Random things your child is doing during covid

Posted by: greenlotus

Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 02:24 PM

This is such a strange time, and many are a bit stir crazy from being housebound. Others may be thrilled that they have been ordered to stay put. Our two DD's are supposed to be completing school work, but I found DD at her desk seriously studying her Ipad .... She had found a video of Chinese parents telling their children "I love you. " for the first time along with their adult children's reactions. DD had a notebook beside her where she was writing out all the conversations in Chinese (pages of this). Then she gave me a lecture on the poor quality of the subtitles in the videos. confused If only her Chinese teacher got this much work out of her.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 02:25 PM

I love this!
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 03:24 PM

DS, a self taught musician & gifted mathematician, is composing a ‘masterpiece’ showcasing negative harmony. It’s brilliant both musically & mathematically. He usually spends 2-3 hours a day at the piano (for past 5 years), but without attending school, can now spend 4-6 hrs.

ETA: I suppose this may not fit the idea of ‘random’ things often being fleeting interests but he did just wake up one day & think - ‘I wonder if I could...’. No one suggested the idea to him.
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 03:52 PM

School lockdown has actually provided my kids with great opportunities to develop their own interests. DH & I are considered ‘essential workers’ so we’ve had to leave them (age 15 & 12) home by themselves. DD has started doing yoga, developed dance choreography, taken a huge chunk off her PB for running, weeded & planted our veggie garden, widened her culinary skills, redesigned & resewed several clothes items, worked ahead in maths - all whilst keeping up with the school’s online learning program & binge watching Netflix.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 06:02 PM

Originally Posted By: greenlotus
This is such a strange time, and many are a bit stir crazy from being housebound. Others may be thrilled that they have been ordered to stay put. Our two DD's are supposed to be completing school work, but I found DD at her desk seriously studying her Ipad .... She had found a video of Chinese parents telling their children "I love you. " for the first time along with their adult children's reactions. DD had a notebook beside her where she was writing out all the conversations in Chinese (pages of this). Then she gave me a lecture on the poor quality of the subtitles in the videos. confused If only her Chinese teacher got this much work out of her.


I love this! How fantastic. My children's self entertainment that I know their teacher's wished they would apply to a related school subjects also tends to fairly obscure things.

One of mine has been doing all their jigsaws of maps, and undertaking further expansion of their knowledge of places, which is far in advance of mine or anyone else's in the family. I am now almost NEVER able to answer the "Where is..." questions I receive because it's usually now only fairly obscure cities or mountains etc.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum
DS, a self taught musician & gifted mathematician, is composing a ‘masterpiece’ showcasing negative harmony. It’s brilliant both musically & mathematically. He usually spends 2-3 hours a day at the piano (for past 5 years), but without attending school, can now spend 4-6 hrs.

ETA: I suppose this may not fit the idea of ‘random’ things often being fleeting interests but he did just wake up one day & think - ‘I wonder if I could...’. No one suggested the idea to him.


How fabulous! I have a child that would be fascinated to hear the end result!
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 06:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum
School lockdown has actually provided my kids with great opportunities to develop their own interests. DH & I are considered ‘essential workers’ so we’ve had to leave them (age 15 & 12) home by themselves. DD has started doing yoga, developed dance choreography, taken a huge chunk off her PB for running, weeded & planted our veggie garden, widened her culinary skills, redesigned & resewed several clothes items, worked ahead in maths - all whilst keeping up with the school’s online learning program & binge watching Netflix.


The first part of lockdown was a lovely time of exploration for our kids, unfortunately the return to (remote) school has not gone well for my 2e kids and has really reversed this tendency.
Posted by: ashley

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 06:54 PM

Actually zero accomplishment during this time... My son's school started online schooling as soon as lockdown was announced and everything has been very stressful and fatiguing for him ever since. Sitting in front of a computer from 8:00 AM to 4:00 pm is hard on him. And then, he has to do his homework on the computer again and take his sports and music lessons online as well! The reason that school is so long is that his school has lunchtime clubs, assemblies, leadership council, debate practice, afterschool clubs etc all going online which means that kid is glued to Zoom all the time. His local Math Circle moved online as well and now he is online on the weekend to attend that as well. Since these are unprecedented times, I am letting screen time limits slide while gently encouraging DS to go out for walks and help me in gardening etc.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 07:35 PM

Yikes. That is an insane amount of videoconferencing, especially for a child. My distance learning secondary student is spending maybe 2 hours a day on schoolwork, with mostly-optional Zoom check-ins a few times a week. (Which is also how much time the already-homeschooled one uses.)

Of course, mine is using all this time to play video games...
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/07/20 11:15 PM

Our child who is doing much worse since school went back from holidays has expectations closer to Ashely's child.... and outcomes identical to AEHs child (well more other sorts of non productive screen use than video games).

Kids are expected to "check in" via a comment on Google classroom for every lesson as per their usual schedule, and sometimes participate in a hangout session, but mostly they (theoretically) do their work quietly by themselves, based on documents they will have found posted across two different websites (classrooms and the school LMS), or possibly via email. They are often are required to submit videos of themselves doing certain tasks.

If there is an interactive class only the teacher is allowed to have camera and mic on, but sometimes children are required to turn their mic on to answer or perform (specialist music school).

This child has been investigated twice for selective mutism, and multiple times for ASD, neither of which they have, but they ARE incredibly shy, introverted and with extreme ADHD...

We were specifically told they were supposed to do this in a room "without distractions" for the school day, ideally their bedrooms...Who thought teenagers would be more focused alone in their rooms with a computer and internet access? WHY did they not say "Ideally at somewhere where you will remain constantly accountable to your parents and have their support to stay on task and manage your "free" time productively"

It's a disaster.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 06:05 AM

In the beginning, I had put out a new box of puzzles out and DD did 3 in a row like her life depended on it. This was the week break before she was suppose to return to school. Her school started online right away but dropped 70 minute classes to 40 which allowed the afternoon to get in contact with teachers with questions. Some classes more intense, like chem does digital labs and will have a final exam. She is also doing a self study for the AP Chinese so working on that everyday. But she goes out for a run every afternoon to get out. She was also in Technovation Girls and just handed their project last weekend, so that took time. And sailing has started: online.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 07:43 AM

It's fascinating that we typically suggest that parents monitor their children's internet use, by putting technology in shared family spaces, so that they engage in responsible and safe behavior online...except, apparently, now. I can only imagine the field day online predators are having.
https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-...ld-exploitation
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 07:44 AM

Online sailing? wink
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 08:56 AM

This is weird. Our school specifically said any room other than their bedroom.
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 08:58 AM

My DS11 has greatly improved his cube solving skill. He is up to a 6X6X6 cube now.
Posted by: greenlotus

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 11:21 AM

Well, DD pulled me aside last night to share that she had figured out what percentage of Medusa's weight was her snakes. She had done some research on local Greek snakes, women's body mass......

Please, I hope that this leads to a good job some day.
Posted by: OCJD

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 11:40 AM

DS15 has a ton of online work but over "Spring Break", he primed and painted his bedroom including doing the taping off after he researched the colors. He lugged the ladder around to paint the ceiling and then rearranged his room.

DS12-not so much work but taught herself to juggle, started playing online drums, and has been making these little stars from paper strips and filling mason jars with them in fancy patterns of colors. She then leaves them on the doorsteps of the kids in our area. She misses club basketball though.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 12:22 PM

they watch videos and talk about technique. It is laser racing, so it isn't like beginner. They have the Pan Am Gold winner talking to them this week. Not wure about what.
Posted by: cricket3

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 12:26 PM

This thread is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time! The stories are hilarious, and so relatable...

I do feel sorry for all the kids who are inundated with work (including mine in that category- they had to continue school through spring break and have been essentially working hard without a pause in most classes, right down to PE). It’s pretty hard to watch the losing struggle with focus and motivation- senioritis on steroids.

My DD is doing remote college learning, and is also quite busy, though her experience has been almost exclusively real-time (with times adjusted if needed to accommodate students in various time zones). It’s been nice to get an occasional glimpse into what she’s learning, and she’s enjoyed the glimpses into her professor’s lives and homes.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 02:08 PM

cricket, I feel like I've seen some similar effects with our college student. There's a pretty big difference in how where they are educationally (even when young for college) seems to affect the online schooling experience. Some of the classes already had online components (one was a flipped classroom, so that professor didn't even have to record new video lectures), and all texts and most work submissions were electronic. The university already had subscriptions to multiple learning online learning platforms, and it has a fairly extensive catalog of online courses, so many instructors (though not all!) were already familiar with online teaching. DC also already had experience with fully online college coursework, though mostly asynchronous. The in-session in-person classes were switched over to real-time videoconferencing, with the principal losses in lab courses (not surprisingly).

Anyway, I agree that it's been nice to peek into DC's college experience (I do try not to intrude, most of the time), and that it's had unexpected benefits in terms of personal connections with professors.

And yes, love this thread!
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/08/20 05:00 PM

Cool! cool DS15 used to be a speedcuber too. His 3x3x3 PB was sub10 when he was 13. One handed 3x3x3 was his favourite competition event (PB is sub18). Finger dexterity from years of speedcubing now serve him well for playing musical instruments. The other types of puzzles (pyraminx, gear cube, mirror cube) likely also helped to develop 3D geometry problem solving abilities.

I recall a cute anecdote related to speedcubing - in upper primary, DS’s three best friends also became interested in speedcubing so when they started high school together, they all carried their 3x3x3 cubes around everywhere. His now best friend came from a different primary school and really wanted to join this group of friends - he apparently announced he was going to save his pocket money to buy a Rubik’s cube so that he could be one of their group. At the time I hadn’t met this child, but what he said seemed so cute, I bought a speed cube and asked DS to give it to him.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/09/20 04:06 AM

I never heard of speed cubing.

Wuestion for those with students in college, how are they doing labs? I heard from a friend whose son is in Physics at Georgetown and they are just watching the professors do the labs and then write them up. DD has to do digital labs. I walked in once and it was really cool. It is like an animation but you have to choose the steps, the amount. It is a good simulation for this environment.
Posted by: cricket3

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/09/20 05:21 AM

DD is taking two science classes, but neither has a lab. This was intentional on her part- (the shutdown happened sort of during their course signup period), The college also adjusted the course offerings, so some (?many) lab classes were just not offered this term. This is now becoming more of a problem as they sign up for summer and possibly fall classes online- but presumably the college has been working to adapt in the interim. I haven’t heard of any virtual labs, but we may just be unaware. There was a rumor that they might allow a small number of kids back on campus for limited periods of time to do a concentrated period of required lab work, for example a week at a time, but this may just be rumor.

Everyone DD knows has had plans majorly disrupted because of this- classes not currently offered/available, from labs to engineering to music, to travel, fieldwork, research and foreign study programs, which often have big impacts on the courses needed for major/minors. Everyone is trying hard to be flexible, but it’s very frustrating; lots of compromising. Lots of discussions about taking terms or a year off, but filling that time with something productive, depending on where one lives, will be a challenge as well. DD has been relatively lucky that her plans have not been completely derailed- and she has even landed a research position that can be done (at least for now) remotely. But there is tremendous uncertainty.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/09/20 08:16 AM

My DC has also been fortunate in the impact on labs. The term just finishing had a lab course which would have had to switch to virtual labs (there are a few websites out there with menus of virtual labs, mostly in chem and phys), but DC was in an invited section of the lab, where they were doing a small research project, and fortuitously had just completed all of their data collection when the school switched to distance learning, so the remainder of the term was spent on analysis and writing up their virtual poster presentation.

Similarly, DC also has a research position for the summer, almost all of which can be done remotely.

DC's study plans mostly can be accommodated in a remote learning setting, but clearly many classmates are going to be struggling--anyone in performing arts (especially ensemble), fine arts (requires studio equipment and tons of time in the studio), health services, etc.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/09/20 01:16 PM

Just listening to CNN and this is probably going to continue through the end of the year, into 2021. I would think digital labs are going to be developed and refined. This means that online university offerings are going to get really good.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/09/20 06:33 PM

In a very nonselective websearch, this site came up, with some clearly university-level virtual 3D labs in it. Cool!
https://praxilabs.com/en/virtual-labs

I agree, this will likely push the level of online instruction up rapidly.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/09/20 07:37 PM

Originally Posted By: greenlotus
Well, DD pulled me aside last night to share that she had figured out what percentage of Medusa's weight was her snakes. She had done some research on local Greek snakes, women's body mass......

Please, I hope that this leads to a good job some day.


Fantastic!
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 03:25 AM

Speed cubing is essentially solving Rubik's cubes and similar types of puzzles very fast. The world record for the 3x3x3 cube is 3.47 seconds. The WR for the 2x2x2 is less than one second (0.49 seconds!).

Competiors do get 10 seconds to pick up & examine the cube. Then they place it down & put their hands on a pressure sensor and have up to 30 seconds to mentally plan their solve strategy. The moment their hands leave the sensor, the clock starts counting until they press the sensor again. It's also desirable to use puzzles which move really easily (the original Rubik's cubes which were first sold in the 80's are too slow to achieve sub 10 second solves).

Felix Zemdegs, a young Australian, held multiple cubing world records for a long time & kept breaking his own records - quite amazing to watch, from just a couple of metres away, a teen casually break a world record as if it's just an every day event.

I feel a bit sheepish posting this reply because this thread has gotten into a serious discussion about whether/how Unis are able to provide pracs for students, but speedcubing might be a 'random' activity worth trying by anyone who is 8+ in age & bored (ETA: or even much younger - China apparently has 3-4 yr old speedcubers which IMHO is extraordinary).
Posted by: cricket3

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 05:01 AM

So sorry- we didn’t mean to derail this thread... the reason I posted on it in the first place was the delightful wackiness of it. Just wistful nothing so fun is happening here at the moment.

Carry on, as you are entertaining us all, and if there is more discussion of virtual lab stuff, we should begin a different thread.

One of our teachers, an English teacher, actually, just posted a virtual speed cubing challenge to the high schoolers via their broadcast journalism news broadcast- they usually do a contest in a big math assembly for Pi day, but not this year🙁.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 06:54 AM

Ditto...this is not supposed to be a serious thread! Sorry. smile

...our very small contribution to the main topic: overheard younger DC FTing friend while working on a GoogleDoc story together...apparently their respective characters/alter egos are a cookie and a glass of milk?
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: cricket3
One of our teachers, an English teacher, actually, just posted a virtual speed cubing challenge to the high schoolers via their broadcast journalism news broadcast

What a coinkydink! Speedcubing seems to be one of the ‘nerd-ish’ activities which impresses most people. DS carried his speedcube everywhere for years and people would stare as he did his sub10 or one handed solves. (ETA: an advantage of speedcubing is that practice can be done entirely in otherwise wasted gaps of time such as commuting, waiting at the shops, accompanying parents on errands, so it’s a great boredom reliever and also doesn’t take up valuable time when the child should/could be doing necessary/important activities).

Their school’s PDH/PE dept posted an assignment on Fri requiring students to learn a new physical skill. DD12 decided she would learn to juggle and has been practising all weekend. She can now juggle three balls - thanks YouTube!
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 02:56 PM

Originally Posted By: aeh
...our very small contribution to the main topic: overheard younger DC FTing friend while working on a GoogleDoc story together...apparently their respective characters/alter egos are a cookie and a glass of milk?

That sounds like a very, very interesting story. laugh

Kids do seem to like to give each other food nicknames. In upper primary, DCs and their BFs gave each other some cute ones like ‘chocolate’ & ‘milkshake’ as well.
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: greenlotus
Well, DD pulled me aside last night to share that she had figured out what percentage of Medusa's weight was her snakes. She had done some research on local Greek snakes, women's body mass......

Please, I hope that this leads to a good job some day.

In an ideal world, such delightfully curious minds who make the efforts to learn, analyse & creatively problem solve ought to be either leading innovative research or shaping our nations. They would certainly be great assets in a future impacted by climate change and resource draw down - we just have to somehow turn around the current rat race to the bottom.
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 05:30 PM

Is your DC into music composition as well?

The digital age is fantastic because software now exists so that the composer can hear their pieces immediately played on the computer, but because DS's pieces are technically difficult, it takes a lot of practice before he performs them as well as he would like (he sometimes shares with us what he thinks would be a perfect chord progression that he'll omit because it's not physically amenable). I am really hoping that he does eventually upload this work to his Youtube channel, but he's a perfectionist & the current standards he now sets for himself are ridiculously high (he was inspired by Jarrod Radnich but is sometimes even critical of his works!), so he's abandoned & deleted many manuscripts into which he'd invested considerable time. Hitting the 'delete' button is like torching the manuscript. I do think it's a shame but I refrain from interfering.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 07:38 PM

Has your DC considered multitracking into GarageBand or similar? He could divide parts written for two hands into more hands (or the equivalent for his instrument), or play it slower and speed it up. Even more fun, try writing orchestrations that articulate the challenging parts into multiple instruments. One of my DCs has a similar issue with composing music that requires a great deal of practice to perform, and has found that writing orchestrations allows additional musical elements to emerge from one's head.

Also, he would not be the first composer to write music that was technically too difficult for himself to play. Robert Schumann, as you likely know, damaged his hands trying to "stretch" his span, which is why he was extremely fortunate that his wife Clara was an even more talented pianist than he was, and could perform his works. It's a not unheard of opinion among critics that Rachmaninoff (as skilled a pianist as he was) was not the best interpreter of his own works.
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 08:50 PM

Your DC sounds very talented. So far, mine has confined himself to solo piano compositions because until now, it has been the only instrument he can play, although (speaking of random activities), two weeks ago, he picked up his older sister’s abandoned guitar & tuned it up to teach himself to play. He’s decided that the string instruments would be much more versatile for exploring harmonics & intends to use the guitar as a stepping stone to the violin (at which DH is quite proficient).

I have previously suggested that he should compose for multiple instrument voices but I think writing solos currently reflects his general preference to do things solo, but it’s a good suggestion, thanks!
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/10/20 09:02 PM

Oh, I get it - multitrack recording would enable him to be the solo player of multiple voices. Possibly he’ll bite, but I think he’s currently a purist who would want to be able to perform the whole composition without digital enhancement.

Sorry Greenlotus, the last post was also in reply to Aeh.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/13/20 05:37 PM

In the last few weeks, DC8 has:

- Made a political collage of the heads of heads of state flubbing covid responses
- Taught himself a useless programming language (coffeescript) as a gateway to others
- Taken up poetry writing
- Begun a creative writing project that blends satirical character study and irreverent dialogue (Pythons would be proud)
- Become engrossed in the history of various communist regimes and...local fungi!
- Built a distance running training plan and, surprisingly, is sticking to it
- Watched an ungodly amount of Colbert, SNL, and South Park (expurgated)
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/13/20 10:04 PM

That is quite a fun little list, aquinas! I am particularly impressed at the running plan and his follow-through (possibly because that would require the most delayed gratification for me!).
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/14/20 06:14 AM

Agreed, aeh! I'll cop to providing incentives for the running - it's on equipment in the basement, so he has to earn his screen time with exercise...

He watches his junk tv while running. wink

And, I'm usually exercising in parallel, so there's a competitive angle to it as well.

(Mothers are sneaky beasts!)
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/14/20 10:29 AM

Oh, and clearly in a completely different creative writing genre, my DC has a long-running series of short stories, one of whose features is...infinite rabbits.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/14/20 06:04 PM

Conceptually tight, admittedly...! wink
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/15/20 08:50 PM

DS is creating a Lego Mindstorm automated platform to perform some highly repetitive actions which are causing staff at my workplace to suffer RSI. He was asked if he could do it over a year ago after someone returned from a conference where one of the speakers showed a video of a working Lego creation, but he’s always had other priorities. Earlier this week his careers teacher suggested he should do something for his CV to support his ambition to study R & D engineering at Uni, so he thought he’d kill two birds with one stone (strictly metaphorical). The mechanics of his creation are clever but he has to work out the programming now.

ETA: I’m actually a little disappointed as I thought he might be forced to use 3D printing to create some parts and therefore pick up a new skill, but Lego is so inventive & versatile that he was able to find everything he needed. He has a LOT of Lego - he loved it as a kid so between his 4th & 8th birthdays practically everyone gave him Lego sets as presents. Some people gave him stationery with Lego compatible erasers (they aren't official Lego but the pieces fit perfectly - their elastic properties have proven very useful in creating this piece of equipment).

Regarding random things & Lego creations, these YouTube videos are amazing:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQdlCQmzUAM
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RSHphH_EKGA
Posted by: aeh

Re: Random things your child is doing during covid - 05/18/20 12:45 PM

Very cool! And this is actually productive. smile