Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Adam Savage School of Homeschooling

Now, I have a confession to make. Before my son came along, I liked Mythbusters...but I didn't love Mythbusters. My son though - Mythbusters is his raison d'etre. He has been obsessed since he was 2 years old. The best present for his birthday is another season of Mythbusters.



To give you an idea of what I mean: we live in Australia. Australia uses the metric system. It uses it so thoroughly that I can't convert to imperial measures. But C, he does all his science and maths in miles per hour and pounds per square inch...and he has learned how to calculate back to the metric system for his poor mum. As he would say, 'Well that's your problem.' (Cue American accent). Even J has jumped on board - she said Adam and Jaime before Mummy. (F.Y.I. Tory is her favourite - she says good-night to him every night.)

When we started homeschooling in earnest (i.e. legally), I knew that Mythbusters would be at the core of any curriculum. This was not a choice. C watches at least one Mythbusters episode a day for fun. 

But how to make it more ...educational? Mythbusters naturally does science - it IS science, and I have previously talked about how C recreates their experiments. We have a home-created chemistry set that is there for whenever C decides he needs to figure stuff out. And as Adam says (paraphrased only!), 'The only difference between Stuffing Around and Science is writing it down'. Which is why he has an experiment book, and a camera with video options.

Maths too, is pretty darn easy - area, weight, volume, velocity, tables graphs, multiplication, addition, algebra - it's all there. But in the Adam Savage world of Homeschool - it has to be physical too. So we have Lego, and K'nex, Technics, and Duplo, Mega-blocks, board-games and reams of paper, cardboard, pencils, rulers, glue, sticky tape, and of course, duct tape.

We also found (and were gifted-thankyou!), with two awesome books - 'The Mythopedia', and 'Rock the Body'.  These books are awesome - C loves reading these - either aloud, or to himself. Or when he asks (usually when he is not feeling well), I or his Dad will read sections aloud. He also loves picking words out of the Mythopedia when I insist he practices hand-writing (part of his OT therapy). This covers an awful lot of English - reading, writing, and spelling.

But Mythbusters isn't all there is in the Adam Savage School of Homeschooling. One of the other awesome websites is Adam and Jaime Tested. If you are into making stuff - art, engineering, science, technology, cooking, or just dabbling, this site is heaven. C can watch various DIY extravaganza's on how to make - anything.

As C says 'I love crafting'. Whether it's paper flowers, or building a working lift in Technics and Lego, these websites inspire the imagination...and the fingers. C loves doing, loves hands-on, and learns best through making, feeling and seeing things. There are many ways to learn, and for us, it has only ever rarely been from a textbook. Which has been a hard lesson for this book-loving academic mummy.

The only thing I haven't quite figured out how to incorporate yet is Physical Ed. Although, whenever we go for a walk, it's time for verbal creativity, as C recreates and imagines how he would remake the neighborhood, or the earth to fit his grand plans (usually to do with an under- or above-ground high speed rail network). These stories are a joy - a high speed, fast 100 mph joy.

Because one of the hallmarks of our Adam Savage School of Homeschooling, (apart from the ever-present detritus of ex-creations) is the joy, no - glee (accompanied by a high-pitch mad laugh) that fills many of our days.

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