Leaving the Flock

Coding, Skating & Dali, Oh My!

The week’s highlight was right in our backyard at Northpark Mall, the Microsoft Store. One of my fellow smart, homeschooling moms, Andrea, was resourceful and booked a class at the NP Microsoft Store for our group.

Sebastian coding at Microsoft

They taught the kids all about the ‘Hour of Coding‘ website and the kids went through the beginner’s Minecraft module, Minecraft Adventurer. You can access the same program right from your own computer since it is web-based. There are lots of other popular themes besides Minecraft too. Sebastian and his friend, Ella pounded through all 14 lessons.

Sebastian & Ella
Sebastian & Ella concentrating at coding.

The each received their completion certificates and then got to access the actual Minecraft game from the Surface Pros they were using.

Hour of Code Completion Certificate
Hour of Code Completion Certificate

Sebastian even went to the front of the class to demonstrate coding for one of the lessons. <proud momma> I can’t thank REBECCA enough for capturing that moment in permanent digital bliss for me!

Sebastian Coding
Sebastian coding at the front of the class.

The Microsoft education coordinator, Ashley agreed to host more classes for our group and everyone is SUPER excited. Since our classes are in the middle of the week, the mall is not so crowded and after class who doesn’t LOVE lunch at La Duni where the kids can run in the CenterPark Garden.

While at the MS coding hour, I also learned from another mom, Robin about two great coding resources. The first is for learning about coding for apps and it is called TouchDevelop. The second is access to Scratch (a coding language) via MIT’s website found here. We haven’t had a chance to dig into those yet but will report back when we do.

On our fine art day at Zhen art, we were able to start a new painting. I could not be more pleased with the instruction Sebastian receives from Zhen the owner/teacher.

Zhen & Sebastian starting a new piece.
Zhen & Sebastian starting a new piece.

We have been studying Salvador Dali and his exotic, mind-bending work. Sebastian chose to replicate The Persistence of Memory painted by Dali in 1931.

The Persistence of Memory by Dali
“The well-known surrealist piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch. It epitomizes Dalí’s theory of “softness” and “hardness”, which was central to his thinking at the time.”

Sometimes you have that ‘kind’ of day and the greatest thing about homeschooling is that you make the rules so why not have a DOCUMENTARY day! We had one of those days and ended up learning all kinds of cool things about the Hubble telescope in a piece called VAST. Then we moved on to Journey in Space, HD 4k……We are SOOOO tiny! There are more galaxies than grains of sand on earth. Unbelievable! We enjoyed these films so much we went out one evening star gazing and dreaming up plans for future star watching nights. We stayed up WAY too late for a school night! These are the moments childhood should be made of.

This was the week for our monthly skate date at Thunderbird Roller Rink. Sebastian only used the ‘walker’ about 10 minutes, in the beginning, to get reacclimated and then he was on his own.

We found ourselves at the Dallas Arboretum to meet-up with friends from our homeschool group and I decided to knock out my fall photo shoot with Sebastian and the Arboretum’s gorgeous pumpkin displays. Here are a few of my favorites of my muse, Sebastian. #SRP

Over the weekend we attended a Minecraft swim party at the Allen natatorium. What a fun indoor pool! I may have to inquire and see if we can set up something in the week for our homeschool group! 😉

A celebration for Sebastian' sweet cousin.
A celebration for Sebastian’ sweet cousin.
Leaving the Flock

Kickin’ off into September

We love September. Labor Day weekend is one of my favorite weekends at the lake and is always near my husband’s birthday. Therefore it is such a celebratory time for our family.

 

MyBoys
Cliff & Sebastian

 

Here is our classroom by the lake at dusk.

OurClassroomAtDusk

On top of our normal work, we had several, new adventures. We started the week with a visit to an old stomping ground. Thunderbird Roller Rink! The place I learned to skate at 10yo or so. It was HYSTERICAL to watch Sebastian learn to skate with the assistance of a ‘walker’. When I first put the skates on him, he looked like a cat shaking wet paws. He couldn’t control the new weight on his feet.

I skated after him for two hours as he gradually improved and gained confidence. By the time the event was over he was finally able to make a ‘walker-less’ lap…..not without a less than graceful ending.

Mid-week we were excited to meet-up with one of our homeschool groups for our PE/Recess and engage in jumping activities. Stuntman jump, basketball, bull riding, general large tramp jumping and the best was trampoline dodge ball. (I played too!)

He needs a little more practice on the bull!!

We are having a very mild and beautiful September here in North Texas. Another afternoon, we made a trip to the park to investigate & discuss living vs. non-living organisms. Our trusty USB microscope came in handy to inspect some living and non-living organisms up close.

This face full of happiness and smiles makes it all worth it!

By week’s end, we were on to the 2nd book in the series Diary of a Minecraft Zombie, reviewing money/coin’s addition & subtraction, adding to our short story ‘Funland’, typing & publishing a birthday & science blog, finishing our review of adjectives & verbs and completing the week’s quiz.

As all good stories end, let’s watch our hero bike off into the sunset!