• homeschooling,  lisp,  mathematics

    Moving levers and looking at how everything ties in together

    One activity that followed quite naturally from making a Golden Ratio Gauge was to make a pantograph. A pantograph is a mechanism to copy pictures or maps, using levers. We built one out of lego and one out of k’nex. The k’nex one was slightly easier to use because we mounted the stationary pivot to a giant k’nex building and didn’t have to worry about holding it in place. The lego one was easier to build. I took a picture of it, and had my seven year old label the picture for me. Labelling the picture gave us a chance to discuss how it works. What part moves what? The two…

  • lisp,  mathematics,  programming

    Learning Lisp (with Children)

    My son M, who is 7 years old, has decided he wants to learn to do computer programming, so my husband bought us a book called Land of Lisp. I went through and read the first few chapters and programmed in the first game that the book suggests. The game is called “guess my number” and the computer guesses the number the person is thinking of based on clues of “smaller” or “bigger.” It is pretty simple but the point is to learn how to program. Of course nothing is ever simple in our house. The program works by telling the computer to add together the largest and smallest number…