Tag Archives: Homeschooling

Learn Physics At Home

i-300e609f666a874368dea419981a4078-head_first_physics.jpgHead First Physics: A learner’s companion to mechanics and practical physics I have been watching these Heads Up guides for some time now, mainly in the context of computer software and development. I have not tried any of these guides in IT because, so far, I’ve felt that while they may be excellent learning resources, they were not ideal reference books, and that is usually what I am looking for. I may be a bit unusual in this regard, but I’m pretty happy reading a reference book from beginning to end, then using later … as a reference book. In fact, I’d say my ideal combination of books for learning a new aspect of IT is something like an Idiot’s guide or some other very basic tutorial together with a biblical, comprehensive reference. By picking from both ends of the spectrum of detail and intensity, I can have a quick overview and the kind of orientation one writes for a total bobo1 such as my self, and a full reference for when I need the skinny on some esoteric or detailed aspect of the topic.

However, Head First Physics plays a very different role as it is for learning in a field of science. Head First Physics provides the material that is normally included in AP Physics B, focusing on mechanics. The purpose of this book is NOT to give the average Joe or Maria a basic idea of what Physics is about. That would be fairly easy and could be done in a much less ambitious work. Rather, this book is explicitly designed to be equivalent to the Advanced Placement course. It isn’t really equivalent, of course, in that a real AP phyiscs course will have elaborate labs and opportunities for discussion with someone who actually knows what they are doing. But this book does provide labs and it does a good job of anticipating those areas where such discussions might take place.

A student heading to Physics, a home schooler, or someone interested in the topic but unable for some reason to take the Intro college physics class or the HS AP class will probably find this book serves them well.

The reason Head First Physics (and presumably other Head First books) works is because almost every element … at the smallest scale … is designed to be a splash of cold water on the student’s face. “Well, so is water-boarding” you may say. And rightly so. The true geek who could enjoy any technical review of any hard science may not want to mess with the “Keep ’em interested” approach of this book. But for the average student, or more so for the student who is turned off by this sort of material, this book might work well.

1“Bobo” is Kinande for “Moron.”

Homeschooling Carnival Up

Homeschool Showcase (Formerly The Carnival of Cool Homeschoolers) #15 is up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. I’ve got an item listed in the carnival, which is typical (I often send potentially useful science content material to the homeschooling carnivals.)

While you’re studying Earth science, you may want to check out Nature’s Evolutionary Gems posted by Greg Laden at Greg Laden’s Blog. It’s up to you whether you use it to teach evolution as fact or as a teachable moment as you discuss God’s creation. I know how we’ll be using it. πŸ˜‰

Wink wink indeed!

Nature’s Evolutionary Gems

The following announcement is from Nature.

About a year ago, an Editorial in these pages urged scientists and their institutions to ‘spread the word’ and highlight reasons why scientists can treat evolution by natural selection as, in effect, an established fact (see Nature 451, 108; 2008).

This week we are following our own prescription. Readers will find at http://www.nature.com/evolutiongems a freely accessible resource for biologists and others who wish to explain to students, friends or loved ones just what is the evidence for evolution by natural selection. Entitled ’15 evolutionary gems’, the document summarizes 15 lines of evidence from papers published in Nature over the past 10 years. The evidence is drawn from the fossil record, from studies of natural and artificial habitats, and from research on molecular biological processes.

In a year in which Darwin is being celebrated amid uncertainty and hostility about his ideas among citizens, being aware of the cumulatively incontrovertible evidence for those ideas is all the more important. We trust that this document will help.

Are Home Schooled Athletes Cheating?

In a previous discussion on home schooling and athletics, this idea, surprisingly, did not come up:

Some senators worry a bill that passed the Senate this morning might allow student to cheat their way into playing sports.

The bill allows home schooled students to join public school sports teams and other exrtracirricular activities. But their academic performance must meet certain standards. But how do home schoolers establish academic standards? Some argue that they can’t.
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K-12 Online Learning

An increasingly large number of K through 12 students (in the tens of thousands or more) are getting some or all of their education on line. Typically, the on line resources are provided by private corporate vendors contracting to individuals or in some cases school districts, and the target audience tends to be middle school or high school.

School districts and teachers (including unions) are typically reticent to support this shift. While such groups may be resisting online offerings because it constitutes direct competition, they also have valid complaints that online learning, like homeschooling, fails to provide certain benefits that a school community can provide.

There is a very well done story on this in the International Herald Tribune.

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HURRY UP! Home School Science Fair Deadline Is Almost Here!!!

The Twin Cities Creation Science Association Home School Science Fair, held each year in February, in Har Mar Mall, Roseville, Minnesota, will occur this year on Saturday & Sunday, February 16 and 17, 2008.

The Application Deadline is January 31st, 2008 ($5.00 entry fee)

You can register after January 31st at the door for only three bucks more!

Here are the entry guidelines:

Continue reading HURRY UP! Home School Science Fair Deadline Is Almost Here!!!

Twin Cities Home Schooling Creationist Science Fair Photos

This is a repost of an item from my old blog.

The Twin Cities Home Schooling Creationist Science Fair at Har Mar Mall in Roseville, Minnesota happened last month. The organization that (at least partly) sponsors this event (Twin Cities Creation Science) usually posts photographs of the science fair, but this year they got into a tizzy about it for some reason and removed the photographs from their web site.

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The Beagle Project: Endorsed by a pantheon of Science Bloggers…

You are going to be hearing a lot more about Darwin in the month of February, which is Darwin Month here on The Internet. (It is also Creationist Home Schooling Science Fair month, so hang on to your mice and keyboards!!!!) I have a Darwin plan of my own that you will be learning of soon enough.

In the mean time, I wanted to remind you of the Beagle Project:

We aim to celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday by building a sailing replica of HMS Beagle and recreating the Voyage of the Beagle with an international crew of researchers, aspiring scientists and science communicators. The voyage will apply the techniques of 21st century science to Darwin’s journey, inspiring a new generation of scientists and promoting the public understanding of evolution and wider science.

Please go visit their site, help them out!

Especially, have a look at this post latest item indicating top referral sources to the Beagle Project site.

Racy new novel with Homeschooling Theme

Home School

A big chunk of the reading world is going to have a great time devouring a Home School, new semi erotic, not-very-family values novel by the very author that gave us The Graduate (which was made into that movie with Dustin Hoffman … one of the classics). This is ironic, because the book’s plot, which continues the original story of Benjamin and The Robinson’s, is advanced partly at the expense of the self-same self-righteous Homeschoolers that will be forced, due to a neurotic sense of shame, to ban the book from their own homes.

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The Home Schooling Attitude: Part 1 of 1

This is Part 1 because there is more than one part. But I’m only going to do one of them, so it is Part 1 of 1. There is more than one “kind” of home schooler, home schooling parent, home schooling family, etc., and thus there are multiple attitudes. But a good chunk of the home schooling population, represented by these excerpts from their own rhetoric, are more than a little annoying, and are the reason why we should always be suspicious of home schooling and home schoolers until we see their credentials.
Continue reading The Home Schooling Attitude: Part 1 of 1