|Professional Development Course Series|
Engineering for Homeschoolers
No Experience Required
It's no secret that, in general, homeschooled children far outperform publically schooled children in many areas. Math, language arts, philosophy and history: all of these have traditionally been the domain of the homeschooler. It is our intention to expand that domain to include technology, including engineering, and break the monopoly that public and formal schools have on this area of knowledge.
So what keeps homeschoolers at a disadvantage in this area? Simply the absence of a knowledgeable mentor and the lack of suitable instructional materials. Of these two, the lack of instructional materials is the larger obstacle. Could you imagine teaching algebra or calculus without suitable text books and instructor materials, no matter what your knowledge level in the subject? Of course not. Technology is no different. Even those parents with significant experience find it difficult to pass on all their knowledge of a given area of technology. And those without this experience could feel completely hopeless in this area.
With this in mind, we decided to design a series of courses which can be studied, and taught, with no prior experience in the subject required on the part of either the student or the parent. Be careful, though, if you decide to teach these courses to your child, you might be surprised at how much rubs off on you in the process!
Even if your child has no intention of pursuing a career in technology, he or she can benefit from these courses. How? Well, for good or bad, our modern world is riddled with technology. Using the fruits of technology is one thing, understanding it at its core and mastering it for your own purpose is entirely another.
So what kind of technology are we describing? The use of spreadsheets, word processors, or web design? No, these things are handled aptly enough by others, although our courses do touch on these. No, we're talking about the kind of technology which is used by large and small companies alike to manage business data, design custom software programs, or embed computers inside the products we all use. Even the future farmer is dependent on embedded computing to run his tractors or livestock environmental systems. In our consulting work, we and our thousands of business clients worldwide have designed or helped design many of the technology products in use in the world today.
And we are going to hand the keys to understanding these systems to you with a series of courses which will be released in the near future. And remember, you don't need to know anything about any of this to get started. Later electives will allow the student to gain in-depth knowledge of practical robotics and automation, business data systems or image and audio processing.
Even better, all our technology courses are absolutely apolitical. Our job is to help you teach your child, not to indoctrinate. If you've struggled with the authors' politics embedded in other texts, you'll find this a refreshing change.
Our flagship course!
Price: $49.95 US, plus S&H
Lay-Flat Paperback, 605 pages
OK, so how do I start?
Our first course, Software Development I: with Python, which forms the prerequisite for all future technology courses from us, teaches the open-source Python programming language. This language has grown in capability and support to become a serious contender for cross-platform personal computing and server development alike. While not used directly in embedded systems, this simple, yet powerful, language suffices to teach the necessary foundational principles needed for future work while simultaneously preparing the student to solve typical entrepreneurial problems. In later courses we add electronics, other programming languages, digital logic, industrial controls and embedded microcontroller firmware.
This course is organized as sixty-four lessons, sixteen tests and two exams, for a total of 82 lecture units; suitable for a semester course. Each lesson contains practice exercises and twenty regular exercises. All practice and regular exercises are solved in the Instructor's Guide, supplied on CD-ROM as an Adobe PDF. This guide also includes topics to emphasize, and identifies possible roadblocks your student may hit. This material helps even the novice instructor mentor the student.
Also on this CD are PDFs for the tests and exams, as well as the solutions guide for those. Plus, the CD contains completed programs produced by student work at the end of each lesson, so if your child makes a mistake in one lesson, progress in later lessons does not suffer. Finally, the CD contains all software downloads and installations required during the course, so no worries about finding essential missing or outdated information, or being hampered by a slow dialup internet connection, or no internet connection at all.
And all this comes for only the price of the student text, since all instructor material is supplied for free with any of our courses. Feel free to locally print those materials if you wish.
Intrigued? Great! Now download and review a sample lesson and sample instructor guide for that lesson and judge the material for yourself. Each lesson builds on the previous lessons, so note how much your student will have learned by this lesson!
Stay Current with our Courses
Find out about new courses, and significant changes to existing courses, by registering for updates. We'll also send out offers for special discounts, promotions and bundled courses. We normally send out updates once per month, but generally no more often than every two weeks during special periods before the start of semesters.
Trademark notices: "Python" and the Python logos are trademarks or registered trademarks owned by the Python Software Foundation, used by the author and publisher with permission from the Foundation. SoftBaugh and the SoftBaugh logo are registered trademarks of SoftBaugh, Inc. All other trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.