Re: Topics for discussion-Science

From: Kye Ewing <>
Subject: Re: Topics for discussion-Science
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 11:52:24 -0500

Stephanie -
I have been home schooling my son (now 11th grade) for 9 years. I
definitely agree that there must be a balance between book work and
activities. We have seen many families start home schooling, worrying so
much about the social interaction issue that they cram their schedules with
activities, only to find that they didn't get much book work done, for
sure! I have my son do much more book work than most any home schoolers I
know. I was refering to the actual curriculum of a text or course that seem
to jump around too much, never giving the student a chance to take a
thorough look at one topic within the subject. As Craig mentioned, taking
the time to make connections between topics and even subjects is what
really weaves the learning experience into a much stronger understanding
and sometimes even brings whole new insights to the picture. 

I have always felt that one of the great strengths of teaching a very small
number of students can be utilized when you are able to adjust the
"program" as you see their interests sparked in one area or another. Aides
like NASA's Quest program often provide the initial spark of interest that
make it possible to work that interest into several subject areas at once,
while maintaining the primary goals of each course. For example; we have
been attending the chat sessions that they have been conducting in
Aerospace Design. We do lessons in English Composition and Communication by
reading the expert's bios and journals. These are excellent examples of
writing. Sometimes we critique their writing. We are also preparing for the
chat by being more informed on the subject, as one would want to be before
going into a lecture. The science value of these chats is immeasurable,
since my son's knowledge in these areas generally surpasses any high school
texts by so much that it's silly to have him bother with a text. (He was
riffling through college physics texts in the 8th grade). The applications
for our Algebra II subject are obvious. We even cover his elective of
Photography with the photos included in the background info on the
equipment and/or mission being discussed. During the chats, Carl has
learned how to balance getting his questions in with being polite and
adult-like, and waiting his turn, etc. Our Social Studies for this year is
Economics; always of concern to the folks doing these missions! 

I imagine I've rambled on enough for now. Hope everyone had a GREAT
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY and wishing all a wonderful New Year!!!

At 03:52 AM 12/28/97 +0000, you wrote:
>What grades do you teach?  Where?
>No, actually, I don't think there are too many topics in a school year.  I
>just find that the teaching is going at a rather slow pace.  However, I do
>believe that there should be a mix of activities and writing.  A "mix" is
>okay, too much of one thing is not good.
>- Too much writing makes things boring, therefore causing loss of interest
>by the students.
>- Too much activities slows things down a lot.
>Perhaps trying to combine different topics into one; how they relate
>together.  The real world is not divided into topics so why should teaching?
>Like humanities, instead of english and social studies (isn't in the states
>you don't have social and instead have geography and history?).  But of
>course, the purpose here is to combine topics within a subject. :)
>I think activities (projects) tend to benefit the lower-marked students.
>This helps to boost up their mark.  It tends to hurt higher-marked students
>because it is hard to get a high mark in a project.  Tests, on the other
>hand, are simple to get high marks as long as you know the material.  So
>testing knowledge is better with tests.

Kye Ewing, The Event Inventor

Explore the Universe with the Event Inventor!!!