Friday, April 17, 2009

Fractals and their connection to education

I've never really liked math--learning it or teaching it, but I find that as I get older, I am beginning to appreciate it as God's language of order. I've especially become fascinated by fractals. For those unfamiliar with fractals, they are (in non-math language) the geomentry of nature. For centries, man has thought of geometry as circles, squares, and other man made shapes such as cubes. Our buildings, etc. can be expressed as mathmatical formulas. It was always thought that nature, on the other hand, was wild and chaotic and random. Scientists and mathematicians have now discovered, however, that even nature has a pattern. When the random chaotic points and lines of nature are put into a computer, amazing patterns within patterns appear that are precise and infinite! Now if that isn't evidence for a good, eternal, and orderly God, I don't know what is!
It has also been discovered that when we pattern our technological devices after fractals, they become more efficient than when we use basic geometrical shapes. This is what enables tiny devices in cells phones and computers to work so well at such a small level. This got me to thinking. . . what if I structured and organized a curriculum according to a fractal-like pattern? Is it possible? Would that make it more efficient and cause the connections in the human brain to retain information more effectively? Mmmmm. . . .now only if I were a mathematician. . .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Making my homeschool more efficient

After the birth of my fifth child, I have been trying to streamline my homeschool to make it more efficient. Since I love the chronological method of teaching history, and since almost every other subject can be tied to history quite easily, I've discovered that except for independent skill practice in the 3 R's, I can pare my homeschool down to basically one large lesson each day if I integrate my subjects with history as my spine. Not only is this much easier scheduling wise, but I believe it aids in retention and learning as more connections are made. Definitely a more holistic way to learn! Hopefully, I will start posting my daily lessons online so keep posted!