Homeschool Shop Class: Go Kart!

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Science and Faith: Incompatible?

Are the pursuits of Science and Faith incompatible? This discussion has come up at the Redneck household as we have been considering participation in some local Co-Ops that have chosen to use some Faith-based Science curricula. The short answer? Probably, not. Or, so I believe. As a practicing “rocket scientist” (engineer) I see Science literally, as … Continue reading

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

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

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

Science With Secondo: Giving Blood To The Cause

Science with Secondo is still in the observational stage; for a nearly-nine-year-old we are content with simply building models and running simple experiments for that “gee whiz!” factor. And this is as it should be, since we want to ensnare their curiosity. The current course of study is Biology. Naturally, we reached … Continue reading