Homeschooled Engineers :)

Homeschooled Engineers 🙂

Nathan (at  left: Mechanical Engineering-2008) & Lane (at right: Electrical Engineering-2009)

After over 12 years of homeschooling, then community college, then the university, our two oldest sons each received a B.S. in engineering at Mississippi State University.

Homeschool gave Lane and Nathan the freedom to pursue their own interests. Their creative ideas were encouraged and enabled. We often gave them time away from some of their traditional school assignments to get really involved in a project. I count these delight directed studies as some of the best learning opportunities in homeschool. Children are like sponges for learning the things that interest them.

Homeschooled Engineers at 13 and 11 Years Old

Homeschooled Engineers at 13 and 11 Years Old

If you have a budding engineer, provide him/her time, space, and materials to work on projects. There are so many great building sets available. The time your child spends building is not wasted time. They may be building important things one day soon and making a living for their families with their building expertise.

Also, help your children see the relationship between math and every kind of problem solving. Students often bewail the lack of practical use of algebra and other math disciplines.  It is important to demonstrate and teach your children the day to day application of math, but also, they need to realize that the problem solving that is involved in math work is applicable to problem solving in all areas of life (especially engineering!)

Lane Builds with Fishertechnique Set

Lane Builds with Fishertechnique Set

One note to other parents of children who have a strong interest in engineering with a relatively weak preparation during high school. Both of our sons, because of jobs (and other interests) during high school/homeschool, didn't go beyond Algebra 2. They both went to community college, starting with College Algebra, then Trig, then Cal I, II, III, IV and so on.

When they went to college, they succeeded because they were serious students with determination to do whatever was required,  not because of excellent high school prep. When they got to the university, occasionally, they would drop a course that they got a bad start in, and begin again the next semester with a head start.   This is expensive, but is worth it if necessary. They also took advantage of limited "Grade Forgiveness" to retake a course.

At MSU, engineering is one of the few (or only?) majors that doesn't require foreign language in high school or college.