Trends in Understanding Science and Technology (and What It Means to Education)

The National Science Foundation released its report on Science and Engineering Indicators 2014 this last February. Needless to say, I find the trends disturbing. Yet, most people will go on with their lives with nary a thought about the trends, nor will these same people recognize the disingenuous concerns expressed by … Continue reading

Science (and other topics) With Primo: Unit Studies: Bacteria vs Virus

Recently, the topic of “unit studies” or “main lessons” came up on a reddit.com discussion. This approach to home education is useful to create a topic focus that wraps many disciplines into a month long (or longer) period. This ability to “connect the dots” should help pique the interest in … Continue reading

Flying Filberts! Trebuchet! A Lesson in… almost everything.

Here is yet another example of how many different topics can be fuzed into a single simple project. Several years ago the boys and I built a small trebuchet that could fling filberts about 40 to 50 feet; it was a lesson in history, mythology, music, math, physics, botany, nutrition, … Continue reading

More Adventures in Innumeracy

Writing error-free books is difficult. I get that. But every once in a while certain errors just rub me so wrong I just have to scream. My latest encounter is with Primo’s pre-algebra student workbook (Horizon’s Lesson #95). Click on the picture to be “amazed.” My first reaction was, “In … Continue reading

Science With Secondo: Cola Clock: Accepting Failure and Pressing On

Often, I am amazed at how children can take some failures and turn them into grand learning experiences. Secondo turned nine this last week. I don’t know where the time went. Primo grew three inches since October and five since a year ago. Secondo has lost that toddler look and … Continue reading

Fusing Curriculum: Sphinxes, Gods, and Mummies – Oh My!

Home education offers us the opportunity to fuse subjects around a central topic. This is not an unschooled approach, but rather an education of opportunity. Currently we are in ancient Egyptian overload, but when you find a topic that interests the student it is probably best to squeeze as much out of … Continue reading

International Ice Cream For Breakfast Day and Other Awesome Silliness

What do you do when you just need to be silly? It may seem silly, especially in winter, but when GranolaGirl and I lived in Colorado our favorite time to walk down to Baskin Robbins for a cone was during a snow storm. We don’t get the opportunity often in … Continue reading

Solar Cooking as a Physics Lesson

Last summer we finally bought a solar oven after previous efforts to build one ended up with a trip to the ER (and why RocketRedNeck only has 9.99 fingers). We’ll discuss the finer points of shop safety with the kids, later, but for now we can show them the power … Continue reading

That’s Going to Leave a Mark

The kids love their Legos, and making dad laugh… got home from work and stepped into this crime scene.   Continue reading

Coaching the Reluctant Student

Secondo is our reluctant student and natural contrarian. GranolaGirl has often joked when Secondo was a toddler that he was really a cantankerous 80-year-old Frenchman in a 2-year-old body, and he was not-at-all pleased with the situation. Part of the difficulties stem from multiple double-ear infections starting at about 11 … Continue reading