Inspired by Monica of Paper Bridges, I’m recording an occasional Curiosity Journal. Tag words are: reading, playing, learning, reacting…and writing.
Reading: I’m still reading the English translation of Sophie’s World, a Norwegian novel about a 15-year-old girl who is presented with the history of philosophy via letters. I’m up to the chapter on Hellenism.
Playing: Does organizing my new pantry count as playing? Does planting a tree? How about sorting through papers on my desk? No? Rats. Looks like I’ve got to figure out how to be a little more playful.If I may stretch this category a bit, I’d like to point out that the kids and I goof around and laugh quite a bit throughout the day, reflecting, in my opinion, a playful attitude. If we’re telling jokes, making silly faces and giggling while preparing lunch, can we consider it play, even though it isn’t categorized as such?
After all, the flip side is that a family could pull out Monopoly, set it up for an official family game night and proceed to do nothing but criticize the banker and argue whether or not someone collected $200 on her last turn. Is it still considered “play” if everyone’s yelling?
Learning: I’ve discovered some online resources that have helped my high school daughters with their math.
The most impressive is Khan Academy, which I read about in WSJ. I was fascinated with Khan Academy Founder Salman Khan’s proposal to flip the traditional approach to math classes. He suggests having students watch math lectures online at home and then do their homework at school:
[O]ur tools have given students and teachers the power to “flip” the traditional classroom: Students can hear lectures at home and spend their time at school doing “homework”—that is, working on problems. It allows them to advance at their own pace, gaining real mastery, and it lets teachers spend more time giving one-to-one instruction.
One of my daughters needed a little extra input on a geometry lesson that she didn’t quite “get” in class during her teacher’s lecture, so she watched some of Khan’s videos. They really helped her feel confident heading into a test. We also found algebra videos that helped her sister. It’s like having an online tutor, for free!
Visit Khan Academy online and scroll down to see all the different subjects—he tackles not only math but also science and economics.
If he hasn’t created a video for a given subject you’re looking for, or if your child needs to hear more than one explanation, go to YouTube and type in key words for any lesson. You’ll find a variety of video instruction walking step-by-step through various topics.
Reacting: How can we not react in some way to the news of bin Laden’s death?
Writing: It looks like I may have to write a student and teacher’s manual for next year’s high school writing class, so I’m collecting ideas and jotting notes for a draft of each. This will be a summer project.
There you have it. A Curiosity Journal that reveals what I’m reading, playing, learning, reacting to and writing.