Friday, February 3, 2012

The Science of Home Management or In Which I Reveal My Geekiness

I am a total geek by most standards.  I love science and math, especially of the abstract variety.  The most recent science documentary I have enjoyed was Quantum Activist.  This film is about Dr. Amit Goswami, Ph.D, a nuclear and theoretical quantum physicist who
"challenges us to rethink our very notions of existence and reality". 

Unlike mainstream science which remains materialistic, this film explores science in relation to consciousness.
"This film bridges the gap between God and Science."
I don't know about all that, but, it is very interesting to see science exploring more than just the physical.  Dr. Goswami talks toward the end of the film about how humans must find a balance between "doing" (the actions of living) and "being" (focusing inward on our consciousness). Or, as he says, "do-be-do-be-do".   haha.

I also found this article written by a  mathematician who also happens to be a homeschooling mother.  In A Generous Education in Math Alice Horrocks affirms that you do not need a degree to teach your children math.  She also talks about the fact that math is hard and we should acknowledge this with our children who are struggling.  She point out this very point through the example of Andrew Wiles and his work on proving Fermat’s Last Theorem.

"In 1993, the New York Times broke the news: he had solved this problem which had been outstanding for well over 300 years. It is an exciting story – check it out online. .

This video starts with this quote: “Perhaps I could best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of entering a dark mansion. One goes into the first room, and it’s dark, completely dark, and stumbles around bumping into the furniture, and gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is and finally after six months or so, you find the light switch. You turn it on and suddenly it’s all illuminated. You can see exactly where you were.”

Andrew Wiles spent six years working on this one problem. No one knew what he was working on, or if he was even doing research. Finally he presented a series of lectures at a math conference. He concluded his presentations with the claim: “Therefore, this proves Fermat’s Theorem.” Before the paper with this result could be published, it had to be ‘refereed’, that is, checked over carefully by other mathematicians. Several minor details had to be fixed. But then one referee’s question showed that there was a serious flaw in the proof – a ‘hole’, as they say. Andrew Wiles went back to work for another two years before he really had a correct proof.
I’m sure he thought that math is hard."
The video is really very interesting.  There you have it.  That's the sort of interesting ("geeky"?) subjects I enjoy.  So, when I was reading through a homeschool book I recently picked up at Half Price Books (my favorite book store!), Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson,
I almost (okay, maybe I really did) squealed with excitement when I came to a section titled The Science of Home Management.  Really?!  Laws and Corollaries for managing my home.  Now that I can understand! 

The Science of Home Management

The Laws of Home Systems Management

Universal Laws of Home Thermodynamics
  • First Law: In home systems, all things tend toward disorder and disarray.
  • Second Law: In home systems, a finite amount of energy is being dissipated at a constant rate.
Universal Laws of Homes Systematics
  • Law:  Systems work.
  • First Corollary: If you don't work your systems, your systems won't work.
  • Second Corollary: The more you work your systems, the less you'll work.
Universal Laws of Home Cause and Effect
  • Law: In home systems, every undesirable effect has a cause.
  • First Corollary: To eliminate an undesirable effect, you must change the cause.
  • Second Corollary: Causes can be changed only through the application of time and effort.
  • Third Corollary: Causes are not changed by ignoring, complaining about, or rationalizing effects.
The Invisible Energy of Routine

The Law of Routine: For every action taken to establish routine, there is an equal and similar reaction generating greater amounts of routine energy.

The Converse of the Law of Routine: For every action not taken to establish routine, there is a corresponding decrease in total routine energy. 

I am sure I have heard all of these things before but when it is worded like this it just makes it SOOOOO much more interesting.  Okay.  I am a geek.  So what?  Maybe now at least I'll be a geek in control of my home management thanks to these laws which my brain can now comprehend.