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.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Portfolio Summary 2013-2014

Elijah! (Wearing his Chiodos band shirt)
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 remained about the same this year. He continues to excel in spelling and reading comprehension; both areas well beyond average for his age group.

Elijah is still fascinated with linguistics, translations, accents, and foreign languages. We spent more time focusing on these concepts this year.

Elijah is adept at finding information via online wikis, Internet and Google searches, encyclopaedias, and the library catalogue. He knows how to use a dictionary and thesaurus.
I beat him for once!
Elijah's favourite thing to read
Apparently, reading can be hilarious!
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.

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.
Minecraft Treehouse Village
Strategy and Logic with Carcassonne
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 enjoys watching science 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.
Rocket ship design
Iron Man's Automatic Armour Equipping Machine
Front View of Redstone door and stairs

Aerial view of Redstone door and stairs circuitry
Short clip of Redstone door and stairs in action
Our family rehabbed a house this school year to move into. The house is 9/10 of a mile from our other home and Elijah helped plot courses to it through the neighbourhood using GPS, Google Maps, and paper maps. He spent time learning about travel distances and travel time driving vs. walking and that due to the topography of the land, driving is easier than walking or riding a bike.
Map from Avalon House to The Phoenix House
Social Studies
As a family we have discussed and learned about current events in politics such as, equal rights for the Queer community, 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.

This year was also Elijah's "third grade year", which required him to submit to a standardised test of one kind or another in order to be in compliance with the home education laws of Pennsylvania. He found the entire concept personally insulting and if it were not for the fear of his parents possibly going to jail and/or him having to be enrolled in school if he refused to submit to being tested, he agreed to taking the test under duress. He also suggested that the "powers that be" should "re-evaluate how much they bother the lives of kids like me with all this testing and nonsense."

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. He can also operate a small sized fire extinguisher.

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; swimming; and safely navigating the Internet and social media. Elijah, again 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.

Elijah was not able to participate in many outdoor activities during the Winter because he had a stress fracture in his ankle, which required him to use a walker for a few months. This experience led him to investigate bones, fractures, and healing breaks and fractures.

We continue to keep an open, healthy, and honest dialogue with Elijah concerning drugs, alcohol, general hygiene, personal care, sexuality, and sex.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich made by Elijah
Elijah grew mushrooms
Physical Education
Elijah walks, dances, engages in unstructured play outdoors, and enjoys swimming whenever he can.

Fine Arts
This year, Elijah explored animation, 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 is continuing his research into finding the best software and equipment in order to start making video content for YouTube; he plans to focus 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.
Dixit. A beautiful game that has you practice the art of story-telling.
Footage from a game Elijah's making in LBP2
Notes for a game design