Monday, December 18, 2006

Older Son Completed Electronics Course

Here is a photo of my older son, who was taking an online electronics class for homeschoolers at Quick Study Labs this fall. He took the Edison Project I class for children aged 8-11.

Here he is working out an experiment, in our family's library.

Enrollment for the next session is going on now, check the Quick Study Labs website for information.

This is one example of how some classes can be outsourced with 'subject matter experts'. In this case the instructor is a college professor who teaches electronics.

I cannot help my son with these lessons as I know nothing about this material. I could take the entire class with him in order to learn it myself to help him but I choose not to. Actually when he needs help my husband does it but he did say that the content was already above his head so my husband had to go back and read through the lesson material in order to help him out. I find it very interesting that a child can be interested in content and has the ability to guide themselves through learning about a topic that most adults know nothing about, off the top of their heads. You can see that with some lessons that a child of age nine can educate himself. (I know some people would never believe this but it really is true.)

One more thing I want to say is that some naysayers and critics of homeschooling may be saying right now, "Ah ha, here is a homeschooling mother admitting she is not qualified to teach her child a certain subject." Well, to you I would say that the content of this electronics course is something that is NOT typically in any public school curriculum not just for fourth grade as my son is in, but in NONE of the grades. In my own public school education (K-12) and also in my husband's public school (K-8) and parochial High School (9-12), neither of us learned this electronics information at any level including in high school. And we never learned this stuff in college either (me, Bachelor's, he, Bachelor's and MBA). So you could actually say this is another example of how homeschoolers have more flexibility and more access to additional subjects that go ABOVE AND BEYOND what American public schools usually teach.

The worst part (the only bad part, actually) of this class is that each week there is a test to take. This requires studying just like a child would do in middle school (not an open book test), with multiple choice, matching, true/false questions etc. The regular tests each week can be retaken until 100% is achieved. Once every four weeks there is a big test covering everything to date which can only be taken once. This is the first time that my son is taking tests of this kind as part of his homeschooling. He does not like it nor does he find it fun, but I am basically telling him 'that is the way it is, just do it'. Not everything in a child's homeschooling has to be fun, in my opinion. Taking these tests is not harmful. At least with homeschooling we can custom design most of what we do and we can avoid stuff like the test taking if we want, in the 'home' part of our homeschooling. However with the benefit of the good of this online course we are also having to endure the test taking.

This was also our family's first experience with an online course.

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Birdie said...

Terrific! A big congratulations to your son for a job well done!

Elle said...

Thanks for this link. Per your comment on my carnival entry I did add the ages of my boys (10, 9, and 5). All three of my sons have interests in topics that I have no background in, and I think your discussion of the resources available is very well done. I too believe that one of the great flexibilities of homeschooling is putting opportunities before our children that would not otherwise be given in formal school settings.