Homeschool Shop Class: Go Kart!

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 more »

Homeschool Shop Class: Ultimate “Take-a-part”


It’s a Captain Obvious moment, but I think it is safe to say that there is a huge difference between theory and practice. This can apply to everything, including topics as varied as art, math, music, how you organize a home school, or even parenting, in general. Experience is the more »

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

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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 more »

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, more »

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 more »

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Scratch is a great way to start teaching kids how to program; the sky is not even close to the limit. It allows kids (and adults, alike) to explore their creativity in the form of games, animation, music, and much more. See Primo’s (a.k.a. RedNeckSideKick) page here and Secondo’s page is here. Here is more »

Extra Curricular Activities: SPARK Programming From Scratch

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Every once in a while we hit it big with the extra curricular activities. Today was particularly good as Primo (disguised as RedNeckSideKick) and RocketRedNeck attended a SPARK (Simple Programming, Animation & Robotics for Kids) session at the University of Arizona. While Primo has acquired a lot of programming experience more »

Flush – Another Arduino Project


Here is a project put together mostly by Primo (11-1/2 years old) inspired by the fact that his little brother didn’t always flush. About 80% of the coding was done by Primo himself; I only provided some guidance on how to use a switch statement as a state machine (which more »

Simple Simon


Do you remember the game “Simon” by Milton Bradley (c. 1978)? Vintage ones are selling for around $90. But why buy one when you can make one! Of course you may spend more than $90… but isn’t that worth something to spend a few hours with the kids teaching and learning? more »

The Apple ][ Does Not Fall Far From the Tree


Primo wants to learn how to program a computer; his goal: write a game for the iPad, or something. Cool, I can deal with that, and it certainly beats playing games all day. We haven’t had video games in the house until recently. Never had much use for them when more »