Is Algebra Unnecessary?

I have long been a proponent of creating a functional education for young students as opposed to cramming unnecessary skills down their throats. The vast majority of adults in their jobs do not need or use higher skills in any of the educational subjects.

And, guess what?

If they needed to, they can learn them as needed. It’s what people do when the need arises.

Sure, teach those classes to the kids that need or want them for future careers or even out of curiosity, but don’t force it or require it. Could you imagine how much different the world would be if, instead of algebra, chemistry, calculus, and physics, we taught high school students how to balance checkbooks, stay out of debt, and get a job? Could you imagine how different it would be if we helped them find jobs that matched their skills, passions, and calling instead of telling them that four years of college and a staggering load of debt is the way to go? Could you imagine if we offered entrepreneurial classes on things like Etsy, ebay, and Amazon and used twenty dollar books by Chris Guillebeau and Dan Miller instead of boring, dry, useless $150 textbooks?

I talk about all of this in my book Creating a Functional Education, but this article was in my local paper yesterday that also covers the issue at hand.

Algebra-Unnecessary-Education-001

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Functional Education-cover

Links-

Who is Chris Guillebeau?

Who is Dan Miller?

What is a Functional Education?

The Adventure of Teaching Little Ones to Read

I’d like to talk about an aspect of adventure that many of you might not have thought about…teaching kids to read. If you’ve ever done it as a teacher or parent, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I’m hoping this will inspire you.

As to the adventure aspect, learning to read opens you up to innumerable adventures, From real to imagined, from actual to speculative. I’ve been on a journey with Gandalf over a ring. I’ve been to Hogwarts with Harry. I’ve climbed Everest with Hillary. I’ve crossed the Atlantic with Heyerdahl. All through reading.

I’ve also experienced the adventure of opening up those worlds for others as a teacher. As many of you know, my wife and I homeschool our kids. Two are old enough to read, and the third one is just now learning. In regard to that, I have to say that one of the biggest joys thus far in life that ranks right up there with mountain summits and marathon completions is hearing my 4yo son scream out, “I just read a whole sentence.”

If you have young ones or have the opportunity to be a blessing to other young ones, I urge you to try it out. Aside from the joy of it, teaching little ones to read also helps you personally cultivate the virtues of patience, longsuffering, and courage. That’s my way of saying it’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.

Aside from an attempt at inspiration, I’d love to offer you some concrete advice and mention a resource that we use. After trying out several programs we were so happy to try out a recommendation someone made to us. Two kids now have exclusively used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann to learn how to read. From there we simply moved on to reading books and learning grammar.

51meUDdquRL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Links-

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann

Creating a Functional Education

Teaching in the Weird

 

 

Unboxing the January 2016 Cairn Package

The Bible says that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. By following the calling for our lives, we’re all about adventure, and we need good gear for that. Here’s one of the ways we get it.

If you check into signing up for Cairn as well, feel free to use me as a referral. My e-mail for that is Docbeaker@aol.com. Feel free to contact me there also if you want to add a little adventure to your own life or business.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Becoming Mr. Mom

After 11 years of being a fulltime mom and homeschool teacher for our 4 kids, my wife has gone back to work. She now has a fulltime job at Amazon, and I do my best to provide job security for her by constantly ordering books and other stuff.

Because of this change, there has been a lot of transition in my house. It doesn’t mean for any reason that I’ve quit my own business. What it does mean is that I’m becoming more flexible and less apt to waste time. I now run my own speaking, coaching, and writing business where I help people keep the adventure in their lives and also do fulltime homeschool. Like the Michael Keaton of old, I’ve become Mr. Mom.

I don’t want it to just be that though. As a matter of fact, I kind of dislike the Mr. Mom label. It implies that a guy can’t be a fulltime dad without becoming a woman of sorts or taking over feminine duties. In my opinion, clothes, dishes, and meals are unisex duties.

In light of this change I’m organizing a community online and eventually in larger gatherings called Rugged Dad. It’s only in the beginning stages right now, but plan on seeing big things coming in the future. For now, you can get plugged in by liking our Facebook page. There’s also a button on there to sign up for regular updates on events and advice from myself and other active dads.

Print__Rugged_Dad__Logo

My ultimate goal in all of this is to get more dads active. If you work fulltime, that’s fine, but you also need to be active in your kid’s lives. As I became the parent that took the kids to all their events, athletic practices, and playdates I noticed that I seldom saw other dads at any of them. it didn’t matter if it was morning, afternoon, or evening, the dads just weren’t there. I’m sure most of them could use their jobs as an excuse, but I also know that if something important came up that they wanted to do, they’d figure out a way. It’s just that their kids aren’t the priority. Don’t use money as an excuse either. Believe me, your kids would rather have you around than enjoy watching you drive away every morning in a nice car.

Men- Join me as we create something different, as we create a place where men pushing strollers or sitting on the bench at the playground are just as normal as the moms doing the same.

Ladies- Encourage your men to join me. Help them find ways to become more a part of their kid’s lives instead of just casual bystanders.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Links-

What do I do for a living?

What’s a Mr. Mom?

What’s a Rugged Dad?

Christmas Gift Ideas to Make Life Better…for Your Kids

Because of the influences of several really great people, most notably Joshua Becker, I’ve been instituting minimalism as a part of my life. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to sell everything and move into a cardboard box. It just means that you make conscious choices about what you buy, have, and do.

On that note, I’d like to do my part to make the most consumer driven holiday of the year perhaps a little something more. I’ll have a series of posts leading up to the big day to hopefully encourage something new for you this year.

What if this year, instead of buying the toys that are most popular for your kids, you bought them something that opened their worldview and encouraged them to look outward?

I’m talking about the Little Passports Global Adventure kit. These are great little kits that teach your children all about the world around them. They arrive in the mail, and each one has activities, a gift, and information.

You don’t have to be a homeschool parent to use these either. They make great activities for fun, dinnertime conversation, or even the summer. I do happen to be a homeschool dad and rely on these as an integral part of our global studies curriculum.

You can find Little Passports by clicking below. If you go quick, you can also take advantage of their holiday sale.

aff_300x250copy

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Links-

Simplify by Joshua Becker

Little Passports Global Adventure

And now for the fine print…

This promotion is valid online only at www.littlepassports.com. To redeem enter code JOLLY at checkout. Offer valid on new subscriptions only and cannot be combined with any other offers and/or applied retroactively to previously placed orders. Offer applies only to the first month on a Monthly Plan. Offer not valid on Personalized Products and Shop items. Offer excludes shipping and taxes. Offer valid from Dec 4th, 2015 at 8:00AM EST to Dec 16th, 2015 at 11:59PM EST. Please see my Disclosures and Rants page for affiliate information.

The Roads of Luhonono by Hamilton Hill (Book Review)

I enjoy reviewing books for new authors. Of course, there are perks. I get a lot of free books. Sometimes the publishers pay pretty well for my stamp of approval or to help promote the books. Oh yeah, did I mention that I enjoy getting free books.

Here’s a recent one that I did of a young adult novel set in Africa. It’s a pretty good read. I could say more, but I’ll let you read the review.

You can find the book HERE.

11

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Avoiding the Hell that is Back to School Shopping

I just made the mistake of venturing into Wal Mart during back to school shopping time on a tax free weekend. Ouch! If you’ve ever done this on purpose or by accident, you know what I’m talking about. I feel bad for my friends that work retail at times like this (unless, of course, you work on commission).

school_supply_sales

I’m glad that I don’t have to do the back to school shopping thing anymore. As a kid I enjoyed it because it was the time to try and find the coolest Trapper Keeper or folders. I’m sure my parents hated it, and not just because of the lines. We didn’t have a lot of money back in those days either. My parents were pretty awesome and, as a kid, I never really knew this. So, every August we would do the same old zombie shuffle into the store with a list of stuff me and my sister needed for school.

Let me see if I can break it down…

  • Your taxes pay for school.
  • You pay extra fees for anything special your kids do.
  • The teachers give you a very specific list of crap you need to buy.
  • A lot of schools also mandate that you buy extra stuff that goes into a bin for the kids who can’t afford all the crap the schools said they needed.
  • You stand in line at the store for the joy of purchasing all of this stuff.
  • You wonder if it’s all worth it.
  • You wonder why there isn’t a better way to do all this.

There is a better way.

There’s a better way to educate our kids that actually prepares them for adulthood. There’s a better way that doesn’t require a bunch of supplies you don’t need and will rarely use. You know what? Belay that, there’s not just one better way. There are a lot of better ways.

Did you know that you have choices in education other than just shipping your kids off to an overcrowded, dangerous government school? The better ways go by so many names, and each one is so different than the others.

  • Private school
  • Unschool
  • Homeschool
  • School abroad
  • Travel school

As a parent you have choices and you can pick the one that most favors your lifestyle and your child’s personality. Don’t just give in and, for goodness sake, think about your choices before you head out to the store this weekend. It’s not too late to change your child’s future right now…this weekend…today.

I talk about this at length in my book Creating a Functional Education. You can buy it online for your e-reader, and you don’t even have to go to the store.

Don’t waste any more time. Don’t waste any more of your kid’s time. Make a change now.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!