This blog currently serves as a journal of what one particular community member, Uriel Fury, has been doing. The journal is updated infrequently. This journal is for friends, family, community members to know what we've been up to at a glance. It might also help us when it comes time for portfolio evaluations.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Educational Objectives 2013-2014

Proposed Educational Objectives by Subject Area
For Elijah Parham’s Home Education Program, 2013-2014
[The affidavit must include] “an outline of proposed education objectives by subject area...
The required outline of proposed educational objectives shall not be utilized by the superintendent in
determining if the home education program is out of compliance with this section and section 1327.”

-- PA Home Education Law
The primary educational objective for Elijah Parham’s home education program is to continue to use the resources available in our community to provide a well-rounded education based on Elijah’s interests and abilities. We will continue the approach that has worked well in the past, choosing specific topics as we go, based on interest and academic readiness. Because of the flexibility offered by home education, specific topics listed in these objectives are only examples, which can and will be changed based on Elijah’s evolving needs and interests; we will take advantage of whatever interests, opportunities and resources seem appropriate at the time.

  1. Elijah will read fiction and non-fiction copy for historical, informational, and personal pleasure purposes.
  2. Elijah will also read non-fiction media, especially as a part of his studies in video game design and science.
  3. Elijah will use writing as needed in pursuing his interests, using a variety of formats, such as journals, stories, letters, and e-mails.
  4. Elijah will use various resources to determine the correct spelling of words he wishes to use in his writing.
  1. Elijah will increase his mathematical skills and understanding, though both formal and informal methods. Topics may include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals; percents; graphing; measurement; and geometry.
  2. Elijah will use mathematical concepts in free play, using materials such as LEGO, pattern blocks, tangrams, Kapla blocks, and games.
  3. Elijah will use measurement, geometry, and other mathematical concepts in practical situations such as cooking, video game design, and handling money. 
  1. Elijah will study one or more topics in life science, earth science, and /or physical science.
  2. Elijah will learn specific scientific content related to the topic he is studying though reading, visits to nature centers and museums, observation, and/or experimentation.
  3. Elijah will continue to develop his general scientific skills, such as observation, measurement, making predictions, and drawing conclusions. Taking notes and collecting and analyzing data will be highly encouraged. 
  1. Elijah will learn about various periods of US and Pennsylvania history through reading, research, and visits to historical sites and museums.
  2. Elijah’s geography studies will be integrated with his history studies. When studying a particular culture, he may use maps, learn about the physical features and resources of the area, and discuss how the physical environment and resources influence(d) aspects of the culture such as architecture, diet, and clothing.
  3. Elijah will be exposed to different cultures through avenues such as food, music, and dance; travel; and multi-cultural literature.
  4. Elijah’s civics education will be integrated with his history studies. When studying a particular culture, he may learn about its method of government, and how it compares to and in some cases influenced our own.
  5. In addition, current events will be discussed and explored as needed.
  1. Elijah will continue to learn about various aspects of safety, including the dangers and prevention of fires.
  2. Elijah will continue to learn about taking care of himself, including the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and the advantages of good nutrition and other health practices.
  3. Elijah will have regular physical exercise, through active play, walks, swimming, dancing, and other activities. The emphasis will be on lifetime fitness.
  1. Elijah will be exposed to a variety of musical styles, through recorded music and by attending live performances.
  2. Elijah will use music sequencing programs to create electronic music to accompany his video game designs.
  1. Elijah will use a variety of media and techniques to make creations of his own choosing.
  2. Elijah will continue to develop his drawing skills and use them in designing and creating comics, concept schematics, and story boards for his video game designs.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Log of Books & Materials Used 2012-2013 & Attendance Record

Field Guide to Luck
Pass the Celery Ellery
Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks
The Robots are Coming
The Blood Hungry Spleen
Cowboy and Octopus
National Lampoon's Favourite Comics of the 21st Century
SpongeBob Squarepants Survival Guide
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! #1
Learn to Draw Manga books 2 & 3
World of Inventors: Thomas Edison -- One Man's Extraordinary Influence Upon the World
LEGO Star Wars comic
World of Archie Digest #1
Spongebob Comics: Freestyle Funnies
Adventure Time Free Comic Book Day #1
Diary of a Zombie Kid #1
Adventure Time #1
Adventure Time #2
Adventure Time #3

Game Informer
NatGeo Kids
Lego Club
The Brick Journal
Ranger Rick
Range Finder

Seattle (May 2013)
Visit Vancouver USA: Regional Visitors Guide (2013)

Web Comics
Garfield Minus Garfield

Web Series
Lore In One Minute
Game Theory
Table Top
The Way Games Work
Mind Blow
Minute Physics
Fast Facts

TV, Movies, Netflix, & DVDs
Word Girl
The Electric Company
Beakman's World
Smash Lab
Prototype This
Warehouse 13
Indie Game the Movie (documentary)
One Way Out
Weapon Masters
DC Cupcakes
Cake Boss
Video Game High School (movie)
Star Trek Enterprise
How Stuff Works
Ghost Hunters International
Star Trek: The Original Series
Comic Book Men
Red Dwarf
Postcards from Buster: The Case of the Coin Purloined (Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri)
Destroy Build Destroy
Dude What Would Happen?

Ipecac syrup
Minecraft splash screens & their meanings
Difference between 'imminent' & 'eminent'
Cork trees
Calculator alphabet & spelling
Northeast Unschooling Conference
Unschoolers Waterpark Gathering
Life is Good Unschooling Conference
Moon mod and Tekkit mod for Minecraft
Fahrenheit, Celsius & Kelvin
Rube Goldberg Machines
Acronyms and Initialisms
The Scoville Scale
Etymology of the word 'glitch'
Pig Latin
The Scale of the Universe
Doodle Music
A Song About a Circle Constant
What's Up with Noises?
What Was Up with Pythagoras?
Top 10 Animal Power Moves
What's Invisible? More Than You Think
Hexaflexagons and Martin Gardner
Hexaflexagons 2
Hexaflexagon Safety
Flex Mex
Vi Hart Mathsgiving Playlist
Toby Turner aka Tobuscus
Wilhelm Scream Compilation
Organic Chemistry
Folding Space-Time
Vsauce - Science playlist
Long/difficult words with fewer than 3 vowels for Hangman
Google Translate Beatbox
AsapScience: We Are All Female
5 Reasons We Like 5 Reasons Videos
Crash Course - Chemistry playlist
Science Friday
YouTube, Internet, Google, WWW, and TimBL (creator of WWW)

Other Resources
NPR in the car
Schell Games (where E playtests video games)
Minecraft MOD instructions
Khan Academy
Gift/Toy Catalogues
Personal game Notes, Plans, & Schematics
Snap Circuit Instruction Books

Gun Safety Comic & Brochure
Minecraft Building Tutorials

Northeast Unschooling Conference schedule & program booklet
Unschoolers Waterpark Gathering Conference schedule, program booklet, and resort map
Life is Good Unschooling Conference schedule & program booklet
USA map, local maps (Vancouver, WA; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Boston, MA; and Pittsburgh, PA)

Portfolio Summary 2012-2013

Language Arts
Elijah reads on a daily basis for information and pleasure; though he reads both fiction and non-fiction, he prefers non-fiction. He enjoys writing comics, emails, grocery lists, table top game instructions, and notes and plans his for video game designs. Both his handwriting and typing skills have improved vastly this year. His spelling and reading comprehension are both well beyond average for his age group.

This year, Elijah was especially fascinated with linguistics, translations, accents, and foreign languages. We spent a great deal of time focusing on these concepts, as well as literary devises, such as metaphors, alliteration, and idioms. 

Elijah is adept at finding information via online wikis, Internet and Google searches, encyclopedias, and the library catalogue. He knows how to use a dictionary and thesaurus.

Game design notes
Game design notes
Rules to a game made up by E
MAD Libs are fairly popular around here
Scrabble game E beat me in
Basic rules of Carcassonne written out by E
E wanted to know what his name meant

Elijah continued to practice and gain skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and measurements by exploring calculator and number tricks, calculating area for building Minecraft creations, assisting with creating grocery lists and budgets, figuring maths problems in his head, and following recipes. 

He has a fond love of geometry and has spent a lot of time exploring tangrams, tessellations, Origami, pattern blocks, fractals, and Sacred Geometry. 

Table top games involving maths and web series videos by Khan Academy and Vi Hart are utilised almost daily. Elijah also frequently uses building toys such as, LEGO, Kapla blocks, and Lincoln Logs to explore elements of construction and physics.
Dominoes is one of many maths-based games played around here
E has a love for maths puzzles & tricks like this one
We had a lot of fun celebrating Hexaflexagon Month
One of E's many Minecraft creations that he must use multiplication to figure area in order to create

Science & Technology
Elijah’s interest in geology was supported this year by studying and classifying geodes, rocks, gems, and fossils. 

We explored the concepts and benefits of organic gardening and farming, as well as buying and eating local goods. Elijah is rather proud of the fact that we are Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) members and enjoys sampling new foods from local farms every week during the growing season. 

Elijah is also very interested in chemistry. He especially enjoys keeping up with the chemistry videos presented by the web series Crash Course, as well as other science related web series. He also really enjoys hands on science projects with immediate results such as, Snap Circuits, working with magnets, and bases/acids forming reactions. 

Elijah is quite competent in computer literacy. He is able to navigate the Internet, social media, conduct online research, use a word processor, and navigate Apple iOS, Android OS, Ubuntu Linux, and Mac OS X enough to satisfy his computing needs.
Screenshot from a programming game/app
Made & experimented with an electromagnet
Busting up geodes
Our geodes
One of MANY Snap Circuit projects we've done
Screenshot of a level completed in an iPad programming game/app  
Discovering & classifying rocks, fossils, & gems from a kit
A page from our geology classification kit

Our family's travels this year took Elijah to New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Michigan, Washington, and Oregon. Elijah helped plot courses using GPS, Google Maps, and paper maps. He spent time learning about time zones, travel distances, and climate zone differences.
Looking out over Seattle and Puget Sound from the top of the Space Needle
Ticket stubs from the Space Needle and Monorail in Seattle
Pictures from our visit to Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade in Portland, OR

Social Studies
As a family we have discussed and learned about current events in politics such as, equal rights for the Queer community, the Occupy Movement, legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana, feminism, and racial politics concerning racism and having an African-American president. We also discussed democracy, anarchism, and other forms of government, the Civil Rights movements, civil disobedience, and the importance of voting in local and national elections. We always listen to NPR and discuss the current topics in science and politics while commuting. 

During our travels this year we visited various historical sites and talked about the historical significance of the places we visited, as well as the historical significance of places in and around Pittsburgh. Elijah showed a specific interest in learning about places that once existed but have now been built on top of, or replaced, and buildings that have been repurposed, such as a local factory that was turned into loft apartments.
Kinetoscope we made from a kit while studying Edison

Health and Safety
We discussed fire safety for our home, especially when cooking, and fire safety when camping or building bonfires. Elijah can safely use lighters, matches, candles, and our gas range and oven. 

Other areas of safety that were practised and discussed this year: food prep, cooking, cutting, and using knives; gun safety; crossing the street and general pedestrian/traffic safety; airports and plane crashes; swimming; and safely navigating the Internet and social media. 

Elijah took an active role this year in helping to make grocery lists, trying new foods, learning to prepare and cook more of his own food, and helping out in the kitchen. He enjoys reading the ingredient list and nutritional information for packaged foods and making informed choices based on the information those provide. 

We continue to keep an open, healthy, and honest dialogue with Elijah concerning drugs, alcohol, general hygiene, personal care, sexuality, and sex.
Front cover of the gun safety workbook E completed

Physical Education
Elijah walks, dances, engages in unstructured play outdoors, and enjoys swimming whenever he can.
Playing at the park with a new friend
Stopping for a picture on a hike on his 9th birthday

Fine Arts
This year, Elijah explored animation, manga drawing, art history, colour theory, and perspective. He created various works of art utilising an array of both digital/electronic mediums and physical mediums, such as paints, pastels, inks, and coloured pencils. 

Elijah spends a significant amount of time drawing plans and schematics for video game designs, video game level creations, and character creations. He also enjoys making and trading Artist Trading Cards. He has just recently began researching software and equipment needs in order to start making video content for YouTube; he will be focusing mainly on video game reviews, video game walkthroughs and Let's Plays, and screen captures of his own video game designs and creations. 

Elijah enjoys listening to a variety of music, including the music that his father writes and produces. Elijah utilises computer software, iOS applications, and gaming software to create music for his video game designs and for pleasure.
Handmade cards for a game
An Artist Trading Card
A page out of E's binder with all of his notes, plans, & schematics for his game designs
Chainsaw Juggling (from a game design)
Level design for a game
Watercoloured Artist Trading Cards
Screenshot of a level design in Casey's Contraptions
Another level design in Casey's Contraptions
Concepts for game designs
Perler bead Minecraft sword and buttons made by E 
Another Artist Trading Card showing E's love for Chemistry 
Making board games at an unschooling conference
Screenshot of a recreation of Connect Four in Minecraft using sand and gravel for the pieces; gravel won
A video of a little roller coaster that E made in Minecraft

Sunday, June 2, 2013

April 15th - June 2nd, 2013

**I couldn't finish the last update before we went out of town, so I just extended it to after we got back home for our Pacific Northwest Adventure!**

Netflix - Ed, Edd, Eddy; MAD, Futurama, iCarly, Psych, Prototype This, Camp Lazlo!, ParaNorman (movie), WordGirl, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, Dexter's Laboratory, Bones, SquidGirl, Scooby Doo, Soul Eater, Radio Rebel (movie), World of Quest, Destroy Build Destroy, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Problem Solverz, Regular Show, Powerpuff Girls, Dude What Would Happen?, Hoodwinked 2 (movie), Generator Rex, Suite Life on Deck, A.N.T. Farm, Beakman's World, Cowder, Johnny Test, Amazing World of Gumball, Regular Show, Mythbusters

YouTube - Aperture R & D, Homestar Runner/Strongbad Emails, Minecraft MODs, Peanut Butter Gamer, CupQuake, Press Heart to Continue, Minecraft Tutorial: Survive and Thrive II

Let's Play videos - Crashtastic, Castlevania, Castlevania II, Starseed Pilgrim, Happy Wheels, Westerado, Assassin's Creed II (W playing), Plants vs. Zombies, Archon, Minecraft, Bio-Shock 2, Terraria, Jumpman, Surgeon Simulator, Portal, A Virus Named T.O.M., SimCity, Pokémon, Binding of Isaac, Grow Maze, Sushi Cat, Armadillo Run, iSketch

Web Series - Vsauce, Minute Physics, Mind Blow, Game Theory, Lore in a Minute, Yogscast, Yogslab, Super Mari Fun Time, Smosh Pit Weekly, Fast Facts, Iron Gamer, AsapScience, Vlogbrothers, Smosh, Nerd(3), Indie Statik, Did You Know Gaming?, The Best EVER!, Crash Course (Chemistry Playlist)

3DS - WarioWare D.I.Y., Scribblenauts Unlimited, Crashmo, Face Raiders

PS3 - Little Big Planet 2

iPad - G Variations, TonePad, SingingFingers, Angry Birds Star Wars, Fruit Ninja HD, Doodle Hangman Forever, Spin & Win, Scrabble (he beat me!)

Computer - Minecraft, Minecraft on various private & public servers (mainly w/ other unschoolers from around the world)

Online - Whizzball

Table Top - Family Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Ghooost!

Various arcade games at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade in Portland, OR
E beats me again. Barely ;-)
Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade. E kicked W's ass in Pac Man.
Lots of unschoolers playing Minecraft together at #LiG2013
Fluxx: Our new family game night game of choice!
Magazines - Game Informer, Ask!, LEGO Club + LEGO Star Wars comic,

Books - World of Archie Digest #1, Spongebob Comics: Freestyle Funnies, Adventure Time Free Comic Book Day #1, Diary of a Zombie Kid #1, Adventure Time #1, #2, #3,

Other - Notes, Plans, & Schematics; USA map, local maps (Vancouver, WA; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR), menus 

Etymology of the word 'glitch'
Current exchange rates for USD/Japanese Yen
How many colours are there?
YouTube, Internet, Google, WWW, and TimBL (creator of WWW)
E made an Ambigram of  his Internet handle, urielfury
Herb vs. herb (and other silent/not silent 'H' words)
Preparing for vacation to Pacific Northwest & LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference
Magnolia trees

Notes, plans, & schematics
Spongebob MAD Libs
Spongebob MAD Lib
Climax Blues (album), by Red Lauan Tree (William's music project)
Music made with iPad apps

LBP2 - character creation and level design

D.I.Y. - microgames and music for microgames

MC - made a computer, Connect Four, and a little roller coaster (look for the video of it at the bottom of post)

Levels in Crashmo

Music using iPad apps

Button Pins and Perler bead iron Minecraft sword @ Little House, Big Art

Artist Trading Cards

Board games
Perler bead sword and buttons 
Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) E made
Another ATC that E made (Chemistry of course!)
E making board games at LiG2013
Giant creeper face E made in Minecraft
Connect Four E made in Minecraft using sand & gravel
Oh Yeah! Ice Cream and Waffles
Burger King
Little House, Big Art
Duncan Comics
CSA pick-up
Kristilee's homewarming party
Naked Geometry (& friends) Art Party!

Pittsburgh International Airport
Atlanta-Hartford International Airport, Atlanta, GA
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seatac, WA
Hampton Inn, Seatac, WA
Hilton Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, WA
Detroit Metropolitan-Wayne County Airport, Detroit, MI

Seattle, WA:
13 Coins
Stumptown Coffee
Bauhaus Coffee
The Hurricane Cafe
Driving tour of places W lived & hung out in Seattle
Chinatown, Seattle, WA
Space Needle
Pike Place Markets
Taco Time
Masae's Teryaki
Erin's house (our friend & fellow unschoolers)
Los Tinos Mexican Restaurant
Uwajimaya (Renton, WA -- pan-Asian grocery store)
99 Ranch Market (Kent, WA -- pan-Asian grocery store)
Looking out at Seattle from the top of the Space Needle
Portland, OR:
Faith's house (our friend & fellow unschoolers)
Voodoo Doughnut
Powell's City of Books
Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade
Robyn's house (William's friend)
Guardian Games (game shop)

Vancouver, WA:
Fred Meyer
Wash World
Life is Good Unschooling Conference
Esther Short Park
Tiger's Garden Laotian and Thai Cuisine

PICTURES from our trip to the Pacific Northwest and Life is Good Unschooling Conference can be found HERE

Airport & plane safety
LOTS of walking
Grocery list making
Adventures in hotel room cooking

12th Annual Free Comic Book Day

Digging gems, rocks, & fossils out of clay and classifying them

Life is Good Unschooling Conference - Registration, Opening/welcoming speech, MinecraftMania!, Artist Trading Cards, Make Your Own Board Games, More Minecraft, and general mingling and hanging out.
E, flexing his geology muscles
E: Awesome [hotel] room? The awesome room would be in space, with robot servants, and I could jump in zero gravity.
M: Um, yeah, I don't think they offer that as part of the programme at the 2013 LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference.

M: whatevs
E: ... [blink] ... never say that again. please, mum.

"It's an unschooling conference: anything could happen!"

E: What do you call a 2 foot tall psychic who just escaped prison?
M: I haven't a clue.
E: A small medium at large.