Sunday, March 04, 2007

Teaching Tom.

Tom got his school report, and it's not brilliant. The good news, is that there are some easy aspects that can be improved - namely, concentration and attention problems, and the fact that he sulks!!

I know Tom is capable of achieving good results, but, in the main, I have to question the teaching methods on offer.

As an example, last night was a lunar eclipse. I am no astronomer, but I do love the moon phases, and incidents such as this.

I drew a quick, rough and ready diagram to explain it to Tom. Armed with information about the umbra, the penumbra, and the atmosphere bending the light waves around the earth, we settled back and watched the shadow creeping across the moon, until engulfed, finally it glowed red.

We looked at a few stars, and discussed a few well known constellations.

I can tell that Tom loves taking in this information. He understands it, and he is genuinely interested in it. The only difference that I can see between this and his schoolwork, is that I actively try to explain things in a way that makes them interesting and fun. Even the small bits of homework I do with Tom are always done with some energy.

And so, I have one more small piece of information to pass on to this fine young student.

Syzygy: It's a lovely word, and it's mainly used in astronomy or astrology. When three celestial bodies align themselves. Take the eclipse, for example..... The moon, the earth, and the sun are all directly in a straight line. That, right there, is syzygy my friend!!

Ok, enough of me lecturing the poor lad..... Concentrate, stop pissing about in class, stop being distracted, stop distracting others, stop sulking, start reading more, start writing more!!!

And so, onto my pictures..... it was very difficult with my limited experience and equipment to make any good pictures of last night's eclipse...... but here are the ones that I did manage to take!!

Here are two great websites for Tom.

All about stars!

More Stars.


  1. Good to see the pink ones again - did your mother ever use the Clanger knitting pattern?

    Not sure about the 'all about stars' site, though. Ursa Major looks remarkably like an arctic fox, The next diagram down from that looks like it's from the manual of a sex therapist and Orion the Hunter looks... gay.

  2. Looks like you and the Clangers had quite the party...which one is Tom? ;)

  3. Hi that is great that you were able to convey your enjoyment to Tom and that now he can enjoy it too. As for my site I changed the color. Also what didn't help as I hadn't realized that the writing was so small I usually use a bigger font. My apologies for that and also for having an upsetting blog. I try to make them happier as I don't like to remember the bad only the good things that happen. I think I had needed to get this off my chest though. Sorry though that it was a day you chose to visit.
    Hope you have a good week and come by again to visit.

  4. My god i got a comment woohoo lol
    Glad you put the pics on, we tried to watch it but just at the critical moment it went all cloudy :(
    Pol x