I handed in the membership application paperwork at the second meeting, along with the "[I'm not a] prohibited person" declaration that is required from any parent that wants to help out at Cub meetings. As a pro-rata fee amount due is calculated from the number of quarters remaining before the 31 March "year end", I listed 1 October as the joining date and post-dated the cheque.
For the school vacation period I have booked DS1 into a 4-day sailing course (cost $320) the first week of the holidays, and a 2-day art class the following week ($120). Hopefully DS1 enjoys the classes enough to make them worthwhile. We have a small catamaran sail-boat stored at my parent's lake-side farm, so sailing would be an affordable activity for DS1 if he enjoys it.
DS1 may also spend some time in the vacation learning JAVA programming - he worked his way through a couple of kid's programming tutorials last year using QBasic, so I bought a colourful introductory book on programming in Java that will help introduce him to object-oriented programming concepts and revise his previous work on variables, arrays, loops, i/o and so forth. Last week I registered him with the online training site http://orac.amt.edu.au/aioc/) used by students preparing for the Australian Informatics Olympiad programme. The site is really meant for high-school students (years 7-12) that are participating in the Australian Informatics Competition (AIC) or the Australian Informatics Olympiad (AIO), but the online exercises will provide many programing exercises for me to work through with him. When he submits his solution code to the site it will be automatically run using a suite a test data files and given an overall score based on program output correctness and run time. Cool. DS1 is only in year 4, so he can't enter the informatics competitions yet, which is a pity since he got a high distinction in the ICAS computer skills test this year (top 2%) and is interesting in programming and robotics. But if starts programming now for fun, he may do well in the competitions when he is in Year 7.
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