Category: All Subjects

When Experiments Don’t Work, That’s When the Science Really Gets Fun!

We have all been there, even me. It is the situation where your child and you set up and perform a science experiment only to have it fail. For most people this is frustrating. When this happens parents often wonder if their children are learning from it. As a scientist, I find it interesting that our response is frustration and doubt instead of delight. R. Buckminster Fuller said it best when he said, There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes. Unexpected outcomes should be treated with a sense of wonder. You have...

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Using R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Biology 2 for High School Level Biology

Before I get into the specifics of how to do this, I would tell you to relax about this. About six months before Sean started ninth grade, I looked over the California A – G requirements. These are the specific course requirements students need in order to be considered for application to one of the University of California, UC, schools. This university system is considered by many to be one of the top university systems in the United States. Within each of these requirements you can look at the content UC expects you to cover. I was flabbergasted. Many...

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Reading Challenge: February 2017

February has been a hectic month for us. As much as I would have loved to just escape into books I simply haven’t had the time. When I don’t have as much time to read as I would like I become very selective of the books I do read. I usually find comfort in rereading my favorite classics, but instead opted for a brand new title by one of my all time favorite authors. My oldest has been more focused on reading books for his classes than free reading lately, as well spending more time outside riding his longboard...

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Why Study History?

History is our story, the record of our triumphs and tragedies. Without history, everything is new and surprising; history does not predict the future, but it narrows the possibilities. The best way to learn history is to immerse yourself in the study of it – through historical television dramas, movies, historical novels, and by reading history, particularly one that takes both a social and political approach. Children love learning what other children’s lives were like, but even older students (and adults) like their history to read like a novel. In teaching history, remember the twenty-year rule: do you want your students to know this fact in twenty years? I can remember a phrase on a history test: Harley-Smoot, probably because Smoot is such a fine name (or maybe I just remember it from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). I can’t match it with any detail, however. It turns out to be Hawley-Smoot Tariff. Does it matter? I can always look up the name (as I did writing this paragraph). I do want my daughters to remember that a protectionist tariff contributed to the Depression, but I’ll save that for high school. In elementary school, the Depression is Dorothea Lange’s haunting photograph of the “Migrant Mother.” In middle school, it is Cinderella Man and The Grapes of Wrath.   The most important thing in elementary and middle school history is to...

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How to Put Together the Best Science Field Trip Ever

  Field trips aren’t just fun; they are also educational! Field trips give kids opportunities for hands-on learning, allow for new experiences, and lead to a better understanding of topics. By taking science field trips, kids can experience things that expense and expertise put out of most people’s reach. By following a few simple tips, you can ensure the science field trips this year are the best ever. When planning what your children will study in science during the coming year, start thinking of when and where field trips would make sense. Include these in your overall homeschool plan...

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