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Comment Re:We homeschool (Score 1) 700

The most extreme example I have seen is mathematics. There are several ways to learn to multiply two two-digit numbers together. Each student has to master and be tested on each way instead of just the one way that works best for them.
Look at Multiplication algorithm
Students would be required to learn and would be tested on several of these methods.

Comment We homeschool (Score 2, Interesting) 700

My wife has worked as a teacher and has a related degree. Out oldest daughter went to a private preschool when she was three and quickly became bored with what they were teaching. We learned that the same curriculum would be covered in their four year old class so we decided to start homeschooling at that point. She is currently seven years old and is working on curriculum that is beyond what her nine year old friends are working on in public school. She has more friends than I did when I was her age and they are of a wider age range. She has played soccer, takes dance classes, attends church, and and we meet monthly with a homeschool meetup group.

We also have a four year old daughter who is working on similar curriculum to six year olds in public school.

We homeschool primarily for academc reasons as we have seen the horror that is "common core" and the waste of time that is "no child left behind". We have taught Astronomy, Robotics, Weather, and Bird Studies so far so we aren't just teaching the basics.

We live in Texas which has some of the most homeschool friendly laws on the books. Homeschooling falls under the same statutes as Private Schools. There is no attendance reporting, no mandatory testing, no approved curriculums.
The requirements for homeschooling in Texas are as follows:
        The instruction must be bona fide (i.e., not a sham).
        The curriculum must be in visual form (e.g., books, workbooks, video monitor).
        The curriculum must include the five basic subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship.

The State of Texas assumes that if you care enough about your kids to want to teach them yourself that the state will just get out of the way. The Texas Homeschool Coalition holds conventions every year were we take seminars and shop for curriculum.

Comment Re: Insteon (Score 2) 189

I have a veralite. the community at forum.micasaverdce.com is why I chose the veralite. The manufacturer doesn't communicate very well but the community more than makes up for it. the device native talks z-wave but with plugins can talk to many wifi and ethernet devices including most ip cameras and with hardware addons can talk insteon, x10, infrared, and some other rf protocols.

Comment Santiago (Score 3, Informative) 135

I am currently working in Santiago and did feel last nights shaking. It is not the first I have felt in the last year but it is definately the strongest. I haven't heard of any problems in Santiago but Valpariso is much closer and a portion of the city was recently damaged in a large fire so this might complicate the recovery efforts there.

Submission + - MySQL analysis with AnalyzeMySQL (xenji.com)

Mario Mueller writes: I recently joined the scalability team at trivago and my first job was to get into the actual MySQL schema to discover which parts can be improved regarding performance and space consumption.

trivago's database consists of about 230 tables, many of them having a history of more than four years, some of them up to 7 years. A few of them do have some historic flaws, like having a signed bigint as primary key (because nobody could imagine what space will be needed in a few years), others do have indexes that are not longer used, etc. There are many tasks to do until you get to know the database scheme very well.

I wrote a tool to support me on my tasks. Read on, if you are interested in getting more information about it.

Submission + - The mechanical joke maker (humansinvent.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "There is a more artful side to this form of vintage hacking, however, as can be seen by the extraordinary and strange work of Falmouth based automata maker, Paul Spooner. Over the years, Spooner has made some true oddities, including the cat who drinks poisoned milk, dies, comes back alive and does it all over again; the women who swallows the day and leaves the night behind; and the man who produces a pipe from his head."

Submission + - Discovering and Using Helium (scienceray.com)

qutubjeer writes: Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, just after hydrogen. While we know its use in balloons, certain inflatable ads, blimps, and scuba gear, helium has several natural properties—inertness, the lowest boiling point of any known substance—that make it an important element used outside the realm of inflatable product replicas. However, despite its abundance throughout the universe, there is a finite amount of it on our planet, and researchers predict a public shortage of helium within the next few years.

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall