Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Category: Children (page 1 of 15)

Rosebud plays “Battle of Jericho”

Max Ventilla on modern education

I would argue that you’ve had one big trick that humans figured out over the last 500 years. Before computers, it was fossil fuels.

But now we’re discovering how to pull free mental work out of the ground. That’s going to be a huge trick over the next 50 years.

The idea that you can pull free physical work out of the ground, that was a really good trick, and it resulted in all of these exponential curves. But now we’re discovering how to pull free mental work out of the ground. [using Artificial Intelligence]

That’s going to be an equivalent, huge trick over the next 50 years. It’s going to create that same kind of inflection point, and it’s going to create even more opportunity and much more displacement.

I have a hard time understanding how the way that we best prepare the next generation for that future, is to have literally all of education policy, all of education decisions determined by folks that don’t really have a foot in that world.

I’m not saying that all of the sudden, “Oh, it’s about software.” The worst use of software in technology is in replacement of humans. This whole, “Oh, I give an iPad to a kid, and I walk away.” That’s craziness. AR and VR, that’s not going to be it, either.

It’s about human beings. It’s about the relationship that kids have with their peers, with adults. That’s what creates the motivation that creates the learning, but it seems odd to me that the purpose of school is to prepare kids for the future, and you don’t have people in the mix thinking about education or education policy, who are very familiar with the future at all.

[In a typical school setting] you say, “OK, well, I can’t grade 20 different demonstrations of knowledge that come back from 20 different kids, so I’m going to standardize, I’m going to say, ‘This is the way I’m going to test you, so that I can grade it quickly,’” you’re essentially training kids to think like computers. There’s an irony ... you’re training humans to do the kind of thinking that computers are getting better and better and better at doing.

You have an education system that was created for a mass production era, and now we’re in a mass customization era. You have a traditional education system that’s all about turning generalist agrarian producers into specialized consumers of goods and information. We’re entering an era where being a producer of knowledge, being a producer of goods, being a producer of jobs is the way to be successful. It is the way to be happy, and it’s possible because you have these unbelievable platforms that have been created that elevate the individual through the combination of digital technology and society.

More Drawings

I have forgotten to post my pictures for more than six months! I have a lot more drawings to show off.

 

Can you guess who this is? It came from a newspaper.

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Here is my name written in Chinese, in 3-D with perspective.

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This is a drawing of a 3-D sculpture.

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This is another 3-D drawing with perspective.

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That's all for now!

Drawings

For the past month, I have been really getting good at drawing.

One day I drew Rosebud reading, and it didn't look too bad.

Then I got into drawing faces.

Here's one of Milkmaid:

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Here's one out of my imagination. I tried to make it look like someone in a mood.

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I also like drawing hands.

Here's one of my fist.

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Here's one of my shoe that I drew about a month ago.

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I hope to have more drawings to show off, but they have to be good enough.

Music Makers

Part of Doodle's daily school routine is to write a short piece of music for Rosebud to learn and later perform for us on the recorder.  Doodle's compositions kill two birds with one stone: they press him forward with music theory, and they provide Rosebud something new to play now that she's worked through our recorder book.

Doodle picks out a tune using a keyboard app on a smartphone.  He'll sometimes have a question for me ("I forgot how to make an eighth-rest," or "How can I show that she should repeat this section?")  Then he neatly writes his song and passes the composition book (a spiral bound notebook) to Rosebud.

He's come up with some clever tunes.  And though Rosebud sometimes complains ("This one is too hard," or "Doesn't this measure have too many beats?") the overall verdict is that she enjoys it.  How do I know?  It's Sunday afternoon.  She has no music obligations, and she's in her room playing through some of Doodle's tunes...for fun!

Most of Doodle's tunes are original; sometimes they are inspired by a piece of music he knows or has heard (I'm talking to you, VogelJoy); sometimes he'll write a round or duet; and sometimes Doodle will write a descant for a song we already know.  So sometimes the family can sing along while Rosebud toots out the harmonizing descant.  Fun stuff.

Here's a sample of his work.

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To Educate a Teen

Carman and Sudoku are in the thick of the teenage years. This morning we were all reminded of why we manage their education in our special quirky way.

It happens that Doodle (10) was struggling a bit with "Converting multi-digit repeating decimals to fractions", and I thought it would be a good exercise for all of us (including Milkmaid, but not Rosebud) to jump in and work a problem with him.
Continue reading

Moody Noriega

I have a little ball that I've named Moody Noriega.  Let me tell you how it got it's name.

But first, do you know what a palindrome is? It is a word or a sentence or a paragraph or any type of text that is read the same both backward and forward when not including any punctuation or capitals or spaces, for example, "race-car" or "Stanley Yelnats" or "Aha!".

I created a program on Khan Academy which challenged the user to think of a palindrome longer than mine, that I had come up with myself: "No stop! A pot's on!"

One of the users put down in the comments a palindrome longer than mine: "'Are we not pure?' 'No sir!' Panama's moody Noriega brags, 'It is garbage! Irony dooms a man, a prisoner up to new era.'"

Then Carman and I came up with a game. We collect the left-over pipes from our stretch wrap and aluminum foil, and we set them up on their ends, and we take turns throwing at them, and whoever had knocked the most pipes over wins that round.

But we normally set at least two pipes on top of the "Panama Jack" box, that we ended up calling the "Panama Noriega" box.

And we ended up calling both the game and the ball that we throw to knock down the pipes, "Moody Noriega".

Moody Noriega

Doodle turns 10

Ten years ago on Sunday, I was kicked out of my spot as the baby of the family by this cute little guy 😀

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On Saturday we celebrated with Doodle's 3 special friends here in Santiago; Batman (9), Alex (13) and Max (12) [not their real names].

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The boys played Sprouts and Spot it (two of Doodle's favorite games). We also played the "Family game".  (We'll explain in a later post).

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Spotit

Next Carman showed the boys how to make a few of his favorite paper airplanes, and then they had a competition to see whose could fly furthest. Continue reading

Carman Benchmarks, Old and New

Carman (16 now) is not much of a runner.  He much prefers cycling and he, like me, has a body much more appropriate for pushing pedals.

But after several failed attempts, it appears that we have finally succeeded in getting into one of the free footraces around town and the older kids have been noticeably motivated to run lately.  This particular race will be a road mile, with separate heats for each age group.

So today, as the time approached for our every-other-day 4-5 mile run, Carman announced to me that he had found a good mile course in our neighborhood.  Later I realized that he intended to run it hard, with the caveat that we would be toe-striking and nose-breathing.  I thought he had a shot at beating me because he had seemed pretty strong lately over middle distances when we would get frisky during our otherwise relaxed runs.

It was just in the last year that he officially out-sprinted me for the first time.  Starting about five years ago, he would challenge me to a sprint every so often and always manage to come up short.  We raced on the beach at Valpo about 15 months ago and I won "on a technicality".  (He misunderstood where the finish line was -- gotta love that 🙂 )  Finally, he beat me outright in a local park about six month ago and it was official.

Beating me in running was a long time coming for him compared to cycling, in which he blew me away on a time trial in September of 2012.  I know it was fair because we rode the same bike.  (No, not at the same time, silly.)

Similar story with armwrestling, with the baton passing to him (for left and right arms) about a month ago.  We haven't been swimming at all lately, but I already know that I'd be lucky to be keeping up by drafting off of either Carman or Sudoku at this point.  Carman could certainly out-do me in push-ups and pull-ups by the time he was 12.

But in running, no.  Certainly not distance running. After all, I spent huge chunks of my life doing this!  Surely I'm not going to be struggling to keep up in this, too?

We started our mile time trial and, within 100 yards, I knew that I couldn't hang with him. He pulled away. I thought maybe he was going out too fast and would come back to me. He kept pulling away ...  very evenly like he was an old pro at this.

He finished in 5:40 and I in 6 flat.

Looking at the bright side, now I have a real training partner!

 

Family pics from Thanksgiving

This year we went to the Santiago Community Church for Thanksgiving, like we did last year. Before we left we got some family pictures out on our balcony. This is our "normal picture".

While I was getting the camera set up, I asked Doodle and Rosebud to come out to and pose for the camera.

"Can we go yet?"

The answer was no, and now they're grumpy

Rosebud is mad and Doodle is bored.

They're both getting pretty pepped up now...

Rosebud is FUMED!

I think "Rosebud is bored" pretty much sums this one up

Rock onnnnn

Let's stop there before someone gets hurt 🙂

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