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Practical Helps

How to Study Science as Leonardo da Vinci

What do Leonardo da Vinci, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Thomas Jefferson and John D. Rockefeller have in common? Not all of these individuals were professional scientists, but all of them used the same simple tool of scientific inquiry to pursue their passions: a notebook.

Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific notebook is perhaps the most famous. The Renaissance artist’s “Codex Arundel” was handwritten in Italian and features mirror writing (legible only when held up to a mirror), diagrams of the human body and sketches for flying machines, catapults and other devices.i

How to Give Yourself a Scholarship

One February morning a few years ago, I stood in my son’s bedroom looking at his Apologia biology textbook. He had been diligently working his way chapter by chapter through the book, and I was preparing to quiz him on the vocabulary and end of chapter review questions. “This is such a thorough course,” I thought to myself. “It’s too bad that he’ll have to learn it all over again in a few years when he goes off to college.”

Are You Considering Military Service?

Spring is the time to take action if a home-educated child is interested in a military academy nomination or a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship leading to a commission as a military officer. Note that spring is specifically time to take action, not just time to prepare.

Clearing Up Testing Misconceptions

As someone who deals daily with questions and concerns about testing homeschoolers, I have encountered a number of misconceptions and some erroneous information concerning testing of homeschoolers. I hope that this article will clear up some of these misunderstandings for the homeschool teacher!

What I Wish I’d Known—about Homeschooling

My son Michael wasn’t all that thrilled to be homeschooled the first year we started. He gave me a month and then took matters into his own hands. He said we needed to set a schedule. We were doing something different every day! He wanted to have math at the same time followed by spelling (which I should be teaching, by the way) and then he wanted to go outside at 10:15 am. I said “sure,” and did my best to accommodate his desires because I was that kind of child-centered homeschooler.

Go Fish

Go Fish! is a children’s card game I played a couple times in my youth, around sixty years ago. For my father, Go Fish was not a card game, it was an adventure. He loved to fish. When I was a boy, he went fishing whenever he could. He took me fishing one time when I was very young. On this trip, he did everything for me. He found the worms, baited my hook and even put my line in the water for me. I caught a fish—or at least a fish swallowed the worm with my hook in it.

Homeschool Artists: How to Prepare an Art Portfolio

As a professor of fine art for over twenty years, I have often reflected on the most meaningful contributions of my career, asking myself, “What is the most worthwhile, and useful contribution I have given to young and hopeful art students?” Having worked with hundreds of young students, my answer is always: helping them develop a good portfolio. Often it’s also one of the last projects they ask me to review before they graduate.

Guidance for Choosing a Cognitive Ability Test

Cognitive ability or aptitude tests attempt to measure a student’s cognitive reasoning abilities. They help you know how information is learned.

Understanding and Evaluating the World of Online Education

What shall we do with online classes? We shall do the same thing homeschoolers have been doing with curricula since homeschooling began—experiment, find what works for us, talk about them to others and use them as a tool to homeschool our kids. We will educate ourselves about them and then move forward. The following information will help you do just that.

What are online classes?

Our definition of online classes includes:

Understanding Achievement Test Scores

Once you have chosen an achievement test and administered it, the final step of the annual process is interpreting the score report. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that this can be the most intimidating step. The typical score report seems to have more columns of numbers than a tax schedule!