Homeschooling forces me to evaluate everything in life, and science and it’s relationship to the rest of the world is no exception. Science is no different than learning a foreign language. There are mechanics to understand, rules to learn, and lots and lots of vocabulary. That makes revisiting subjects ever so important. It is not simply about memorization of vocabulary, it is also understanding how to use what is learned – just like a foreign language. Today we revisted human anatomy, cell biology, and ethics: How does aging effect cellular processes? What are the effects of space travel on body function at the cellular level?Read More →

I have been puzzling over a seeming inconsistency in Christian faith: Why do bad things happen to good people? I have spent hours and hours reading about it, thinking about it, and trying to understand other’s explanations. And then it hit me last night as I said goodnight to my son for what seemed like the fiftieth time. We tend, I think, to regard God as a simple benefactor. We do not consider that He may feel differently towards us. I think the key to making sense of the inconsistency may be respect. I love my son dearly and make all attempts to protect him. But I also respect himRead More →

Rainless. The area of the country we live in has shriveled up like a raisin over the past months. In fact our backyard dried fruit crop is better this year than any in the last nearly 20 years. I realize that our drinking water comes from somewhat distant groundwater and snow pack from the Sierra Nevadas, but I feel the need for rain here as well. We really need rain, if for no other reason than to wash away the dust and city grime that faithful, albeit annoying, neighborhood gardeners blow into an immese wave of nastiness that floats through our windows weekly and coats myRead More →

Today is one of those homeschool days that take an unexpected, unplanned detour. By the book, today would have been a day of mapping and listening to me read the bible. We have a plan for the year to read all the way through, from start to finish, retouching the ancient history the kids learned last year along with mapping areas discussed in the bible. I am reading the 1611 KJ version to them because it has all the beauty of the language combined with no “begats” as the long string of begats made their eyes glaze over. This version replaces the begats with actualRead More →

Relaxing with my children while they learn is such a precious gift. We banter through the lesson, everyone enjoying the comfort of family and freedom to learn and explore without pressure to conform or commensurate stress. Yesterday my kids revisited the periodic table. My goal for them was not memorization, but understanding and familiarity, and so the board game we played (available as a free download from Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop) was perfect. Beyond the fun associated with the game, learning how the atomic number is organized on the table and what the valences are in different parts of the table, where radioactive elements areRead More →

Serendipity is a funny thing. If I had not been force-marching my kids through heavy duty grammar complete with sentence diagramming, their progress through the study of logic would be troubled. We set out to learn the next step of logic yesterday, beginning to study logical definitions. We discussed that definitions have two levels: the genus and the differentia. Immediately the kids recognized the distinction, mostly because they have been learning grammar and diagramming sentences. That previous ability enabled them to easily break a written definition into composite sections and see it diagrammed much the same way they learned to diagram complex sentences. I haveRead More →

Sometimes you just need to have some fun with your kids and play with science. Here are some really fun ideas, with instructions provided when you click through the links.     for more ideas, you can peruse my collection on pinterest: here    Read More →