Monthly Archives: February 2013

Week 3 of Mystery Class (Journey North)

Kai and I have been working on a project that I heard about over on Life on a Canadian Island. She’s got a WONDERFUL post on her (older) blog telling you all about how to get started. The project, “Mystery Class”, involves tracking daylight at your home city and ten other mystery locations, along with receiving clues at/from the website, to attempt to locate ten mystery locations.

Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

We’re using the graph slightly different than they typically do on the Mystery Class website, but I like this way better, especially for younger kids (Kai is five).

Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

While we’ve been doing this project, Joe and I have been reading books to Kai about seasonal changes, daylight, time, etc. We’ve talked about geography, including the north and south poles, the Equator, and the hemispheres.

Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

Kai says the string in the middle is the equator.


Now that we’re up to three weeks of data, Kai’s been able to see some patterns. He can see that light has been steadily increasing or decreasing but that, in some areas, though it is consistent, there is very little change.

Today, I challenged him to see if he could predict, based on what he knew, what hemisphere each site belonged in, based solely on light changes. He knows that we live in the northern hemisphere, that we’re steadily getting more daylight each week, and that everything that is also getting more light each day should be in the same hemisphere. He also knows that seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite ours and so that means the light should be decreasing each day. Using all of this knowledge, he picked out which ones he thinks belong in the northern hemisphere and which ones he thinks belong in the southern hemisphere. He picked out where he thinks they belong by himself. The only thing I had to help him with were the ones that did not have much change in light one way or another and all I did for those was help him look closer (I did not provide the answer for him).

So, here are Kai’s predictions.


Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

Aside from home, he thinks numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 10 are all in the north.


Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

He thinks numbers 2, 4, 6, and 8 are all in the south.

After working on the project today, Kai wanted to make a video. He combined some of what he’s learned working on this with part of what he’s learned about the solar system. We had a few inaccuracies, which we talked about afterwards, but he has the overall concepts. I’d rather he get the concepts than the numbers, so I’m not complaining!

This was taken in one shot, no practice, no working together on what he was going to talk about beforehand. (In completely related news, I think I’m going to have to get a tripod one of these days. Sorry about any camera shake.)

Feb 4 – Feb 8, 2013: Our Week In Pictures. (Monday to Friday)


Breakfast with LEGO club Jr:
Breakfast Reading

Playing the recorder “his way”:

February 4, 2013


February 4, 2013

Opened a belated birthday present, was thrilled with this book:February 4, 2013

Working in his math journal:

February 4, 2013


Pancakes for lunch!:

February 5, 2013

Silly pancake faces:

February 5, 2013



February 6, 2013

Game night (Pokemon):

Playing Pokemon.


He said this was his “sky” outfit. Later called it his “flying” outfit.

February 7, 2013

New-to-us site,

February 7, 2013


Toast, with sprinkles:

February 8, 2013

Working on the Mystery Class Journey North project:

February 8, 2013

Cool Pants.


During the Superbowl, I made this on one of Kai’s pairs of jeans. He wasn’t home, but when he finally did see them he said Kai. “Aah! I LOVE rockets! And everyone will see them and say ‘Cool pants.'”

I’m glad.

Because all I see is “error there, error there, error there”. But I haven’t embroidered in a few years. It was… enjoyable. (Frustrating at times, yes, but enjoyable.) And I’m thinking of doing it again soon.

January 2013 Monthly Wrap-Up Post

Kai's 5th Birthday

This month has been one of our more laid-back months since we moved to Seattle. It’s been rainy, wet, and cold, so we’ve stayed home a fair bit.

Bits about this month, in no particular order:

  • Stayed up to greet the new year and watched celebrations from several areas.
  • Started a Minecraft server for the three of us to play together on. Kai seems to really enjoy this.
  • Got visited by my sister, Kristine. Twice.
  • Kai had his fifth birthday.
  • Went to the zoo.
  • Had a birthday party for Kai with extended family.
  • Visited a friend’s birthday party.
  • Started going to storytime at the library again.
  • Went to the “indoor playground” at the Seattle Gymnastics Academy with a good friend.
  • Played at Twirl, a cafe with a HUGE indoor play area.
  • Played several new games, including Pokemon, Mouse Trap, Milles Borne, The Ladybug Game, Tsuro, The Adventurers: Temple of Horus, and Pitch Car.
  • Kai has played on ABCMouse and Starfall quite a bit.
  • We’ve done some “learning activities”, including a “season sort”, digital/analog clock matching, some various worksheets, putting numbers in numerical order (by 10s). Not a full list.
  • LEGOs have been BIG this month. Kai and Joe have spent many, many, MANY hours putting together LEGO things. And we still have some that have not yet been gotten into.
  • Kai’s been helping me cook more.
  • Kai has read a fair bit, some to Zelda and the other cats, some to us.
  • Pokemon and Transformers have been on the TV a fair bit.
  • Kai’s played with lots of cars and his trains.
  • Kai has willing written on his own, several times.
  • At the beginning of the month, we watched ALL of the Harry Potter movies.
  • Kai watched a fair bit of Magic School Bus.
  • Kai’s been playing games on our phones. For a while, he was particularly interested in some of the interactive stories I have on my phone.
  • Played a fair bit with Rory’s Story cubes.
  • Finished up his solar system project, including making videos and a solar system map.
  • My Little Pony is still big.
  • Used the Tumblebooks website.
  • Watch Scholastic “Caldecott Favorites” – they read the story and you can turn on a “read along” version that shows the words.
  • Used the whiteboard a fair bit for drawing and for writing sight words.
  • Played a game about money.
  • Got sick for several days. Nothing serious, but still. Ugh.
  • Pretended we were running a store, several times.
  • Experimented with vinegar and baking soda.
  • Talked a bit about Japan, pointed it out on the map.
  • Talked about knights a bit.
  • Listened to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Ran around with the kitties lots.
  • Kai got to play at the Fred Meyer play place a few times.
  • Read two “long” books: The Castle in the Attic and Call of Cthulhu.
  • Started “Little House on the Prairie”.
  • Watched Godzilla. This led to a discussion about voice actors, dubbing, people in monster suits, how monsters “fly” in old movies (point out the strings), related Mothra to one of the Pokemon that Kai had seen that day or the day before. We also discussed a bit about the culture, about dead things, about things reincarnating.
  • Discussed racism/classism in both Harry Potter and the Call of Cthulhu.
  • Played with play foam and made “monsters”.

And that’s just the stuff involving Kai. He’s at his mother’s house every other weekend, so Joe and I use that time for errands do random stuff.

I also thought I’d post our book list for the month, including audiobooks, but not including any interactive books or books-read-by-the-TV/computer. At some point during the month, I got sick. So, I stopped tracking as much as I should have. Consider this a partial list.

Kai’s January 2013 Reading List