Skip to main content

What Kids Remember, Glorious Tumbles, and Other Things

Two year-old No. 3 and I just got back from our walk around the block.  She’s learning new words daily, and occasionally throwing out wholly formed sentences just for the fun of it.  She doesn’t notice it’s the big deal everyone else thinks it is.

As we started our walk, I thought she was saying no stars, no stars since the sun had just set, and there weren’t any stars out yet.  Instead, what she was doing was checking each driveway for moving cars, and saying “No cars, no cars.”  She and the rest of the gang have been practicing this game every time they go somewhere to make sure they don’t get hit by someone pulling their car out of their driveway and across the sidewalk.

As we hit our first corner, No 3 began to tell me how she had fallen and,  “Toes hurt.”

“Your toes hurt?”

“Yeah.  It’s OK though.”

“Why do your toes hurt?”

“I fell.”  Here, 3 launhes into a pantomime waving her arms at head level, and then making a crashing noise.  “It’s OK though.  I landed on my backpack.’

“Oh!  You mean when you and I fell?”  No. 3 and I had a tumbe two weeks back to the day, when with her on my shoulders the gang and I made a dash for the bus.  Everything happened in slow motion after my foot got caught in the sidewalk.  I reached up, got 3 off my shoulders, and held her by the arm as I fell.  Realizing she was going to fall at the same speed I was, I let go of her arm, grabbed her thigh, and heaved her upward to slow her fall.  As we approached the ground, I was able to push her a little tiny bit horizontally so she came down in front of me with her head landing on her backpack.  We were both fine, albeit a bit rattled.  As falls go, it was a thing of beauty!  We got up, caught the bus, and made it to our dropoff point with Mom-person where I related the above story.

No. .3 started back in, “Yeah, we fell, but I was OK.  I landed on my backpack!”

“You did, didn’t you?  You did great!  You were OK!”

“Yeah!”

We’d reched the second corner, and rounded it during our discussion.  We came up on a house that had turquoise trim on all the windows.

“Pretty!”

“It is pretty, isn’t it?  It’s turquoise.  Can you say turquoise?”

“Turquoise!”  3 nailed it!

A little further on, we came to the house with the pink stuffed lion out front.  3 pointed it out.

“Lion!”

“Yeah!”

“I saw it 1 day ago,” she said holding up one finger.

Between you and I, we went for our last walk aorund the block two days ago, but I just carried on.  “One day ago?”

“Yeah!”... she thought for a moment, “No!  Two days ago!”

“Yeah, it was two days ago!”

“We were making a loop!  A loop and back to the house!”

I might have told 3 we were making a loop.  I can’t remember, but what a great word!  Loop!

We returned to find six year-old No. 1 making her own Halloween decorations.  “This is the first year I’ve made my own decorations!”

Things are good!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems, there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes!

What do we actually want?

To convert the Cartesian nabla



to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates.



What we’ll need:

1. The Cartesian Nabla:



2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates:



3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system:



How to do it:

Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables.

The chain rule can be used to convert a differential operator in terms of one variable into a series of differential operators in terms of othe…

The Valentine's Day Magnetic Monopole

There's an assymetry to the form of the two Maxwell's equations shown in picture 1.  While the divergence of the electric field is proportional to the electric charge density at a given point, the divergence of the magnetic field is equal to zero.  This is typically explained in the following way.  While we know that electrons, the fundamental electric charge carriers exist, evidence seems to indicate that magnetic monopoles, the particles that would carry magnetic 'charge', either don't exist, or, the energies required to create them are so high that they are exceedingly rare.  That doesn't stop us from looking for them though!

Keeping with the theme of Fairbank[1] and his academic progeny over the semester break, today's post is about the discovery of a magnetic monopole candidate event by one of the Fairbank's graduate students, Blas Cabrera[2].  Cabrera was utilizing a loop type of magnetic monopole detector.  Its operation is in concept very simpl…

Unschooling Math Jams: Squaring Numbers in their own Base

Some of the most fun I have working on math with seven year-old No. 1 is discovering new things about math myself.  Last week, we discovered that square of any number in its own base is 100!  Pretty cool!  As usual we figured it out by talking rather than by writing things down, and as usual it was sheer happenstance that we figured it out at all.  Here’s how it went.

I've really been looking forward to working through multiplication ala binary numbers with seven year-old No. 1.  She kind of beat me to the punch though: in the last few weeks she's been learning her multiplication tables in base 10 on her own.  This became apparent when five year-old No. 2 decided he wanted to do some 'schoolwork' a few days back.

"I can sing that song... about the letters? all by myself now!"  2 meant the alphabet song.  His attitude towards academics is the ultimate in not retaining unnecessary facts, not even the name of the song :)

After 2 had worked his way through the so…