Tuesday, April 4, 2017

How Tall is a Banyan Tree?

We had a magical math moment here in Vanuatu. Yep. you heard that right.

Rightstart had Maxwell measure a structure to figure out how tall it is.  He used cross multiplication on similar triangles, using a mirror to make the two triangles.

Like this:

If you know two sides of triangle 2 and one side of triangle 1, you can find out the height.

We wanted to know how tall the "treehouse" (net and hammocks) was in our cousin's banyan tree. 

It's really high, here's a photo Dustin took from it:

My boys have yet to climb it all the way-and I'm happy about that!

We measured and got about 52 ft.

I asked Teyvin (my nephew) to go up and actually measure how far up it is. He got so excited that THIS was math, that he figured out his OWN mathematical equations to find out how tall it was. 

I think he found the angle, the distance from the tree, and figured out how much distance was covered while going up the hypotenuse at that angle. Something like that. Anyway, he got about 54 ft.

And the real answer was around 53 ft! (I can't remember it perfectly, but yeah, we were close) and the boys were excited!

We had another amazing experience with a tree on our land. We started our Cold War unit, and as part of that, we celebrated the Candy Bomber!!! 

One of my all time favourite stories from history (and that's before I realized he was Mormon) is the pilot who rained chocolate down on the kids in West Berlin during the airlift. 

We reenacted that this week when Dustin climbed a tree and sent down candy on all the children. There were a lot of kids on our land that day because we had hired a village to come work on our house, and they brought their kids with them.

It was a lot more magical than this shaky video I did.

We also began getting our 72 hour kit together in honour of the cold war.

And before the cold war we learned about Israel becoming a jewish nation.

I never learned about that in school that I can remember, but it is SOOO important in politics!!!  We made flags:

And William made his Star of David have a rocket ship, 'cause, you know, all flags need rocket ships.

And we started our started our science class!!!

Wait for it.....EYES!!

We dissected COW EYES!!!! It was sooooo cool! This isn't my photo. We were so entranced in eyes we forgot to take a photo.  I got ELEVEN eyes from the butchers, and they were all fresh and awesome. Lenses, cornea, Iris, all there. But we didn't have sharp enough anything for dissection. Eyes are tougher than you think.

Our neighbors came. They homeschool too!! They're from Australia, and you can tell homeschooling is a bit daunting for the mom but they felt like it was the best/only choice for their Vanuatu adventure.

The only creepy thing about the eyes was how excited the dog was to eat the eyes afterward. Eeeewww. It made me think of that movie "Ms. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." where the evil people eat everyone's eyes. I saw half of that on the plane. Creepy!!!

As far as English goes, my Nephew Josh has started tutoring Hyrum and Daniel (who also read to me.) and that seems to be going well. I sure love Josh, and he loves my kids.

And for Maxwell, he's started reading NARNIA BOOKS!!! I have purposefully never read Narnia or Harry Potter to my kids, because I wanted them to discover those two series on their own. There's something magical and intimate about just you and a book.

An audio book doesn't count. 

But I was so worried for so long that dyslexia would get in the way of them reading series of books on their own. But NOPE! Maxwell is ready. He's been gobbling up any book he can, and our neighbors (the ones who homeschool) have the series and offered to lend them to us. He's already 1/2 way done with Lion Witch and Wardrobe after one day.

At first Maxwell said he wanted to start with Silver Chair because he's seen the first three books in movies, but I told him there's more in the book, so he started with the Wardrobe, and when I asked him today which he liked better: the movie or the book, he said "Oh the book for sure."

Dyslexia WIN!!!!

And of course we've had some awesome island adventures. My nephews found this awesome creature. WILD. How cool is that?

And we have a house girl, Matilda (who is AWESOME) and her husband (who is working on building our house next door) climbed our tree, got a coconut, got a sharp stick, and got all the coconut flesh out and then Matilda showed Maxwell how to "milk" it and then made that into a yummy topping to go on a yam type thing for us. 

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