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Auto Racing and Homeschooling

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Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Orlando

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:20 pm    Post subject: Auto Racing and Homeschooling Reply with quote

What can I say? Like most guys, I'm into cars and auto racing. However, my 2 sons must have the majority of my wife's DNA. They do not have much interest in racing. They would rather play racing on a video game than be AT the races. But can taking them to a race be an educational field trip?

Here's some of the things I've tried to teach them:

Basic aerodynamics. Most races we attend are sports car races where there is a wide variety of cars. How some cars slip through the air better than others. How the wing on a car keep it on the ground, yet the wing on a plane lift it up.

Economics and work. When we go to the races, I collect autographs. When my sons are with me, they collect autographs too. To them though, each autograph is worth $1. They actually compete to see which one collects the most. In turn, they learn not only the value of a dollar but they also learn how to be polite and asking for a drivers autograph.

And they can also learn photography. I would NOT recommend a cheap disposable film camera though. A simple point and shoot digital so you're not developing a lot of useless prints of half cars.

What interesting "field trips" have you had?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last weekend we went to Kennedy Space Center for their annual homeschool day (pictures can be found at our blog www.jmdahl.blogspot.com). It was really fantastic! They had activities for the homeschoolers, a film on their newest project, plus 2 days admission to tour the facilities and a package including models, a poster and educational materials. This all for $30 a person!

In addition Spencer and I have started Geocaching. He works the GPS and gives me directions where to drive, park and walk then we hunt for the Geocache together.

We've also been to a Heat game where we spent the evening working subtraction "oh dad we're winning by 8 now!".
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Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Ft. Lauderdale

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The post above belongs to me, thought I was signed in, guess not!

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Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 18
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cars are a great way to study all kinds of things. Even simple pine-box derby cars - experimenting with various mods to see what works and what doesn't. Gravity, acceleration, drag, lift, g-force, centrifugal force - its all there for the observation. What about a slot-racing track where they could actually build and maintain their own cars with tires, brushes, contacts, etc. That might spark an interest. Modeling and RC are other great avenues for developing an interest in not just racing, but also mechanics and technology. Race on!

Most of our field trips are sports-related at this point. Ice skating, bowling and golfing are the favorites. Sometimes we go to the putt-putt. Now THERE'S a workout for ya. Ha!

We also belong to a fantastic homeschooling cooperative in the Baltimore area, created and managed by a super-human lady. Its www.columbiahomeschool.org. Through this co-op, we have all sorts of organized field trips to science centers, music and the arts, museums, farms, etc etc. I strongly urge everyone to find a co-op or support group and organize these kinds of outings - they are a great way to socialize and get exposure to all kinds of stimulation.
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Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of you interested in racing, here's a link you might be interested in. Ross is a friend of ours and he and his wife are fellow unschoolers here in the Seattle area. Ross' business is a company called SWERVE, the best driver training company in the area. Our older daughter, MJ, just graduated from SWERVE training and will now practice for the next 8 months until her 16th birthday. (grin)

But this isn't about that. It's about Team Seattle at the 24 hours of Daytona. Ross is blogging it here:


His post for 1/19 features a photo of him on his Virtual GT simulator in his garage. We've visited with them and driven the simulator. It's a total hoot. The most fun you can have without spending a thousand bucks or more to go to the track for a day.

Ross' performance driving books ain't nothin' to sneeze at either, if you're interested in learning how to drive like a professional.

Anyway, if you're interested in reading about Daytona as it happens, check the link.
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