Author: Marcelina

The Math Problem

The Math Problem

The Problem Despite homeschool studies’ *ahem* diverse sampling methods and questionable validity, one trend has nonetheless emerged: compared to their regularly-schooled peers, homeschool students are weaker in math. The Coalition for Responsible Home Education has a brilliant article on this, complete with citations and graphs (check it out!). Why is this the case? Potential Variables In short: more research is needed. Studies’ sampling methods, ease of humanities vs. STEM education, cultural focus on humanities over STEM, resource access, resource use, and more initial homeschooler interest in humanities vs. mathematics all potentially contribute to homeschoolers’ limited math skills. It is also notoriously difficult to learn and teach. These limitations, echoed in America’s 38th place in mathematics, expand when math-adverse parents are tasked with teaching their student concepts they themselves don’t understand. And, unlike their regularly-schooled peers, homeschoolers have the unique opportunity to avoid mathematics in favor of other subjects. This likely influences the disparity; the most math-adverse public school student would be exposed to mathematical concepts 5 days a week for nearly a decade, the most …

Kitchen Science

Kitchen Science (and Other Ways to Close the Science Gap)

There are few things more daunting than dissecting a frog on the kitchen table—except physics. Should Science be left to the professionals? The answer, patently, should be no. The first scientists weren’t professionals; they were often hobbyists and magicians (hence “electrician”). High school laboratories are less well-stocked than you think. Nonetheless, multiple studies have indicated homeschoolers’ tendency to be less engaged in math and science. How do we fix that? This article is two parts: Everyday Science, covering components of science and creating a solid science base, and High School, covering duel-enrollment and AP’s. Everyday Science There are at least three parts of Science: science as a Process, science as a Language, and Facts found via the scientific process. For example, the process of dropping different weights off of a building to measure momentum, measuring it via stopwatch or pressure gauge, recording it, and repeating everything is an example of the scientific process; you can use this to answer any question. The measure of momentum, the concepts of velocity and mass, their symbols, and how …