Progressive Homeschool
Welcome! We practice science-intensive evidence-based education.

Another harvest for Q

Thursday, September 21, 2006
thumbelina carrots harvest in a jar

(Thumbelina carrots © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Ages ago we planted some thumbelina carrots (Daucus carota sativus) and a variety of eggplants in small containers on the deck. I thought this would be lots of fun for my oldest, Q, to grow, pick, and eat.

new-garden - thumbelina carrots

(Sprouting thumbelina carrots © 2006 Nika Boyce)

carrots 7-23-06

(Thumbelina carrot tops © 2006 Nika Boyce)

At one point we had these wild mushrooms growing around the carrots

Identify this mushroom please! - 2

(Mushrooms from the planter of the thumbelina carrots © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Yesterday Q decided it was time to harvest the little guys and has been enjoying their sweet flavor and cute look.

thumbelina carrots harvest

(Thumbelina carrots © 2006 Nika Boyce)

thumbelina carrots and eggplant

(Thumbelinas and one white eggplant © 2006 Nika Boyce)

9:01 AM :: 4 comments

nika :: permalink

Quiet moments, learning

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
color cast change

(KD in the sun © 2006 Nika Boyce)

We didnt start homeschooling Q until 4th grade and we had been through a painful process that turned out to be pretty unproductive in the local schools. In the end even the teachers, counselors, and administrators agreed that homeschooling was the best fit solution.

As a result, Q has quite a lot of difficult deschooling to do. Heck, we all do.

KD, at 3 years, is fresh and unspoiled by the "system" and is also, obviously, a completely different child! It is so much fun to get her into more structured learning experiences because she reacts to it without any negative bias. Unbelievably refreshing. This is common to all little ones at this age, homeschooled or not. Its what allows them to learn so well. I wish I had given that gift to Q but hindsight is mostly 20/20 and we have learned a few things through Q's experiences that help with KD.


(Q doing her Hiragana © 2006 Nika Boyce)

10:30 AM :: 2 comments

nika :: permalink

Carnival of Homeschooling Week 38

Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I was invited to participate in this week's Carnival of Homeschooling, very exciting! I have run community events on my other blog, Nika's Culinaria, but have been really low key with this blog.

Welcome to all you new visitors from the CoH!

The featured post for my part of CoH is a post I did on Phylogeny and Evolutionary Biology.

I hold a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology and was trained with mechanism and biological networks as a very prime concept. There is no holistic understanding of Biology and many sciences without an understanding of the evolutionary relationships between chemical species, molecular species, organism species, ecosystems, and other meta-level systems. Its a very complex and beautiful thing.

I hope that more homeschooling families embrace science more fully if for no other reason than to immerse themselves in what can be an infinitely interesting universe.

After all, it IS our universe, might as well revel in it's beauty!

I created this blog out of a need and desire to meet like-minded progressive homeschooling families out there. I have "met" many and each has been a dear wonderful person and family. My only regret is that we are all so darn busy that I dont have a stronger relationship with my fellow progressive homschoolers. I continue to blog in the hopes that it WILL happen, eventually :-).

This blog is a documentary at times of what my older daughter Q is doing, what her little sister KD is doing, what I am doing, sometimes its off topic political comments, sometimes its science and math and geography.

I dont know if readers are put off or appreciate the uneven texture of the blog but thats just the way my mind and our lives work!

I am due to have the third and last addition to our family in the middle of October (hope we make it to full term) and then I am hoping to get to a few meta-homeschool projects.

Without a hard commitment but rather a statement of intent, I am hoping to:
- get our homeschool electronics concept more launched
- I am also working on an online classroom (based on Moodle) that will, with the help of everyone who is interested, provide an online co-op experience driven by parents and children
- continue with our podcasts
I appreciate you visit, drop a comment, inroduce yourself!

10:31 AM :: 4 comments

nika :: permalink

Genius - meaning and practice

Monday, September 18, 2006

So this morning I could not sleep past 5 am (good practice for when the baby comes I guess) and I found myself watching Sanjay Gupta's program called "Genius: Quest for extreme brain power" on CNN.

I was left with mixed feelings.

Its great that they have put together this show and the site. I am sure it represents a lot of work and it does a respectable job of illustrating the extreme disservice our public schools pay to our gifted children (especially here in Massachusetts). It also points out how NCLB has further devastated gifted programs.

"NCLB: No child left behind, no child leaps forward" is my motto relating to this boondoggle of a republican travesty.

I think my negative reaction lies in this impression that is given that genius children are destined for greatness and that is how they SHOULD actualize. What I mean is that if a child has an IQ over 145, they must be hyperachievers to truly reach "full potential".

I find that offensive. Our minds are not only for the use of the State or Race. How we succeed or not should be by our OWN definition.

Even more importantly, this program doesnt deal with the reality of most gifted kids (and adults) - asymmetrical giftedness. VERY few kids are globally gifted. This program does not explore that and can mislead parents of kids who are profoundly gifted in one area and who are average or challenged in other areas to never identify the needs of their kids.

It doesnt deal with Dual Exceptionality (those who are gifted and have a disability or are gifted and have ADHD).

"These children show a greater degree of asynchrony among cognitive, social and emotional areas of development, and much greater variation in their ability to act maturely. Cognitive deficits, compared to other gifted children, are shown in less ability to think sequentially, to use working memory adequately, to solve problems using part to whole relationships, and to reason inductively especially since they have trouble picking out the main or salient feature among data. Gifted children with AD/HD, compared to gifted peers, complete less work, tend to try to hurry through it, often change topics on projects, or take inordinately long to complete simple exercises. They find it particularly difficult to work in groups, even groups of gifted children. Gifted children with ADHD also find completing tasks less rewarding than do other gifted children, that is, for many, the intrinsic reward of completion is not as satisfying to them. On the other hand, when working on a self-chosen activity, gifted children, with and without AD/HD, are able to immerse themselves in the task and work for long hours without much external reinforcement. This ability to hyperfocus, the falling into "flow" (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996), is what makes creative work so satisfying to so many gifted children, whatever their other problems."
Our journey with our profoundly gifted dual exceptional child (and love of my life) into homeschooling is just beginning. There is no way to buy a curriculum off the shelf and motivation is ALWAYS the hard part.

7:42 AM :: 2 comments

nika :: permalink

Dear Flickr Friend has passed

Sunday, September 17, 2006
Rest In Peace sweetheart Tino

We have never held or seen this kitty in person but we fell in love with him on flickr (and his wonderful dad Kenny who we send our thoughts and love today).

He may have lived and died in far away Kuala Lumpur but we could see through his lovely photos that he was a sweet soul.

Rest In Peace little Tino

12:01 PM :: 0 comments

nika :: permalink