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

Educational Objectives 2014-2015

Proposed Educational Objectives by Subject Area
For Elijah Parham’s Home Education Program, 2014-2015
[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, experimentation, and/or free play, using Snap Circuits, science kits, and etc.
  3. Elijah will continue to develop his general scientific skills, such as observation, measurement, making predictions, and drawing conclusions. Taking notes and collecting and analysing 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.

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

Log of Books & Materials Used 2013-2014 & Attendance Record

Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! #1
Adventure Time #4
Adventure Time #5
Adventure Time #6
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck
National Geographic KIDS Almanac 2015

Game Informer
NatGeo Kids
Lego Club
Ranger Rick
Range Finder

Web Comics
Garfield Minus Garfield

Web Series
Lore In One Minute
Game Theory
Table Top
Table Flip
Mind Blow
Minute Physics
Fast Facts
Nerdy Nummies
Homestar Runner
Iron Gamer

TV, Movies, Netflix, & DVDs
Beakman's World
DC Cupcakes
Cake Boss
A.N.T. Farm
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
LEGO Ninjago
Adventure Time
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Codename: Kids Next Door
Star Trek Enterprise
Star Trek Voyager
Star Trek DS9
Star Trek: The Original Series
Destroy Build Destroy
Dude What Would Happen?
Pair of Kings
Dr. Who
Pokémon: Black and White
Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild
Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie (on the big screen)
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
BBC Worldwide & Fathom Events: Dr. Who #10: Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel
BBC Earth's Wings 3D

Science Friday
MineCraft Forums
Homestar Runner Wiki
Binary Translations
List of binary codes
Vertical bar
Adventure Time wiki
Terraria wiki
Koto (what is it?)
Video are awesome just get over it!
Fermented fish?
How to say "good morning"
Persian Language
Manila folders
Putting Time in Perspective
Geologic Eons, eras, periods, and years
Nucleus and Periodic Table via Crash Course
Dice art
Parallel universes
Paraphrases and Paragraphs and Sentences

Other Resources
NPR in the car
Schell Games (physical location)
Minecraft MOD instructions
Khan Academy
Gift/Toy Catalogues
Video Games & Table Top Games
Personal game Notes, Plans, & Schematics
Snap Circuit Instruction Books
Minecraft Building Tutorials
USA map, local maps (Pittsburgh, PA)