December 25, 2014


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The education of a best-selling teenage author


In 2008, author Christopher Paolini posed with his book “Brisingr,” the third  in his four-novel “Inheritance Cycle” series. He is standing at his home in Paradise Valley, Montana. (AP Photo/David Grubbs)

When Christopher Paolini was 15 years old, he started writing a novel that eventually was titled “Eragon,” the first in a four-book series that became known as the “Inheritance Cycle.” He spent two years writing and then rewriting the story and a third year traveling around the country promoting the self-published book before an established author, Carl Hiaasen, read it and had it published by Alfred A. Knopf.  How did he manage to do all this and get an education too? In the following post, his mother, Talita Paolini, explains. Talita Paolini trained and worked as a Montessori preschool teacher. She and her husband, Kenneth, homeschooled their two children. Many parents asked Talita for advice, so she recorded the Paolini Method in a series of articles and books. You can read about it here. She currently resides with her husband and children in Paradise Valley, Montana. On her website, the 30-year-old Christopher Paaolini is quoted as saying:

“People often ask how I was able to write Eragon at the age of fifteen. Well, the credit has to go to my parents, and specifically my mom, who is a trained teacher. She started to educate my sister and me when we were very young, first with games and other fun projects and later with more formal lessons. Without her system of instruction, none of our professional success would have been possible. I was incredibly fortunate to have been educated with these methods, and I firmly believe that children everywhere can benefit from them.”

Read what Talita Paolini writes here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/11/10/the-education-of-a-best-selling-teenage-author/

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Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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“The Rift never would’ve happened had I not been home-schooled”

The Smithsonian Magazine hosted its third annual American Ingenuity Awards Thursday night in Washington. The event honored a group of remarkable individuals, perhaps none more interesting than Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey. The 22-year-old — who sold Oculus to Facebook for $2 billion earlier this year — was recognized for his breakthrough work in virtual reality.

As a teenager Luckey’s parents gave him half of the family’s two-car garage to use as his personal workshop. He played with Tesla coils, lasers — once briefly damaging his vision — and virtual reality headsets that he purchased at government and online auctions. Luckey credited his unusual education with how far he’s gotten:

I’ve had the blessing of growing up with supportive parents, who didn’t actually financially support my hobbies. I had to do odd jobs and stuff to make all the money myself, but they were at least very supportive of me, being flexible with my time. They home-schooled me in a way that let me prioritize my schoolwork for certain days and my other stuff for other days. And I started taking community college courses when I was 14. That gave me a lot of freedom to choose the classes on the days I wanted. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Rift never would’ve happened had I not been home-schooled.

When you have to be a self-motivated learner, and you are not in school because you’re legally required to, but you’re there because you’re taking community college courses and you want to succeed, you want to get a grade that’ll apply for a transfer. All of the sudden you care about what you’re learning a lot more. So I wasn’t there just to get through the daily grind. I was doing what I did to learn and also learning a lot of things on the side. I learned a lot more on my own outside of school, at least when it comes to what’s relevant to what I’m doing now.

I asked Luckey to explain how a teenage kid in his parent’s garage could make a superior virtual reality product to all of the world’s tech companies, with their huge budgets and staffs:

It’s because nobody cared. Nobody was paying attention to virtual reality. That is the only reason the Rift did not exist earlier. I’ve actually done some analysis of the components used in my earlier Rift prototypes, and the prototype that [Doom creator] John Carmack used could have been built for under $1,000 in 2007 and under $500 in 2009. The exact same components or very very similar performing components. Carmack didn’t show off at E3 till 2012. Between three and six years had gone by between when the tech was finally there and when it all of the sudden caught on.

The components I was using even were relatively old — they weren’t the most cutting edge thing because they were things that I was able to obtain off the shelf and modify, so it’s just kind of interesting. You’re right, there’s all these companies — millions of dollars — you think that one of them would’ve had a VR R&D project that was going somewhere, and it turned out none of them did. Our Kickstarter proved that people wanted VR, and our hardware that we shipped proved it was finally good enough, and now you have all of these big companies like Sony and Facebook and Google and Microsoft all getting into the augmented reality and virtual reality game in a big way.

Luckey also talked about what Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is like:

Mark’s pretty cool…

Read the rest of this article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/10/17/oculus-founder-palmer-luckey-the-rift-never-wouldve-happened-had-i-not-been-home-schooled/

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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Homeschool students take Taihape event

  • Taihape's Got Talent Open section winners Faith, from left, Jonathon George, Jeremiah George, Taisha Gorman, Joshua George and Caleb Lazarus. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED
Taihape’s Got Talent Open section winners Faith, from left, Jonathon George, Jeremiah George, Taisha Gorman, Joshua George and Caleb Lazarus. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

A band of home-schooled students from rural Taihape won the open section of Taihape’s Got Talent a week ago.

The five-member band Faith sing mostly Christian influenced music, though they are not affiliated with a particular church.

Faith comprises Jonathon, Jeremiah and Joshua George, Taisha Gorman and Caleb Lazarus.

Father of the George boys Paul George said the group was immensely talented.

“My sons didn’t get it from me. My father was a talented musician but it skipped a generation when it came to me.”

Mr George said the group had written an album and were waiting for it to be recorded.

“But right now their biggest problem is agreeing on what they will be performing at the big Rangitikei final in the Bulls town hall on election night.”

By Lin Ferguson

Read the rest of the article here…

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 22 April 2014:  Two years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

Please like & share:

Where the River Rises by Rosie Boom

Some exciting news for a New Zealand home educating author: Rosie Boom! Where the River Rises has won the 2014 International Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award in the Children’s 8-12 years category. (This is the same award that Where the Crickets Sing won last year, 2013)

Congratulations Rosie

Rosie Boom's photo.
Rosie Boom's photo.

 

The Barn Chronicles by Rosie Boom

Where  Lions Roar at Night

Where Arrows Fly

Where the Crickets Sing

Where the River Rises

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Home Schooler leads festive show

Teen leads festive show

Medieval Christmas comes to town

LEE MATTHEWS

Flavour of Christmas

DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ

CHRISTMAS CRACKER: Nina Donkin is working through rehearsals for her new production The Flavour of Christmas. From left are David Mock, 16, Nina, 16, Grace Smith, 6, and Emily Good, 18.

 A medieval Christmas show, complete with a banquet for the audience, is being put together by two Palmerston North teenagers.

Sixteen-year-old Nina Donkin, whose Family Friendly Productions theatre company last year produced and performed the musical Psalty, has gone a step further this year.

With help from her friend and stage manager 18-year-old Emily Good, Nina has written and choreographed The Flavour of Christmas, incorporating the 20-minute play The Reluctant Dragon by John Rutter.

The show will be presented as a medieval banquet, with the audience served a full Christmas dinner during the production. Catering is being done by Dot Costley, using All Saints church’s new community hall facilities.

Nina said the music for the show was particularly lovely. Nina’s mother, Palmerston North singing teacher Debbie Donkin, was musical director and working with the 16-strong four-part choir to produce interesting music.

Read more here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/8027634/Teen-leads-festive-show

Many of the performers are home educated.

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 5 October 2012:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:
http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

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Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year olds

 

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