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lewelma last won the day on April 8 2014

lewelma had the most liked content!

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About lewelma

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  1. To answer the more general question of the title so not just physics related -- I will add that we are doing ONE *big* lab for Biology, expected 30-40 hours (in the middle of it right now). And MIT accepted it. They require lab science for Bio, Chem, and Physics, and I figured as a homeschooler they would read my science course descriptions for lab sciences very carefully. I was clear in the course description for Biology that we were doing ONE lab -- we are determining the biotic and abiotic factors that affect species living in the rocky intertidal; we are statistically analyzing the data and doing a research report. So I'm with Regentrude, quality over quantity.
  2. I was writing at the same time as you, Regentrude. We did your pendulum lab first before going onto a bifilar pendulum and then the broken pendulum. It was interesting to work with the same topic and develop our understanding.
  3. For Physics we did 4 with the full analysis and write up that Regentrude described. These four took about 30 hours in total. For the last and most complicated one, ds studied the movement of a broken pendulum with a somewhat bendy bar that broke the movement and as such acted as a spring. It was a very complex lab to write up, requiring transformation of nonlinear data and a complete error analysis. He also had to do a lot of research to figure out how the spring movement of the bar might affect the expected movement of the broken pendulum. It was super fun. Collecting data took about 1 hour, analysis/research/write up was close to 8. From my point of view, high school labs are much less about learning through your hands, and much more about understanding the data -- how to collect it well, what assumptions you have to make, what are the different kinds of error, and what you can and cannot conclude. Yes, learning how to manipulate a pipette or run a transect can be required for science, but in the end, lab/field work is about critical thinking. Students need to develop a deep appreciation that science is about simplifying what is happening into something that can be understood and explained. Science is about modeling the real world, and models *always* have problems. Ruth in NZ
  4. Yesterday morning I walked into the lounge to find my older boy listening to his multivariate calculus lectures at *triple* speed while concurrently plucking a tune on his violin. I could not understand any words at all from the lecture. "Oh," he said, "that's because the professor has a strong French accent. It helps me focus." Tell me your recent surprises.
  5. DS got into MIT! University admission was a crazy hard and arduous path last year, as ds made a very unexpected U turn in March last year when he decided to attend an American University rather than a New Zealand one. The two systems are very different, and he had done *nothing* to prepare for elite admissions in the US. I had not kept proper records for a transcript as entrance here is based on exams, and he had never considered his extracurriculars from a strategic point of view like many do. Nor had he taken a bunch of required classes, which we then had to figure out how to get done his senior year. We had to research and decide on schools and also learn about all the financial stuff. This took a ton of time as he had no idea of ANY of the universities in America and there were no friends to just chat with about their thoughts. He had also not taken the SAT subject tests, the PSAT, or the SAT. He had one month to relearn all the material for the SAT subject tests as he had taken the courses 2 years earlier, and he had only 1 month to prep for the SAT, and had only 1 opportunity to take it (not offered very often here). He had to do the SAT essay for some schools he applied to, and he had never written that kind of essay and had never written an essay under time pressure. Then all the application essays. OMG, the essays! All this while I was concurrently trying to figure out how to write up the homeschool documentation, which was a serious complicated mess. But we did it! And he is going in August! Ruth in NZ
  6. lewelma

    Class of 2018 Acceptances (List View) Updated: 3/21

    Just bumping this thread up. How exciting!
  7. lewelma

    Class of 2018 Decisions Thread

    This is so sweet! Thanks so much! Currently, my father has a friend who lives in Boston who has offered to keep an eye out on ds. But Boston is pretty far away from every other friend or family member that I have in the USA, so I really appreciated you offer. DS said there was an entire sorority from Boston College at one of the MIT Fraternity parties during Campus Preview Weekend. ?
  8. lewelma

    Third time's the charm

    You are so sweet! He has raised $1600 out of 2k so far, so we are doing well. Do you know that NZ is the only country that doesn't fully fund its team? Definitely a language arts country! Well, there is a lot less pressure this year than last year. He is already into university, so the scores are just for him and not to put on an application. He is getting better just by getting older with all that math maturity people talk about, but he is focusing on math that is not actually on the IMO. Last year he really prepared for it by doing previous years IMOs, but this year he is just going to let the chips fall where they may. He has a reasonable chance at a silver, just depends on which type of problems are #2 and #5. If they are in his specialty, then he can show off his skills better than if they are #1 and #4 (the first and easiest problem of each day). Definitely, an element of luck like any competition.
  9. lewelma

    EMF Math courses vs. AoPS

    I'd like to keep the books in NZ. Shipping them here is crazy expensive, so would love to share them with other kiwis.
  10. lewelma

    Dystopian Books

    The Iron Heel by Jack London definitely fits this description. In fact, it is one of my all time favorite books. Ruth in NZ
  11. lewelma

    EMF Math courses vs. AoPS

    We're done with the preA book. Do you want it kiwik? Just pay me for shipping.
  12. I think this is an outstanding idea, 8. You are one of the most experienced homeschoolers out there, with so much knowledge to share! One thing I always wondered about was how you created lesson plans for your kids. You have described a 6 weeks on, 1 week off schedule. I would love to hear more about the week you spend laying out lessons plans. How do you know what is possible for them to complete? How do you plan for those hiccups and struggles that all kids face? How do you allow them to work at their own speed and skill level, but then still keep them to hard deadlines for work to be completed. I find this to be the most challenging part of homeschooling. I want to tailor their education to their skills and weakness, and I want to be flexible when there is struggle or bunny trails. But then that leads to a sense that no deadlines are hard deadlines, and sometimes work that could have gotten done doesn't get done because I'm too flexible. It's some sort of yin and yang - flexible child-led learning vs accountability. How do you find the balance?
  13. lewelma

    Third time's the charm

    He always tells people, "Oh, it's a great time minus the 9-hour incredibly competitive exam."
  14. DS is going to Romania! We found out last night. Kind of expected, but still super cool!! And this year they are actually going to train in Romania. Hong Kong was too expensive, and Rio was unsafe, but Romania is apparently awesome. Hurray for no jet lag when taking a 9-hour, super-duper, hard exam! Ruth in NZ
  15. lewelma

    Class of 2018 Decisions Thread

    It is just about a year to the day that he decided to apply to American universities, where my small panic started with his first and only opportunity to take the SAT happening in 4 weeks. I can't believe we are on the other side, and it feels so very good. I'm actually really looking forward to having someone else in charge of his education, as it has been a hard road. Joyful, but hard. I'm really looking forward to focusing on my younger!
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