking the opportunity to read things we find that relate...

Owl moon is another peaceful night time book, about a child going to look for owls with her father. Mikro especially enjoyed imitating the owl's call.

Of course, there had to be a dinosaur book. This one is a little dated, but he gobbled it up.

And we enjoyed this issue of Ask Magazine, which had an article about continental drift and a timeline of the earth. Perfect for PaleoBoy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New York Aquarium and Visiting Friends

A couple of days ago, Mikro and I met up with one of my oldest, dearest friends, and enjoyed exploring Coney Island together. I've been really lucky in my life to find four wonderful women who are the sisters of my heart. Vicky is one of the four, and we have known each other since we were teenagers. Eeep. Lets just say that is several decades...

We met up on the Boardwalk.

Then Mikro insisted we tour the New York Aquarium. His favorites were the sea rays, the Atlantic Sturgeon, the sharks, and the sea lion show.

Oh, and the touch tank. Can't forget that! He got to touch a sea star, a horseshoe crab (which isn't really a crab), and a whelk.

After the Aquarium, we walked on the beach and waded in the waves. Mikro wasn't happy till he got his shorts fairly well soaked...

We watched seagulls catching and eating crabs.

Next, we rode the Wonder Wheel, which is one of Mikro's obsessions. He loves it, and would gladly ride it all day and night, if I could afford the tickets...

And then we drove to Vicky's husband Louie's business to pick up him and their eldest son, Peter, who is working for his Dad this summer. Then it was off to Vicky's to meet up with Adam (Peter's little brother, who is now an incredible to me six feet tall!) Vicky and Lou whipped up a delicious dinner, for which Kevin joined us after work.

Here are the 3 boys together:

We had a great time, and didn't get home till 1 am! (We still haven't quite recovered, LOL.)