Friday, May 21, 2010

Unschooling Physics and Such

Hi everyone,

I've gotten out of the habit of blogging as often as I should, which has led to me contemplating pulling my blog. I love that this latest design allows for the posting of all the links I've found, but I still haven't finished cleaning out my files and listing them all. >.< Nor have I truly accepted the look of my blog yet. Using a blog to keep track of learning is an interesting concept, but with my youngest, sometimes it's hard to keep up with him.

All this being said, he is still unschooling. Sometimes, it feels more like I'm being "schooled" by him as he tends to try and teach me all that he has learned. My son is a voracious reader and a deep thinker. Recently, he has been diving back into reading about quantum mechanics and astrophysics focusing on reading 'THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING: The Origin and Fate of the Universe' by Stephen W. Hawking and 'The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics' by Leonard Susskind Heady subjects. Along with reading these books, I've found him pulling out the advanced Life of Fred books. I must admit it's fun to observe how he bounces from one book to the other as he explores all the concepts he is absorbing.

The other night it was quite obvious that all this deep thinking had him fired up and he went on in great lengths explaining to me how a black hole functioned and all about gravity, pressure, etc... I love how he lights up as he explains this all to me. As he went on, at some point, he paused and pondered just how many other kids his age get into reading and pondering about these things. I truly couldn't tell him as I don't know. We then talked about the fact that he comes about this type of curiosity honestly as he comes from a long line of Physicists. One of his great grandfather's even having earned his doctorate degree in Physics from Princeton in days gone by. These facts lead into further interesting conversation about his grandfathers having proved their potential with all their inventions and patents where as he is still just potential ability.

As the night progressed, we turned on Minute to Win It. Shows like this always make me glad we have DVR and the ability to play back and or pause whatever we are watching as this show leads into great discussions. Then we watched What Would You Do? which lead into further discussions on morals, people and the choices they make. My son then told me that he is really interested in psychology, too. Well, this I already knew as he has been interested in the human brain and it's workings for years now. I told him that his father and I also had an interest in psychology. In fact, we met in college in a psychology class! We became friends when the two of us would stay after class delving into deeper discussions with the teacher.

Both of my girls have found they, too, are fascinated with the subject and have recently taken a few college courses on the topics. I asked my son if he would be interested in reading their college textbooks. He said he would love to read them so he has now added two college psychology textbooks and one college biology textbook to his reading pile. I guess he should be set for serious reading material for a bit. Now to hope this summer finally sees the release of the last addition of the Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini to counterbalance the weighty with great fantasy.

For my readers who like free links to great learning, here are a few more that look promising for the curious explorer:

Khan Academy which states on their site "is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere." Check them out!

Library of Books, Links & More which has an amazing amount of information and resources for learning! A must visit for those wishing to learn more!

Rader's PHYSICS 4 KIDS another great resource for learning


jugglingpaynes said...

My own opinion, but make sure he balances any readings of Freud with some Adlerian psychology. I also loved Gestalt therapy and my absolute favorite textbook was called Theories of Personality. I wish I still had that one. I lost it or someone borrowed it at some point.

I love your son, btw! He should take up the philosophers next. They're lots of fun!

Peace and Laughter,

Sravani said...

Hi There,
I just found your blog, and I have a strong feeling that I know you from somewhere...are you Vicki B? Thanks for your kind words about my blog, and I was totally caught by surprise:). I think you are doing the best thing possible to be learning physics...and philosophy and psychology would be such a wonderful balance too...
I have marked your blog in my blog roll..lovely blog name btw:)