Making Trigonometry Interesting

Trigonometry is a branch of geometry; one of the major fields in mathematics.  The name literally means, “the measuring of triangles” (from Greek trigōnon “triangle” + metron “measure”).  As a child in school, I had a hard time understanding why the teacher thought it was so important for us to understand triangles.  When students in my class raised this question, the answer was typically that we should just be quiet and do our work without questioning the usefulness of learning trigonometry.  But it is difficult for anyone to work on something that is meaningless to them, we generally do our best work when it means something to us, that is, when we see a purpose for our labours.  So the first task a teacher of trigonometry must do is reveal to the person you are teaching why triangles are worth studying at all.  As such this article is not meant as an in-depth discussion of trigonometry, merely explaining the usefulness of the theory and pointing out various ways one could make it interesting for children to want to learn. Continue reading

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Writing a Journal

Attaining mental health is not a simple task.  Just as we live in a world full of germs and parasites that can infest and harm our bodies, we also live in a psychological world of relationships with other people which are often full of psychological germs and parasites that can damage our mental health.  Consider the public school environment: it is hard to imagine a single day without being exposed to bullying, put-downs, oppression, humiliations, peer-pressures, misinformation or other psychologically harmful elements.  Often work and family environments are no better.  When we consider protecting our bodies from infectious disease it is often a good idea to sterilise or clean our living environment to keep ourselves safe.  However, as important as this is, without an immune system it is only a matter of time before one succumbs to infection and dies.  So avoiding harmful psychological environments is not enough, one needs to develop a psychological immune system. Continue reading

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The Future of Learning

Apologies for the lack of new content.  I have been a busy working behind the scenes whenever I have had the time available.  I will return to regular content updates soon.  In the meantime, here is an interesting video about education, learning and school that someone sent me.  I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

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Book: Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

Since I read a lot of books about psychology, relationships, mental health and related topics, I will post reviews of books that I have read.  This time I am writing about a book that helped me a great deal to make sense of the behaviours I have observed in many people I know.  Although this book is targeted at women, I sincerely believe that there is a great deal of benefit for men interested in narcissism to read it too, if only to understand many of the young women they will meet on dates these days. Continue reading

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Iconic Australian Animals

How well do you know your native animals?  I studied biology at university and actually had the nickname “bio-boy” in high school because of my passion for the subject.  However, I was embarrassed recently when I discovered I could not name a single species of native eagle.   Curious, I started asking around and found that most Australians are woefully ignorant about which animals are native and could only list a half dozen species they knew of.  In other countries and in times past, learning the names of hundreds of native plants and animals was considered an important part of any school curriculum, in fact children were expected to know them even if they did not go to school.  No one can say for sure why publicly funded schools in Australia do not take it seriously to teach people basic facts about their country, but it is not just embarrassing for Australians when they struggle to provide interesting conversation to foreigners about their country, its history, culture, heritage and wildlife, it hurts them on an spiritual level because it discourages them from seeing their country as an interesting and exciting place to live.

54 Basic Australian Animals with some facts about each one.

54 Iconic Australian Animals with some facts about each one.

Click the image above to be taken to the Four Birds Education Pinterest page where you can find 54 beautiful images of native Australian animals with some basic facts about each one to show your children, use as inspiration to create learning games or just to admire some of the splendor of Australia’s native fauna.

Here are some reasons why it is worthwhile to teach children about native animals: Continue reading

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RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms

This is a thought-provoking video.  I agree with much of what Ken Robinson says, however, from an economic point of view governments have limited incentives to change or improve the education system.  In fact, I would argue that the problems described in this video were readily identifiable over one hundred years ago and as such are not recent discoveries.  However, in the case of ADHD, they are clearly getting out of hand.  If there is to be a revolution in education it will from parents brave enough to homeschool and from companies like Four Birds Education which have the potential to shame the government into abandoning their stranglehold on education.

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How to Self-Discipline Your Child

One of the most common complaints from parents and teachers concerns how one should discipline children, and yes, you read the title of this post right.  This will not be another article explaining how important rules are and how essential it is to come down hard on children whenever the rules are broken.  Instead, I am going to suggest a method that might be a little more complicated and on the surface appear to require more effort, however, in the long run you will see the wisdom of this approach.  Remember, the goal of every parent and teacher is help a child become self-sufficient, this means they need to be able to supply their own discipline.  When you direct a child’s behaviour away from harm, that is called discipline, but when the child reigns in their own harmful behaviour, that is called self-discipline.   Teaching your children to discipline themselves is going to make any parent or teacher’s life a lot easier.  In this article we will discuss the problems with rule-based discipline and then explain why teaching values is a better alternative. Continue reading

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