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Author Topic: Math and science education  (Read 1437 times)

YixilTesiphon

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Math and science education
« on: August 16, 2008, 04:53 PM NHFT »

Listening to the recent FTL conversations about homeschooling, I've realized that lots of people don't have the knowledge available (because it's otherwise useless to them) to teach things like calculus, advanced biology, etc. I'm a junior environmental engineering student at Cornell, so I would be able to provide online tutoring in algebra, calculus, and the sciences. If you're interested, send me an email, pm, or post here and we'll work out a deal.
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KBCraig

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Re: Math and science education
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2008, 08:14 PM NHFT »

We're not there yet (little man is 5), but this is exactly the kind of service we'll need later on.
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doobie

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Re: Math and science education
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008, 09:57 PM NHFT »

Get active in your local community for home schooling.  I know in my town there are a number of kids and some parents know more about one subject that the others so I think one day a week a different parent takes the kids and teaches.... also gives you the ability to work at the same time, just 4 days a week or something.
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dalebert

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Re: Math and science education
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008, 11:49 PM NHFT »

This is a problem some creativity and ingenuity in a free market can solve like the suggestion just given. I think a lot of home schoolers look into specialized education for the more complex subjects as their kids get a little older. They will have saved a lot of costs up to then by having taught their kids themselves. Most subjects up into early high school can be taught by most parents. Also, perhaps as homeschooling becomes more popular, more parents will actually be able to teach those advanced subjects because they will have the benefit of having been home-schooled themselves.
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Kat Kanning

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Re: Math and science education
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2008, 08:15 PM NHFT »

Cool :)  Might take you up on that.
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toowm

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Re: Math and science education
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 10:59 AM NHFT »

The Robinson Curriculum has a different take on math & science that can work fantastic for some students.

Math uses self-study with Saxon Math (the 3rd(?) edition, not the newer flashier ones). Because Saxon builds and reinforces concepts, it truly can be done with limited parental involvement, even in higher math that parents never studied. A legitimate knock on Saxon is that some students will turn off to the number of problems each chapter  -- the hope is that they will instead learn to do them quickly. Dr. Robinson notes that *not* helping a child that is struggling through a concept in math is better for them in the long run -- they learn to try things different ways and really become excellent problem solvers. In a sense, having a ready resource -- teacher, parent, or internet -- that has the answers right away -- dulls the belief and ability that you can solve a tough problem. There's a link somewhere about one of the Robinson children scoring extremely high on the Putnam exam (very tough college-level problems).

Science is done *after* math is completed, because good chemistry really requires algebra, and physics needs calculus. This probably only works if you homeschool through high school. The materials used are the Caltech freshman texts; I'm not sure how they do labs.

We follow the math curriculum pretty closely, but all the kids have interest in science, which we encourage through self-directed research and experiment.
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Kat Kanning

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Re: Math and science education
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 05:55 AM NHFT »

Kira's always done Saxon.  I've had limited involvement in the process.

How does the rest of the Robinson curriculum work out for you?  I have it, but hadn't had a good way to print it until recently.
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toowm

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Re: Math and science education
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008, 11:10 AM NHFT »

Kira's always done Saxon.  I've had limited involvement in the process.
How does the rest of the Robinson curriculum work out for you?  I have it, but hadn't had a good way to print it until recently.
We got one of recommended printers (Brother HL-5150D) a few years ago. It has built-in double sided printing, which is a huge help. As it is getting older, toner gets more expensive and difficult to find, but we should have enough for the next two years or so. Stuff we printed for J can be used for the other two. We bought Fineprint software to organize the printing into a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 booklet, along with a paper cutter to cut the pages in half. For binding, we've got a huge stapler and a heat-glue cover binder off Ebay.

We tend to use Robinson as a resource, and allow the kids to pick books from many sources. For instance, J didn't like most of the series books like Tom Swift/Rover Boys, but does like Henty. We originally homeschooled him because he had stopped reading, so we don't require that he must read a particular book. There are a lot of hidden gems in Robinson; it is a very liberty-friendly curriculum.

My current mission is to find books in electronic and audio format. The Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader are finally ebooks that read like paper, and would work so well with Robinson. Unfortunately, the files are images of each page and don't convert. I haven't tried optical character recognition yet. I have been listening to audiobooks and podcasts (thank you Free Talk Live!) on my commute since moving out here, and the kids don't complain too much if I put in Rothbard, Modern Physics, or the History of Rome on a family trip. If you think about it, even going to Manchester is an hour total that can be used to learn.
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