Monday, August 30, 2010

Future scientist?

We started our homeschooling experience with Robinson Curriculum, developed by Dr. Art Robinson, a well-respected independent scientist (makes or raises all his own research funding to remain untainted by NIH bias) who was once referred to by Linus Pauling as "my principal and most valued collaborator".  (That's the Linus Pauling of Nobel prize fame.)  That collaboration didn't last after Robinson went public with his results disproving Pauling's vitamin C hypothesis, which Pauling had tried to cover-up.  Dr. Robinson is a genius of a scientist, and also a conservative Christian, who after his wife died suddenly, developed a self-learning homeschool curriculum for his children to work through on their own.  Several of his sons, having already completed PhDs, now work with him at his Oregon Institute of Science. 

All this by way of saying that, the homeschool curriculum developed by a famous scientist contains no formal textbook science until after Algebra.  I know it seems crazy to those of us indoctrinated by "the system" that our children could thrive in science in middle school after having no formal science instruction in the elementary years, but this is just what he proposes.  (I should mention that his plan accelerates math so that Algebra is usually completed prior to entering the 7th grade.)  His recommendation for the elementary years is simply to allow children to read up on their interests whether that be airplanes, spiders, the weather, or whatever.

So, this is my 11 year old son's first year in formal science (he's also taking Algebra this year- Robinson would have recommended no science until Chemistry the year following Algebra, but I just couldn't stand to wait another year).  I was quite nervous about it, afraid that somehow he would be completely lost or left behind, but quite to the contrary, he's thriving.  He loves it!  He asked me Friday if we could do every science experiment in the Apologia General Science text... this week

Here he is Friday learning about chemical reactions.  You can see in the last picture one of his sisters cheering him on.  The whole family is enjoying watching Monk's science experiments.  (They also enjoyed drinking the root beer- procuring the 2 liter bottle required a special trip to the store since we don't usually drink sodas.)

What do you think, do we have a future scientist on our hands?
Oh- and don't forget to enter my anniversary giveaway, if you haven't already!


  1. I'm sure you'll ruin his career by skipping over the whole subject of evolutionary biology (out goes botany, zoology, any biologicial science), telling him radioactive dating is incorrect (bye bye physics and physical sciences) and denying the veracity of the geological column (no to geological sciences). Otherwise I'm sure he'll do just fine.

  2. I guess it depends on what you call "ruin", Mathew. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mttw 16:26 And hey, there's always Chemistry.


  3. Look at that HUGE smile on his face!!! Good job momma!!! He's LOVING learning!!!



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.