Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Driver's Ed"

Hi, my name is Holly and I don't use a textbook to teach high school science.

If you want to make yourself a pariah, particularly after the recent hit piece on Good Morning America about radical unschoolers, go about saying that sentence in public.

Rest easy, though, the radical unschoolers would never have me.  The tough part is, many traditional home educators won't either.  Neither group voices it much, but it hangs in the air in the polite silence that is then followed by a rush to change the subject.  To the rad undies, I am way too Type A and structured.  To my traditional Christian homeschool pals, I am slightly weird and definitely suspect.

Both groups are correct but all I can say is, it works for us.  Stealth schooling, serendipitous schooling, call it what you will.

This year, here's what science looked like for our 14 year old.  Those who like a scope and sequence, prepare to go bananas:

Science Olympiad weekly class and competition including designing and building a load-carrying bridge to precise specifications and academic quizzing on "disease detectives" as well as potpourri of other topics.

9 weeks of a four hour Electronics class taught at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry followed by 12 volunteer hours demonstrating what he learned to museum visitors.

Saturday Morning Physics at Fermilab.  Nine two hour lectures and tours by a different physicist each week covering different topics in particle physics.

Fermilab Open House with demonstrations and lectures.

Subscription to Acts and Facts, National Geographic, Muse, Odyssey.  NOVA, Nature, MythBusters TV shows.

Free experiment kit all about lasers from PhysicsQuest.

Research paper discussing how human anatomy and physiology reflects the biblical account of creation.

Interestingly, in addition to scouring many articles on human anatomy, my kid picked up a textbook to help him in that last endeavor.

Who woulda thunk it?


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