Friday, September 24, 2021

The Inexpensive Way They Straighten Teeth in Poland

I asked a Polish friend of mine with nice-looking teeth if she had braces. She said no, but she was given a special type of pacifier when she was 7 that fixed a massive overbite that she had. She says all the school children who need them are given these inexpensive, plastic devices when they are 7 and they do a fantastic job of preventing the need for braces later. I cannot find this device in the US -- or even what it would be called in English -- but here it is--

The Polish term for it translates to: nipple for teeth correction.

Anyone know anything more about this?

Friday, August 27, 2021

My Second Non-Coercive Potty Training Story

When Henrik was around 2 years and 3 months I noticed he could pull his pants down on his own. I told him that soon, when he was able to pull his pants back up as well, he would be ready to use the toilet. I bought him a little toilet to play with. He peed in it from time to time for the next few months. He spent a lot of time carrying it around and trying to figure out how to sit on it.

At around 2 years and 4 months he could pull his pants down and back up. So I bought him a little stool and a little seat that went on top of the big toilet. I told him he could use that or his little toilet. He loved both. He spent about a week sitting on the little seat on the big toilet every day trying to poop. I told him each time that one should never have to try to poop (he was straining so hard!) Our bodies decide when and then make it happen.

Henrik really hated having his butt wiped starting at around age 2. I told him many times that when he pooped in the toilet instead of in his diaper there would be less wiping. I guess this was very motivating for Henrik because around 2 years and 5 months he started pooping in the toilet. He was still wearing pull up diapers, still peeing in those diapers, just refusing to poop in them anymore. He does not tell me when he has to poop. He goes into the bathroom on his own, sets up his little stool and seat, pulls his diaper down and sits on the toilet. When he is done he calls for me and I help him wipe. 

About a week after Henrik started pooping only in the toilet, I bought him boxers and asked him if he wanted to wear those instead of diapers. I told him that he would have to pee in the toilet too as he could not pee in boxers. He was super excited to wear the boxers and said he could pee in the toilet. And he did. He had one accident. ONE. 

It has been two weeks, and he has had no more accidents, even on trips to the store! 

I will keep you posted though since I know how these things wax and wane.

I really don't think I did much here. Henrik potty trained himself.


Unlike Anders, Henrik did not get months to run around in a yard naked, but apparently that was not necessary for him.

Also unlike Anders, Henrik wore disposable diapers his entire life. Another thing that turned out to be unnecessary.

Tom and I always allowed Henrik into the bathroom with us to see what we were doing in there. Anders did not allow Henrik into the bathroom with him.

Henrik swims frequently and has since birth. Whenever he is in swimming shorts I tell him he can't pee or poop in those, so he has had experience in "not peeing in this" since birth. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Anders's Homeschool Curriculum - Grade 3

 Anders's Education August 2020 - July 2021

Legal Grade: Third Grade

Actual Grades: Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Middle School depending on subject

Age: 8.75-9.75



Anders’s ability to work independently has skyrocketed, making home-schooling less time-intensive for me. However, we have had less time to work this year because Anders is no longer an only child.

Homeschooling has been a lot less fun without all the classes (that were canceled because of covid). Anders has been quite lonely.

The amount of useless things Anders has spent his time learning pains me. There is a reason why the Hutterites and Amish do so well -- their children don't waste endless years in intellectual masturbation. Anders loves learning things, but does he really need to know so much about ants? And crows? Reading Shakespeare offers no benefit except to fit in with his intellectual peers. What an intense waste of productive time our modern society is. 


Anders is a typical nine-year-old boy in many ways. He loves games, especially those that involve war. He can’t stand kissing scenes in books and will skip them, though he continues to make friends with girls just fine. He can shake your hand at the end of a game he lost and say, “Good Game,” but it is clearly a struggle for him, and he doesn’t always manage it. He loves to be silly and play. He loves fart jokes.

Academically Anders is so smart/well-educated it’s breathtaking. I was reading to him excerpts from John Smith’s writings the other day – not easy reading – and quizzing him on comprehension after every paragraph. But it wasn’t needed. He understood was he was listening to. At one point I read the word “abuscado” and my husband immediately quizzed Anders on the meaning of the word. “An ambush,” he said, “but from a hiding place.” Tom and I had no idea if he was right because neither of us knew the word.... We looked it up, and Anders was right. This happens all the time. 

Anders scored in the 99th percentile in both math and reading on his state-wide standardized tests this year. 

I started reading him Don Quixote last fall. He liked it so much that he did not wait around for me to finish reading it to him—he finished it on his own. Don Quixote is listed at a twelfth grade reading level. 

Once Anders realized that his reading level gave him access to adult books, he started taking books off my bookshelf and reading what he thought sounded interesting. Which means he read The Blue View (a police chief’s autobiography) before I realized what was happening. The Blue View is inappropriate/possibly traumatizing for a nine-year-old, but Anders says he is not traumatized … and he loved the book.



At the farm we generally did school from 10-1130. Then we had lunch. We read from 12-1 and then finished school around 2.

In Los Angeles we generally did schoolwork from 9-11. Then we read from 11-12. Then lunch. Then we finished schoolwork from 1-2. 

While Traveling Anders did his Kumon, and I read to him. We did not do other schoolwork while traveling.

Over the summer Anders did Kumon and TypeKids each day after camp. I also tried to read history to him every day. Otherwise he did not do other schoolwork.



Anything in red I highly recommend.

Anything in blue I recommend.

Anything in gray Anders or/and I do not recommend.

Anything in black I have no opinion


All work/books were completed unless otherwise noted.






TypeKids.Com, Lessons 11-26/30

Read Usborne Business for Beginners by Bryan and Hall

Read Usborne Money for Beginners by Reynolds, Oldham & Bryan

Was read Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance – Anders loved this book. So did I. Except for the swearing. And the beginning. Anders did not enjoy the chapters prior to SpaceX. Great business book. Great science book.

Was read Space Barons by Christian Davenport – Another great business and science book. Not as good as Elon Musk, but still good.

Was read How to Dress for Success by Jasper Conran

Reread all the Tuttle Twins books, including the three new ones

Reread Escape the Rat Race

Did self-tape auditions

Learned about net worth, updated net worth in financial binder, went to bank, paid taxes, filed for tax return, cashed checks, bought investments

Went to Dad's office


Life Skills

Did Synthesis, a weekly online class he has been taking since January

Read Life of Fred Financial Choices by Stanley F. Schmidt

Read The Darwin Awards III by Wendy Northcutt

Learned how to milk a cow

Helped care for toddler

Cooked, cleaned, did laundry

Learned to clean the bathroom with attention to detail

Watched YouTube videos about how to be funny



Auditions were a spectacular educational tool when they were in-person. Learning to go in front of strangers and pitch yourself is an invaluable skill. Anders also enjoyed these auditions as he is a social guy and loved meeting new people. For the last year––and it looks like this is a permanent change—auditions are done at home. Anders no longer gets to meet people or get in front of strangers. He just memorizes lines and records them on camera. This is not fun for him, and I don’t see it as practicing a useful skill either. So, though Anders is still doing auditions for now, I don’t think he will do them much longer. There are other ways for him to make money. 

It seems to me that a nine-year-old—or at least Anders—is ready for some kind of job, like a paper route or busing dishes. The job should be for an hour or two a day. 



Myofunctional Therapy with Joy Moeller

Fencing at Avant Garde (1 week camp)

Hockey at Toyota Center (1 week camp)

Lots of swimming



We are really hoping to see extracurriculars return this fall.



Kumon program, fifth grade level E, pages 20-200/200

Kumon program, sixth grade level F, pages 1-50/200


Ray’s New Intellectual Arithmetic, Lesson 30-40/80


Primary Mathematics, Standards Edition, Level 4B 

Primary Mathematics, Standards Edition, Level 5A 

Life of Fred: Ice Cream by Stanley F. Schmidt

Life of Fred: Jelly Beans by Stanley F. Schmidt

Life of Fred: Kidneys by Stanley F. Schmidt

Life of Fred: Liver by Stanley F. Schmidt



We discontinued Mad Minutes, not because Anders did not love them and find them to be valuable, but because at this point, he is good enough at math and there are more important things for him to focus on.

I do not have to remind Anders to do his Kumon anymore (most of the time).

Anders does not want to stop the Kumon program, but I think Kumon (after level E) may be not as valuable as other things he could be doing with his time.  



Think Analogies, level A1 (completed)

Critical Thinking Detective, Book 1 (completed)

Reading Detective, Beginning/Grades 3-4 (completed)

Cogat Gifted and Talented Test Preparation level 9/grade 3 (completed)

2 Practice Tests for the OLSAT level D/grade 3 (completed)

Practice Tests for the NNAT 3 level D (completed)


Was read Read Don't Get Fooled: How to Analyze Claims for Fallacies, Biases, and Other Deceptions by Ray Givier –– Anders loved this book.

Read An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi



We tried the Detective Dog series last year, and Anders hated them––they were too hard. We tried them again this year, and they were his favorite thing.

We skipped the vocabulary section of Reading Detective due to the fact that Anders knew all the vocab words. He couldn’t logically reason out the meaning of a word that he already knew.



Well Trained Mind, Core Instructor Text (grades 5-8), lessons 26-50/131

Red Workbook: A Complete Course for Young Writers, Aspiring Rhetoricians, and Anyone Else Who Needs to Understand How English Works

The Princeton Review’s Grammar Smart for grades 6-8, part 1

Editor in Chief, Beginning 2 Grades 3-4 (completed)



Anders groans every time I get out the grammar book, but then he claps with delight minutes later when it’s time to diagram sentences. If you ask him, he will tell you grammar is his least favorite subject, but then he corrects people’s poor grammar with such relish… I swear he loves it.

We left the massive Well Trained Mind program at the farm and started the book I had planned to use next year here in LA, Grammar Smart. We currently plan to continue the Well Trained Mind program when we get back to the farm.



Sequential Spelling, level 2/Grade 4 (completed) 

Vocabulary from Classical Roots, Grade 4 by Lee Mountain (completed)



I am unconvinced studying vocabulary is a good use of our time. Reading historical books is a far more effective way to learn vocabulary.



Zaner Bloser Handwriting 4th grade (completed)



Anders’s penmanship is finally starting to be decent.




Read McGuffy’s Fourth Eclectic Reader 1920 edition (completed)

Read McGuffy’s Fifth Eclectic Reader 1920 edition (completed) – I love the McGuffy readers so much! They teach morality, not just reading and vocab.

Reading Detective, Beginning/Grades 3-4 (completed)

Read/examined Where’s Waldo: The Wow Collection by Martin Handford – Anders spent many hours enjoying examining these picture books. 

Read Awesome Jokes that Every 9 Year Old Should Know by Mat Waugh

Read Awesome Riddles and Trick Questions for Kids by Riddleland

Read The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter – Anders loved this book and can’t wait to read it to Henrik when he gets a little older. 

Read The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin – Fun mystery, but super feminist and full of classic liberal messages like feminine women are bad, women who want to be mothers are bad, only career women are good, etc.

Read The Children’s Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett – Anders said this was pretty good but too young for him. 

Read Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol (all of them) – Anders loved these books.

Read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky – Anders loved these books. I only read the first one, but I thought it was hilarious and educational.

Read Harry Potter and the Professor’s Games by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Read Harry Potter and the Shadows of Death by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Read Harry Potter and the Pheonix’s Call by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Read Harry Potter and the Last Enemy by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Read The Princess Bride by William Goldman – Anders loved this book and could not put it down, but he hated the random last chapter where Fezzik dies saving Buttercup’s baby. So glad they left that out of the movie.

Read The Giver by Lois Lowry – Are you the only sober person in a world of drugged out zombies? Then your only choice is escape…. Anders thought this book was too sad. I agree. But we both think that it’s still a great book.

Read Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne – Anders loved this book. I cannot comment on it since I have not read it.

Read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne – Anders loved this book. I cannot comment on it since I have not read it.

Read Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne – Anders loved this book. I cannot comment on it since I have not read it.

Read The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne  - Anders found this book boring.

Read The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells – I tried to read this to Anders, but I had to stop as it was so boring. Anders finished it and said it was good but not amazing.

Read Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith - Anders loved these books. I cannot comment on them since I have not read them

Read Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s Special Effects Spectacular by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Powered Showdown by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s Secret Agent Gadget Battle by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Anders enjoyed this book, but the few chapters I read to him shocked me. I had no idea this book was so obsessed with alcohol. 

Read Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein - Anders loved this book. I cannot comment on it since I have not read it.

Read The Rolling Stones by Robert Heinlein - Anders did not care for this book. I cannot comment on it since I have not read it.

Read American Rifle: A Biography by Alexander Rose – Anders read this four-hundred-page adult non-fiction book and loved it. Anders says reading this book will really make you appreciate modern semi-automatic guns.


Anders also reread many books he has read in the past, his favorites being The Three Musketeers, Men of Iron, Robin Hood, and The Scottish Chiefs.



Anders’s fiction books are limited to books set during the historical time-period we are studying or time periods we have already studied. Now that he reads so much, rather than turning to modern day stuff, we have added in science fiction. 

Following up Harry Potter with the fan fiction Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is spectacular. A friend of mine had these printed and gave them to us for Christmas, so I am not sure how easy they are to get ahold of. 

People ask me if I take Anders to the library or bookstores. I do not. Most books available at both places today are trash. They are as bad as television. I believe it is far better to reread fewer books that are quality literature than read endless quantities of trash.



Writing and Rhetoric, Book 2 (completed)

Writing and Rhetoric, Book 3 (halfway done)

Capitol Debate’s Online Public Speaking class


The speech Anders did for his public speaking class is on YouTube. It is called “We Must Settle Mars.”

I read that most boys do not enjoy the story writing they are expected to do in school, so, in the Writing and Rhetoric program, whenever they assign the kids a story to write, I have Anders write in his journal instead. I tell him to write down things he wants to remember. If the Writing and Rhetoric exercise is about dialogue, I have him write a journal entry involving a conversation, so that the same writing skills are practiced. Anders is always welcome to write stories, but so far, he has always chosen to write in his journal. I think this is awesome since he is developing a collection of wonderful memories instead of stupid stories he won’t care about later. (I have a large collection of stories I wrote in childhood that … are stupid and that I don’t care about. I wish someone had had me write down my own life stories instead.)


HISTORY (1492-1700)

*Years are approximate. Most documentaries are from YouTube, but I also use Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Netflix, among other things. I have put all documentaries in quotation marks. This is not quite proper grammar, but I don’t want to go back through them and check their length to see if it should be quotation marks or italics.


Was read Stories from English History, Volume III by Alfred J. Church (pages 1-50)

Was read The Story of the World, Volume 3: Early Modern Times by Susan Wise Bower (pages 1-233)

Was read The Usborne History Britain (pages 178-234)

Was read Britannia: 100 Great Stories From British History (pages 135-194)

Was read The History of Scotland for Children by Fiona Macdonald (pages 87-116)

Was read selections from Medieval Scandinavia: From Conversion to Reformation by Birgit and Peter Sawyer


1492: Was read The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Forester – Fantastic general history book for the age, entertaining for kids, I don’t love her treatment of slavery but more accurate than most stuff available. Forester’s books are similar to the Story of the World Series, but they are better because they are more at Anders’s intellectual level. 


1495: Was read beginning of Everyman by Anonymous – though we did not read very much of this as it was super boring, I think it was good for Anders to see what plays were like in the extremely religious era before Shakespeare.


1500: “How Sugar Killed the Tudors”

1500: “How to Lay Siege to a Star Fortress in the 16th and Early 17th Century”

1500: “History of English Law – Courts of the Common Law – Introduction and Exchequer”

1500: “How to Get Ahead 1 At Medieval Court”

1500: “Crime and Punishments in Medieval England”

1500: “Crime and Punishment GCSE, c1000 – c1500 – Anglo Saxon Law Enforcement”

1500: “Anglo-Saxon Punishment – Wergild. Wergild. Botgeld. Pillory. Blood Feud”

1500: “Episode 2: Anglo Saxon Policing 1000-1500”

1500: “The Nutmeg Wars National Geographic”

1500: “The Medici – Secrets of the most Powerful Family in the World”

1500: “The Rise and Fall of the Medici Family”

1500: “Borgia & Medici Family Trees”

1500: “Prince Lorenzo De Medici Talks All Things Royal”

1500: “Brian Sewell in Florence & The Last of the Medici”

1500: “The Origins of the Hapsburgs Explained”

1500: “Huguenots and the French Reformation”


1501: Was Read Martin Luther by Simonetta Car – Well done biography, added missing details to his life, beautiful book


1509: Read Henry VIII: Royal Beheader by Sean Price – this is part of the Wicked History series. Anders loved it.


1520: Was read Conquistador Voices, volume I: Cortez by Kevin H. Siepel – Absolutely fantastic.


1520: “Conquistador Hernan Cortes: Fall of the Aztecs Full Documentary”

1527: “The Bourbon Dynasty: Rise of Absolutism in France”


1530: Was read “Whoso List to Hunt” by Thomas Wyatt – wonderful.


1533: Read Mary Tudor: Courageous Queen or Bloody Mary? By Jane Buchanan – this is part of the Wicked History series that Anders really likes. He loved it.


1535: Was read A Handbook on Good Manners for Children by Erasmus – Anders and I both enjoyed this book. It’s fun to point out that if a manners book of the time specifies to not spit on the floor … that means a lot of people were spitting on the floor.


1536: Was read The Hawk that Dare Not Hunt By Day – Good story, more realistic depiction of life than the grand adventures, about actual historical happening, but irresponsible Christian forgiveness at the end.


1540: Was read Conquistador Voices, volume II: Cabeza de Vaca and de Soto – I never intended to read this book, but the first volume was so good that Anders insisted. This one was just as mind blowing. This time period never interested me. Apparently I was just reading the wrong things!


1541: “John Calvin and the Reformation”


1541: Read The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell – Anders hated this Newberry Honor Book. So did I. O’Dell’s idea of heroic is just not mine. He’s too nice. Overly compassionate. Throws the treasure in the river! 


1550: “How to Build the Perfect Castle”

1572: “St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre”

1572: “Saint Bartholomew’s Day”


1577: Read Sir Francis Drake: Slave Trader or Pirate by Charles Nick – This is part of the Wicked History series that Anders really likes. He loved this one.


1590: Was read Golden Lads: A Study of Anthony Bacon, Francis and Their Friends by Daphne Du Maurier – I found this book too detailed and quite boring, but Anders liked it for some reason. Had plenty of good lessons about life and social climbing. Omitting long boring tangents made it more tolerable.


1600: “The Incredible Story of Sweden’s Vasa Warship”


1600: Was read Puck of Pook’s Hill by Rudyard Kipling – Eh. It was kind of fun to remember the Romans, to hear about places like Bath and read about Sally Lunn buns and Hadrien’s Wall, but otherwise I was not overly impressed with this book at all.


1600: “Gustavus Adolphus Documentary – Biography of the life of Gustavus Adolphus the Great”


1600: Read Stories from the Faeries Queen edited by Louey Chisholm – lovely little book, but too young for Anders. We read the first story from this book and then the first story from the other book and wow was the other book a lot more interesting! So, we read the whole other book. Then he ended up finishing this one on his own as it was just little and sweet.


1600: Was read and read Edmund Spenser The Illustrated Faerie Queene: A Modern Prose Adaptation by Douglas Hill – This book was so good Anders could not wait for me to read it to him and always read ahead. Like Le Morte D’Arthur the stories in here are allegories, designed to teach specific moral lessons, all of which I loved! 


1600: “How to Dance Through Time: The Majesty of Renaissance Dance”

1600: “British Renaissance Music”

1600: “Documentary: The Hapsburg Empire – The Blue Danube”

1600: “Food of the Renaissance: A Cook Back in Time”


1605: Read Slimy Stuarts by Terry Deary – Part of the Horrible Histories series which Anders thinks is hilarious.


1604: Read Don Quixote by Cervantes – I read him the first two hundred pages. He thought this was the most hilarious book ever and could not wait for me to keep reading it to him. He ended up getting so far ahead of me in the book (and I enjoyed the book so little) that I just let him finish it.


1605: Was read The World of Capt. John Smith by Genevieve Foster – Same idea as the Story of the World series but much better done, better stories, more interesting. The story of the world for young kids has too little detail and the one for older kids is dry. These are just right.


1610: Was read and read Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare by Usborne – Anders loved this book. After I read it to him, he reread it several times.


1610: Read King Lear: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross – Anders liked all of the Shakespeare Story series.


1610: Read Antony and Cleopatra: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read Julius Ceasar: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read Hamlet: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read Hamlet retold by Bruce Coville – Anders loved Hamlet, but not as much as the comedy written by Saxo Gramaticus in the 1200’s. I like the comedy more as well.


1200: Reread Saxo Gramaticus: History of the Danes book 3, Shakespeare’s inspiration for Hamlet


1610: Read Macbeth: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read Macbeth by Bruce Coville - Anders loved this book.


1610: Read Romeo & Juliet: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Watched The Hallow Crown (Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V)


1610: Watched The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (Henry VI parts 1, 2 and 3, and Richard III)


1610: Read Henry V: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read Richard III: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read Twelfth Night: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read Twelfth Night by Bruce Coville - Anders read this book himself and loved it.


1610: Watched Twelfth Night 1996 – Anders found the romance in this movie uncomfortable, he spent much of the movie hiding his eyes and fast forwarding.


1610: Read Othello: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read The Merchant of Venice: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read The Tempest: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Watched The Tempest (2010) 


1610: Read A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Bruce Coville – Anders read this book himself and loved it, especially Puck who he thought was the best character.


1610: Watched William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream from 1999 – Anders loved this movie, but thought Puck could have done better.


Memorized monologue: Anders chose Puck as his favorite of all the characters from all of Shakespeare (besides Hamlet) and memorized his monologue at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream


1610: Read Much Ado About Nothing: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Watched Much Ado About Nothing 1993


1610: Read As You Like It: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: Read The Taming of the Shrew: A Shakespeare Story by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross


1610: “In Search of Shakespeare Ep 1 A Time of Revolution”


1610: “In Search of Shakespeare Ep 2 The Lost Years”


1610: “In Search of Shakespeare Ep 3 The Duty of Poets”


1610: “In Search of Shakespeare Ep 4 For All Time”


1610: The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood – A fun kids book with all the propaganda of today—the dream job, the girl who wants to be an actress, but they won’t let her, so she dresses up as a boy… so basically every play ever put on during Shakespeare’s time had a woman cross-dressing and pretending she was a man, right?

1610: “Francis Bacon's Influence - Francis Bacon is William Shakespeare? Secret Teachings”


1610: Thomas Harriott: Science Pioneer by Ralph C. Staiger


1610: Was read The Winding Stair: Francis Bacon, His Rise and Fall by Daphne Du Maurier – I found this book too detailed and boring, like the last one, but still incomparable for an in-depth look at life in this time period. Fascinating how many times everyone (who could) left London because there was a plague that year—there was no one major plague in the 1600’s, there were just frequent plagues for a hundred years. This book also does a good job of showing how messy and unorganized real life is.


1614: The Jamestown Adventure: Accounts of the Virginia Colony, 1605-1614 edited by Ed Southern – Similar idea to Conquistador voices, not quite as good but still fantastic and important. So important to hear real voices and stories from that time and not today’s rewrite. You can really get into their heads! 


1631: “Gustavus Adolphus – Breitenfeld 1631 – 30 Years’ War Documentary”


1620: “The Philosophy of Sir Francis Bacon”


1620: The Landing of the Pilgrims by James Daugherty – This book started off slow, but Anders liked it so much by the end that he requested more information on early settlers of America


1625: Read The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas translated by Richard Pevear – This book was so entertaining that I was only able to read Anders the first two or three chapters before he stole it and finished it on his own. Dumas was a fantastic writer but not a good man. I don’t like this book due to the adultery.


1640: Read Who Was Galileo?


1641: Read A Messenger for Parliament by Erik Christian Haugaard – Well written, thoughtful, interesting, historically-accurate fiction.

1642: Read Cromwell's Boy by Erik Christian Haugaard – Fantastic, like the prequel.


1650Read The Pirate World by Angus Konstam – Excellent history and a beautiful book to boot.


1650: Read The Golden Age of Pirates: An Interactive History Adventure by Bob Temple – Anders enjoyed this book.


1665: Read Who Was Isaac Newton? – Anders enjoyed this book.


1667: Was read the beginning of Paradise Lost by John Milton – I don’t get why people like this book. It was a nice idea – a retelling of the Bible as an epic – but I just think it’s terrible. Reminded me of Joyce. Too many allusions to actually read. More of a puzzle than a book.


1678: Read The Ruby of Kishmoor by Howard Pyle – Anders loved this book. It was fun and quick. It had a noble main character which I appreciated. 


1682: Read The World of William Penn by Genevieve Foster – Anders and I continue to enjoy Foster’s books.


1696: Was read Scheduling the Heavens: The Story of Edmond Halley by Mary Virginia Fox


1693: YouTube: Trouble in Amish Paradise – This is about modern day Amish, but it gave Anders an idea of who these people were.


1693: YouTube: Living with the Amish, episodes 1-6 – This is about modern day Amish, but it gave Anders an idea of who these people were.


1697: Read The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang 


1697: Was read East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North – I can’t stand fairy tales. I have said this before – they are folk tales aka tales from poor people. In general, they teach victim ideology and pretty bad ideas about how to succeed at life (the only way to succeed is to get lucky by stumbling across something magical.)


Was read selections from Food in History  by Reay Tannahill (the chapters on food in the Renaissance time period)



History continues to be one of Anders’s favorite subjects, if not his very favorite. Mine too. I continue to be blown away by how much history I was not taught in school.

This year I learned that both the Pilgrims and the Jamestown colonies tried to establish communism/socialism when they first arrived. That is why 90% of the people starved to death. Each of them reverted to capitalism after 3-5 years, at that point the colonies became successful. Women in particular dropped dead like flies. 

I was also surprised to find out how many European settlers died of malaria and yellow fever. I thought the whole disease thing was one sided—Europeans bringing disease to Native Americans. Apparently, the new diseases thing actually went both ways.

I was also surprised to learn how much fighting there was with the Native Americans. I thought Europeans came and just claimed land and committed genocide. I had no idea that they tried to get along, traded a ton, could not generally leave their settlements unarmed or alone without being murdered or kidnapped, made endless treaties and deals that were gone back on, were robbed repeatedly, etc. I thought the Native Americans were peaceful, innocent victims. In reality, they were formidable adversaries.

I was surprised to learn that Shakespeare was the “boundary-pushing” morality-destroying artist of his day. I actually agree with the puritans. I think literature lost a great deal when it became about entertainment rather than education and morality-teaching. In many ways, I prefer things like Le Mort D’Arthur and The Fairy Queen.

There were many other surprises, but those were the ones I can think of off the top of my head.



Skill Sharpeners Science, Grade 5 (completed)


Technology / Engineering / Space

Read Unbuilding by David Macaulay

Read Toilet: How It Works by David Macaulay

Read/examined How Things Work: The Inner Life of Everyday Machines by Theodore Gray

Was read Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance – Anders had a hard time getting into it this book, but after PayPal (boring) came SpaceX and then Anders was riveted. Great business book. Great science book. Too much swearing.

Read The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos by Christian Davenport - Not as good as Elon Musk, but still good.

Read Space: A Visual Encyclopedia

Read Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Read Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s Special Effects Spectacular by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Powered Showdown by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Read Nick and Tesla’s Secret Agent Gadget Battle by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

Watched Lecture: CalTech’s Keck Institute of Space Studies: The Thrill and Terror of Landing a Spacecraft on Mars 

Watched Lecture: MIT: Science Snippets: Physics of Particles, Trains, and the Universe

YouTube: How does a Helicopter Fly?

YouTube: Why Aren’t Keyboards in ABC Order?

YouTube: Qwerty vs Dvorak As Fast As Possible

Watched endless YouTube videos about technology involving robots, flying cars, and weapons.



Read Focus on Physics Middle School – This is a book I read to him two years ago. He recently reread it to himself.

Read Particle Physics Brick by Brick: Atomic and Subatomic Physics Explained in Lego by Dr. Ben Still – Anders loved this book

YouTube TedEd: Turbulence: One of the Great Unsolved Mysteries of Physics

YouTube TedEd: What is Entropy?

YouTube TedEd: Newtons 3 Laws, with a bicycle

YouTube TedEd: The Physics of Surfing

YouTube TedEd: What is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

YouTube TedEd: What is invisible? More than you think

YouTube TedEd: Questions No One Knows the Answers to

YouTube TedEd: Light Waves, Visible and Invisible

YouTube TedEd: What’s the Smallest Thing in the Universe

YouTube: Fusion Power Explained – Future or Failure

YouTube: The Economics of Nuclear Energy

YouTube: Man Received Highest Dose of Nuclear Radiation


Geology / Gemology / Geography

Read Focus on Geology, Middle School Level

Read Earth Science: Geology, the Environment, and the Universe by the National Geographic Society

Read Gemology by Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr.

Read Geography of the World: The Essential Guide to Geography and Culture by DK

Read/memorized Rocks and Minerals by Chris Pellant

Read/memorized Gemstones by Cally Hall

Read/memorized Gemstones of the World by Walter Schumann



Read Focus on Chemisty, Middle School Level

Read/examined Molecules by Theodore Gray

Read/examined The Elements by Theodore Gray

Read/examined Reactions by Theodore Gray

YouTube TedEd: Why Don’t Oil and Water Miz?

YouTube: How Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs Work in 10 Minutes

Did Chem C500 Science Kit with 28 Guided Experiments by Thames & Kosmos Chemistry – Anders loved this. I was impressed with it too. Well done kit.


Biology / Medicine / Genetics

Read Focus on BiologyMiddle School Level

YouTube: How Music Affects The Brain and Your Emotions

YouTube: How Music Affects Your Brain The Real Truth

YouTube: 7 Spooky Things Music Does to Your Brain

YouTube: What is DNA? The Dr. Bincos Show

YouTube: DNA, Chromosomes, Genes, and Traits: An Intro to Heredity

YouTube: Mom vs Dad: What Did you Inherit

YouTube: Bill Nye the Science Guy SO5E03 Genes

YouTube: Why Do I Have Freckles?

YouTube: Reading Can Change Your Brain!

YouTube: The Potential Dangers of LED Lights

YouTube: 11 Most Poisonous Plants in the World

YouTube: How Poison Ivy Works

YouTube: BBC Lying Liars

YouTube: Why Blinking is More Important than You Think



Anders watched many more YouTube videos than I have listed. Anders’s special interests include weapons technology and geology. He knows so much in these areas its insane. 

Milestone: Anders sat through (and loved) his first webinar lectures.

Anders recently realized he enjoys the Kahn Academy class on coding in Java. This has opened up a whole new world for him, but since it is so new I will include it in next year’s report.


Watercolors Level at Renaissance Fine Art 



Anders was only able to do two months of fine art classes this year.



Anders spent 5 months in Nicaragua practicing Spanish all day every day


Rolling Robots (1 week)

Harvard Westlake: debate, music, robots (3 weeks)

Avant Garde Fencing (1 week)

Toyota Center Hockey (1 week)

Planet Bravo YouTube Show Creation (1 week)