Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Self-Directed Homeschooling

As part of our routine of homeschooling, on so-called "regular day"s, Kenny usually cracks open a lesson book at or above his contemporaries' grade level.  Yesterday he was exempted from any lessons as I had to do computer calls that took up the entire morning.  He comes along with me for most of these, and I feel that interacting with adults and watching me work count for an educational experience.

The day before this though was a regular day, and he worked away at his mathematics lesson on squares and square roots.  I was impressed at how many he tried to do in his head, but I did give him permission to use a calculator for ones that I didn't have memorized or couldn't do easily myself.


This is what he's been working on lately.
We have a Google Home Mini, but for some reason, he prefers to use the calculator for things like this, as he also does for spelling.  Go figure.

Part way through the lesson, he noted that while 12^2 is 144, 21^2 is the correspondingly interesting value of 441.

He mused if other examples existed.  I quickly pointed out that 001^2 is 1, and 10^2 is 100.  I wonder just how impressive my mathematical feat was to him, as he was able to contain his admiration completely.

Grabbing a small notebook he used as a scratch pad, he began working his way through the squares from 1 to 99.  At least, this was his ambition.



I'm lazy efficient, and mused if it wouldn't be easier to write a computer programme to calculate these squares and simply print them out in a format that one could more quickly skim them.  It was in under an hour that he had written a python script that actually did the squares AS WELL AS the comparison.

I'll attach the script at the end, feel free to copy as you will.  Please note that while I'm a coder from old, I have no experience with Python - all of this coding was his from start to finish; I don't know how it works.

In case you're curious, it turns out that there are four of these relationships in a row, then three, followed by two and then a single outlier before the pattern vanishes.

Score one for homeschooling allowing him the ability to go down a side road that would rarely be permitted in a regular environment!

Here's his code:

s1 = 0
s2 = 0
s = 0
stbf = 0
while s < 99:
    s = s1 + (s2 * 10)
    st = s * s
    if len(str(st)) == 1:
        st1 = st
        st2 = 0
        st3 = 0
        st4 = 0
    elif len(str(st)) == 2:
        st1 = str(st)[1]
        st2 = str(st)[0]
        st3 = 0
        st4 = 0
    elif len(str(st)) == 3:
        st1 = str(st)[2]
        st2 = str(st)[1]
        st3 = str(st)[0]
        st4 = 0
    elif len(str(st)) == 4:
        st1 = str(st)[3]
        st2 = str(st)[2]
        st3 = str(st)[1]
        st4 = str(st)[0]
    sb = str(s1) + str(s2)
    stb = int(sb) * int(sb)
    if len(str(stb)) == 1:
        stbf = "000" + str(stb)
    elif len(str(stb)) == 2:
        stbf = "00" + str(stb)
    elif len(str(stb)) == 3:
        stbf = "0" + str(stb)
    elif len(str(stb)) == 4:
        stbf = str(stb)
    
    stbf1 = str(stbf)[3]
    stbf2 = str(stbf)[2]
    stbf3 = str(stbf)[1]
    stbf4 = str(stbf)[0]
    if len(str(stb)) == 1:
        stbfb = int(stbf1)
    elif len(str(stb)) == 2:
        stbfb = int(stbf1 + stbf2)
    elif len(str(stb)) == 3:
        stbfb = int(stbf1 + stbf2 + stbf3)
    elif len(str(stb)) == 4:
        stbfb = int(stbf1 + stbf2 + stbf3 + stbf4)
    a1 = int(str(st4) + str(st3) + str(st2) + str(st1))
    a = "NO"
    if int(a1) == int(stbfb):
        a = "YES"
    print str(s2) + str(s1) + "|" + str(st4) + str(st3) + str(st2) + str(st1) + "| |" + str(sb) + "|" + str(stbf) + "| |" + str(a)
    s1 += 1
    if s1 == 10:
        s1 = 0
        s2 += 1
while True:
    a = a

Sunday, March 24, 2019

First Electric Water Boiling of the Year!

The other day we finally reached a nice, solid float voltage on the batteries with a few hours of good sunlight left in the day, so I opted to plug in the induction stove and warm a full kettle of water using the power of the sun!

Whistling merrily along here, but hard to see the steam.  Let's try a different angle!

Whelp, this isn't much better, but you sure can see how bright the sun is!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

High Snow

Everyone seems to agree that we've received an above average amount of snow here this winter.  A couple of  days ago it finally warmed up above freezing and things started to melt.  This caused the snow to slide off the front porch of the cabin in dramatic fashion - as well as completely around the wood shed.

Child for scale:

We just have to repeat this picture once the snow is gone to see how the bank stacks up.

He's waist-high to the top of the humanure hacienda!