August 1st:
Nic’s 8th birthday! We spent a chunk of it at the children’s museum. He thought he was getting a ‘day off’ of homeschooling, but he was learning all day.

August 2nd:
We’ve been continuing our planning for a Star Wars homeschooling unit. Chris & Nic will be the primary decision makers and doers on this one, as they are both passionate about it. I am intrigued by the idea of me becoming the ‘secondary teacher’ for a while. Because he’s passionate about it, Nic’s willing to do the work. Awesome!

Today Nic & I created a Star Wars Survey. The questions included: who is your favorite character/villian/light saber color/droid and when did you see your first Star Wars movie. The process if helping him to understand survey instrument construction was fun (especially with my background in Sociology). We talked about why each question was important and what information we’d glean from it and why we included it and what people’s responses might be. We also discussed the need to keep the survey short — no more than 1 page — since we were asking people to assist us and we should be respectful of their time.

We also had a great mini-discussion about how to approach people and when. Nic’s very outgoing naturally, so he wasn’t shy about approaching anyone, but it was fun to watch him collect himself and remember to say, “Excuse me, I’m doing a survey about Star Wars. Do you have time to answer a few questions?”

We tried it out first at the local library. The librarians there are awesome. They are very welcoming and conversational and not at all homeschooling-hostile. Some librarians didn’t have time for the survey, but everyone was polite and helpful.

It was great for Nic to see the process and the enthusiasm of the participants. There were some surprises to the answers too.

When we got home, we put the answers into the MS Excel spreadsheet that we’d created. Nic loved learning how to click just a few buttons and make pie charts and bar graphs. Then we had a good discussion about how easy it is to manipulate statistics and why people might do that, either intentionally or accidentally.

Nic became intrigued by Excel at this point and asked if he could use it to make an inventory of his robot inventions/creations. After a quick tutorial in more features, he took over the computer and loved every minute of it.

August 3rd:
Today was a great day for that ‘socialization’ thing. We had our monthly playdate within our AP group. It’s great to see all my children enjoy this time with other wonderful mamas and children! When we got home, we continued to play with friends and Nic continued to tinker away with his Excel Robot List.

We watched several Wishbone videos from the library and I think it’s making Nic want to read the books annotated there. We’ll see.

August 4th:
Chris and the boys are off for a nature hike at Holliday Park.

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