Paris!

Nous sommes maintenant à Paris! We recently flew from Reykjavik to Paris. I haven’t been feeling very good for lots of the time here. On our first day, we started our math. We got our new math books, and my dad got a program called ALEKS and they teach online math. Every morning so far we got pain au chocolat from a nearby pastry shop, and they are delicious! One day, when I was feeling better, we went out to see a small number of the many amazing things in Paris. We went in the Louvre (which was very crowded) and we saw the Mona Lisa and lots of other famous pieces of art. We also went to the Notre Dame, but we didn’t go inside. One of my favorite things was the Eiffel Tower, and part of my homework was to learn some facts about it.

Eiffel Tower Facts:

  • The Eiffel Tower is 1,063 feet tall. For some comparison, the Space Needle is 605 feet tall
  • It is named after the maker, Gustave Eiffel. Gustave also designed the inner structure of the Statue of Liberty
  • It was finished in 1889 for the 1889 World’s Fair
  • The Eiffel Tower weighs 10,000 tons
  • The Eiffel Tower made the USA jealous when they were making it, so America had the honor of making the elevators
  • It is painted with 60 tons of paint every seven years, and they can only use paintbrushes
  • It has 3 floors. 1st floor: Restaurant: Altitude 95; 2nd floor: Restaurant: Jules Verne; Third floor: observation deck
  • It has both lifts and stairs. There is many different ways to get to each floor. To get to the first floor, you can take the lift, or climb 300 steps. To get to the second floor, you can take the lift all of the way, or climb 300 steps to the first floor, then take the lift, or take the lift to the first floor then climb 300 stairs to the second floor, or climb 600 steps. To get to the third floor, you could take the lift all of the way, or climb 600 steps to the second floor, then take the lift, or climb 300 steps to the first floor then take the lift the rest of the way.

Eiffel Tower Pictures (I didn’t take them):

http://wondrouspics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/eiffel-tower.jpg

 

http://www.earthinpictures.com/world/france/paris/eiffel_tower.jpg

Also while we were in Paris, we took a train to Versailles. I did a separate post on that.

Current reading lists and homework.

We continue to make good use of our Kindles and the Kindle apps on our iDevices. As we didn’t want to have to haul books around with us given our limited luggage space, we really didn’t have a choice. Fortunately, I’ve found a variety of good resources to help find age-appropriate reading material for the kids. There are a number of teachers and libraries that have published lists and study guides that we can access online for free.

Before we left, I also signed up for library cards for both the Seattle and King County library systems, so I can download eBooks when they are in one of the library collections. However, I have found the selection of children and young-adult eBooks at the libraries rather limited so I have also been purchasing some Kindle books from Amazon. Some of these titles the kids have had exposure to before (e.g., read to them, seen a movie, or read in class), but we’re discussing them together and getting some new angles on interpretations. I’ve been reading most of these alongside them so we can share our observations together.

For Aidan (7th grade) we’ve read or are reading: The Outsiders, Mockingbird (Willem will read this too), The Breadwinner (Willem will read this too), and China’s Son.

Willem (4th grade) recently read Number the Stars, just finished The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and is starting The Phantom Tollbooth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They both mix it up with some books for fun too. Willem’s favorite-to-date is The Lost Hero, and Aidan’s is Behemoth. Since we left Seattle, we’ve watched very little TV (just a sliver of the Olympics) and since Netflix doesn’t work well overseas we’ve not watched many movies either. It’s nice they have both developed a passion for reading… voluntarily or not.

Both boys spend part of their morning working on math. We are using two programs, Singapore Math – a workbook based curriculum and ALEKS, an online program. While some days the teachers get more worn out than on others (as my sister-in-law warned), I think both boys are progressing well.

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