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 10, 2015

Portfolio Summary 2014-2015

Elijah and I taking a selfie on this 11th birthday

One of the many outtakes from taking family pictures for Solstice gifts; E helped set up the lighting, camera, and helped take pictures of his father and mother. E's always a cam-ham!

Language Arts
Elijah reads on a regular basis for information and pleasure. 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 some 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 a lot of time translating words and phrases in various languages.

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.

We read about cryptozoological sightings in and around Pennsylvania

Playing Word Pirate (sort of like Scrabble)

Elijah continued to practice and gain skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, 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, working maths & logic puzzles, and following recipes.

Table top games involving maths & strategy and web series videos by Khan Academy and Vi Hart are utilised frequently. Elijah also frequently uses building toys such as, LEGO, pattern tiles, and penrose tiles.

A pattern with penrose tiles that E helped me design. Our friend used a laser to cut the wooden titles for us.
Our scores from playing a game of Quiddler; E was the scorekeeper.

Science & Technology
Elijah’s interest in plants and growing things this year was supported by growing strawberries and identifying many of the local plants around our home. We also continued to explore the concepts and benefits of organic gardening and farming, as well as buying and eating local goods this year.

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. He also begun acquiring badges from (link to his profile), mostly in the science & technology areas.

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.

E building a solar powered robot from a kit

The finished solar powered robot E built

Our family finished rehabbing the house we moved into at the end of last school year. As a result, some of our routes to go places and run errands have changed; Elijah has helped plot courses to places using Google Maps and paper maps. Playing games like Pandemic has Elijah more interested in global geography.

We have travel plans early this coming Autumn taking us to Boston, MA; Tulsa, OK; and Oklahoma City, OK. Elijah has been looking over maps to see how far we will be travelling both by car and by plane. Travelling to Oklahoma to visit friends & family will be the third trip he has been on where he got to fly and he's excited about that.

Pandemic, one of E's favourite games
Playing Magic: The Gathering at a local coffeeshop.

Social Studies
As a family we continue to have discussions about current events in politics such as, equal rights for the Queer community, feminism, and racial politics concerning institutional racism. 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. 

Strawberries we planted
Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillars that we identified on our Rue bush
Health and Safety
We covered fire safety for our new home, especially concerning the pilot lights on our older gas range. Elijah knows how to exit the house and use his cellphone to call 911, his parents, and his parent's friends in the event of a fire or other emergency. We also revisited safely navigating the Internet and social media.

We continue to keep an open, healthy, and honest dialogue with Elijah concerning drugs, alcohol, general hygiene, personal care, sexuality, and sex. 

Skills progress on

Physical Education
Elijah walks, dances, engages in unstructured play outdoors, and enjoys swimming whenever he can. 

E wanted a butterfly knife to practice tricks with, so we compromised and got him a trainer, which has no blade. He's gotten pretty good at working the thing and can do some cool and fast tricks.
Fine Arts
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 put his plans for making video content for YouTube on hold for the moment while he learns all about slight-of-hand card tricks!

Elijah enjoys listening to a variety of music via YouTube, the radio, and our personal family collection, 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.

One of many LEGO gun designs from the year
The Kerbal Space Program lets you build rockets and test launch them to see if the design would really work. E's rocket on the Kerbal Space Program made it to space.

E's rocket on the Kerbal Space Program re-enters the Earth's atmosphere and lands!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Log of Books & Materials Used 2014-2015 & Attendance Statement

Monster Spotter's Guide to North America
National Geographic KIDS Almanac 2015
Pocket Guides to Wildflowers, Wild Edibles, and Mushrooms

Game Informer
NatGeo Kids
Lego Club
Ranger Rick

Web Comics
Garfield Minus Garfield

Web Series
Lore In One Minute
Good Mythical Morning 
Comic Misconceptions 
Mental Floss 
Your Grammar Sucks
Game Theory
Table Top
Table Flip
Mind Blow
Minute Physics
Fast Facts
Nerdy Nummies
Homestar Runner
Iron Gamer

TV, Movies, Netflix, & DVDs
LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload 
House M.D. 
Digimon Fusion 
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 
Sword Art Online  
FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman
Dude What Would Happen
Scooby Doo!: Mystery Incorporated
A.N.T. Farm
The Nut Job (movie)
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare
Dr. Who
DC Cupcakes
Cake Boss
Adventure Time
Destroy Build Destroy
Pokémon: Black and White
Clue (the movie, on the big screen)

Science Friday
MineCraft Forums
Binary Translations
List of binary codes
Geologic Eons, eras, periods, and years
Iambic Pentameter
Nyan Cat
Minecraft getting purchased by Microsoft
110 Year Old Light Bulb
The Addams Family Theme Song Lyrics
Ancient Sneezing: A Gift From The Gods (NPR podcast)
Responses to sneezing
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo (and other "linguistic example sentences" and "Garden Path sentences") No, really, pi is wrong
The day before yesterday
Words with no English Equivalent
Kill la Kill (an interesting anime inspired by linguistic anomalies of the Japanese language)

Video Games & Table Top Games
Little Big Planet 2 & 3
Pocket Mine 
Two Dots 
Minecraft Scribblenauts Remixed 
Binding of Isaac
Kerbal Space Program
WarioWare D.I.Y.
Words with Friends
Family FLUXX 
Word Pirates 
Magic: The Gathering
Phase 10
Poker & Blackjack
Castle Keep

Other Resources
NPR in the car
Minecraft MOD instructions
Khan Academy
Personal game Notes, Plans, & Schematics
Minecraft Building Tutorials
USA map, local maps (Pittsburgh, PA)

Attendance Statement
In accordance with the Pennsylvania Home Education Law, I attest that "a minimum of one hundred eighty (180) days of instruction OR nine hundred (900) hours of instruction per year at the elementary level" have occurred this year for Elijah.