Homeschool Shop Class: Go Kart!

Too cool for words

Too cool for words

Boy have I been lax in getting things written! I realized this heading home from a Memorial Day visit with some friends when Secondo decided to wax-philosophical, “How do I know if I exist? How do I know if you exist? How do I know what my purpose is?” This lead to a lengthy discussion of philosophy, Decartes, Kant, pre-determinism, free-will, space and time.

After binge watching Doctor Who for the last couple of months, this will probably lead to watching Sliders as well.

Actually, I think Secondo “gets it” much more than I do; he’ll probably invent the warp-drive the day after he learns about Riemannian Manifolds. This all made me feel a tinge of guilt that I have not blogged more about those “wow moments” during home education when you truly realize the benefits of the customized approach to educating children: something that simply will never happen in an institution.

So hopefully, soon, I will write something “substantial”.

Today is not one of those days.

If you remember a few months back, in the last post from the Homeschool Shop Class: Ultimate “Take-a-part”, I mentioned that we were considering a Go Kart. The Go Kart was pretty much Primo’s only gift at Christmas, but worth every penny.

Primo promised that Secondo could drive it if he turned at least one nut. While Primo did 80% of more of the work, Secondo was willing to join in, and I only helped when some muscle was needed.

And, yes, there was math involved!

The original engine from the earlier take-a-part simply was not powerful enough to keep the centrifugal clutch engaged. The first test drive was less than dramatic because the kart couldn’t pull the slight incline on the road in front of the house. The result was a smoking clutch.

The lesson here was to determine if the engine should have been powerful enough, was somehow “damaged” during reassembly, or needed to be replaced with a more powerful engine.

After going through the geometry, ratios, and trigonometry Primo was able to determine that he would need an engine with roughly twice the power. After the process he asked me if I had known the answer all along; okay, so I won’t be able to use that trick again, but what a great lesson in how to use math to predict an outcome!

But enough of that! Here are the galleries of the assembly process and the boys’ test drives.

And, hopefully, soon, I will write “other things…Of shoes and ships and sealing wax … Of cabbages and kings…

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