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Current Topic: Education

We're off to Live and Learn 2007
Topic: Education 8:58 pm EDT, Sep  3, 2007

Once a year, the free range children converge for a week of fun and learning. This year's conference is close to Asheville, NC.

Great for unschoolers and those interested in learning about unschooling.

We're off to Live and Learn 2007

Boy, 13, suspended for drawing a gun
Topic: Education 5:53 pm EDT, Aug 23, 2007

This is crazy. This is what boys DO. Come ON.

Boy, 13, suspended for drawing a gun

A fair article on unschooling
Topic: Education 2:27 pm EDT, Aug 20, 2007

"Unschooling isn't the absence of education. It's the absence of schools.

Public schools.
Private schools.
Even home schools.

There is no designated time for learning, no designated location where education takes place. Unschooling families see the world as an open classroom wallpapered with everyday experiences.

Kids express an interest, ask a question or wonder out loud whether fish breathe. Parents help them find the answer and foster discussions.

But they don't push."

My family has been moving closer and closer to unschooling. At this time I only formally teach writing and math. Reading, literature, science, art, and technology and other topics are off and running on 4 legs.
We are going to the Live and Learn Conference in a couple of weeks. I might make the complete jump soon - I am very interested in meeting the older unschooled children.

A fair article on unschooling

Homeschooled chess team not allowed to defend Championship title
Topic: Education 5:57 pm EDT, Jul 31, 2007

This is almost funny.

A homeschooled group of kids played chess in the league for years, and won the championship. Then, the next year, they changed the rules so they couldn't enter.

All the homeschooled kids were from the same area, but they changed the rules - uh - in case they weren't?

"Roger Brownell, a homeschool parent in Tucson who was on a state chess committee looking into the matter, agreed with the final ruling. If homeschool students were allowed to form teams, he said, it would be like allowing sport teams to take students from any geographical area.

But homeschool proponents look at the chess world as way behind the times, especially since public education has changed so much with increasing numbers of charter and magnet schools, which take students from all over, just like private and parochial schools."

Homeschooled chess team not allowed to defend Championship title

Should Science Speak to Faith
Topic: Education 9:26 am EDT, Jun 18, 2007

Great article. Of course my first response on reading the title was "If they want funding they better." Of course, the article goes much deeper than that, giving the reader ideas about ways to confront creationism and young earth theory.

I am confronted with that quite often, and yet my position is not one to be able to challenge, but I found this article refreshing and HELPFUL. I've never liked Dawkins much, but the article introduced me to Knauss, who is much 'more gentle' in his approach. He has some lectures and power points at his website here:

"Although the authors are both on the side of science, they have not always agreed about the best ways to oppose religiously motivated threats to scientific practice or instruction. Krauss, a leading physicist, frequently steps into the public spotlight to argue in favor of retaining evolutionary theory in school science curricula and keeping pseudoscientific variants of creationism out of them. An open letter he sent to Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, urging the pontiff not to build new walls between science and faith, led the Vatican to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s acceptance of natural selection as a valid scientific theory."

Should Science Speak to Faith

Talking With Children About Frankenstein
Topic: Education 2:44 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2007

I just had one of those wonderful opportunities to have a mind to mind talk with two little boys, one my own, 11, homeschooled, and the other my nephew, 12, who is in public school.

My own son does not get the luxury of a 'summer break' because we incorporate education everyday into his daily activities. His cousin, who stays with us a good bit of the time, always has the choice to participate, or to go play videogames.

99% of the time, he will choose to participate, especially in science and art.

So today, the topic was Frankenstein. I suddenly found myself on the couch between 2 very interested little boys as the topic went from Frankenstein, cardioversion, to Hiroshima, over to wood frogs, then diabetes effect on frostbite, cloning, Dolly, stem cells, the role of bees in our food chain, and just what is 'genetically modified' food.

The conversation was EVERYWHERE, but there was solid scientific information and INTEREST being passed and absorbed.

After an hour, I finally got up and left as they tried to pull me back down. As usual, I felt it best to leave them with their interest high, and the boredom factor at zero.

But I sit here reflecting on the experience, I once again find that the best way to educate a child is to simply talk with them. I've learned to meet them on their own level in attention span and vocabulary, while expanding both, and to never pull punches when it comes to discussing science. Children should be encouraged to watch the news. If it is disturbing, help them process it - for it IS the world that THEY live in too.

Once again, I am convinced that the arts should not be taught 'alone' - they should not be isolated from science and technology.

Talking With Children About Frankenstein

Wowio - Free EBooks - and some are GREAT
Topic: Education 12:22 am EDT, Jun 12, 2007

I got this link from a homeschool mom trying to get 10 sign ups so she could get an IPOD Shuffle. ®

Well, I don't need one, I have one, but I still want to hawk the site. There's some great ebooks on there. The ones for kids with the crafts you can make, are so very well done that I'd have paid for them. (Egypt, Rome, Pioneer, Native American...)

So here's the deal - you sign up, and you can get 5 eBooks a day. Free. They include an ad or two after the title page targeted to you. That's all the intrusiveness I've ran across.

They have a lot of comics too. Anyway, check them out if you like eBooks. I must. I have a harddrive full of them and I really do use them. I buy 2-3 a month, so it was a treat for me to get some really good ones free.

Thought I'd share the site.

Wowio - Free EBooks - and some are GREAT

Girl Power! Go Caitlin! Homeschooled Girl Wins National Geography Bee!
Topic: Education 12:54 am EDT, May 24, 2007

"Caitlin Snaring, 14, of Redmond, won the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., today, an official with National Geographic News said.

Caitlin was the only girl among the 10 finalists and is only the second female champion in the 19-year history of the bee.

Caitlin is a home-schooled eighth-grader who made her second appearance in the geography bee. Last year, she missed only one question — about a specific type of storm cloud — and was knocked out.

"This year [the questions] were incredibly easy," she said."

Girl Power! Go Caitlin! Homeschooled Girl Wins National Geography Bee!

Collaborative Internet Projects - A Reality Model for for Education
Topic: Education 12:01 am EDT, Apr 22, 2007

I'm so excited about this potential for learning. Currently my son and I are involved in the Trans-Amazon Expedition.

This is another great advancement in armchair travel indeed!

A group of explorers daily upload podcasts, videos, pictures, and other communications that the students read and respond to. Sometimes there are decisions that are made by poll vote, where the students get to direct the team. It is a true cross curricular learning experience. Google Earth helps students keep track of where their online teachers are and adds an extra dimension to the study of geography.

Children are able to interact with the experts through chats, and email. The team is available through email to the registered students.

It has been a very positive experience. I am seeing more and more projects like this.

More collaborative projects are located here:

Collaborative Internet Projects - A Reality Model for for Education

Massive Resource List for All Autodidacts
Topic: Education 3:59 am EDT, Mar 25, 2007

If you like to learn - ANYTHING - on your own, you'll want to bookmark this site.

Massive Resource List for All Autodidacts

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