Last week in the starter edition of Homeschool Wednesdays, I got a ton of fantastic advice on key things everyone should know. I will figure out how to get these into some kind of wiki or maybe use Firepad (suggestions welcome). Today I want to air one of my pet peeves with how we learn most things: knowledge is broken down into isolated silos that are taught in a largely disconnected manner.
For instance, within math the relation between algebra and geometry is either never established or only very late. Math and physics are taught separately. Physics and chemistry. And so on. Some of the connections are obvious others one has to dig deeper, but I have always felt inspired by reading E.O. Wilson’s Consilience which makes a strong case for unifying our quest for knowledge (including the social sciences).
One of our goals will be to find projects for the kids to work on that can help re-integrate knowledge. Here is an example from the top of my head (not saying this will be one that we will actually try): have a toy car go down a ramp and then measure its speed. This very simple project has a ton of math and physics all connected to each other, including the notions of distance, slope, speed, acceleration, gravity, …
So in addition to cataloging various things that people should know, another goal for Homeschool Wednesdays will be to find and document projects that can be used for learning those concepts. One great resource here is Zach Klein’s DIY.org — would love to hear of any others that exist, including if any of the project oriented schools that are out there are publishing ideas.