July 19 (Thursday)

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One’s home is one’s first school. After all, you don’t learn to walk or say “Hi” in a public or private school.

Sadly, it sometimes seems that young people don’t learn anything in school these days, and it isn’t hard to figure out why.

Public schools have been effectively privatized, taken over by corporations. Corporate interests are intentionally “dumbing down” students. After all, clueless citizens are easier to fool and therefore easier to exploit. Poorly educated young people are more likely to enlist in the military, which is a virtual pig’s trough for corporations and the super rich. An unskilled work force is also a great excuse for either outsourcing jobs or importing workers from foreign countries, a practice championed by Bill Gates.

Science is being increasingly replaced by junk science (including creationism). America’s public schools have probably never done a really good job teaching history. That’s just one reason the average U.S. citizen has the political IQ of a Big Mac.

Speaking of McDonalds, even the food served in public schools can be nauseating. It’s increasingly saturated with genetically modified food, a time bomb supported by Bill Gates, who has probably done more to exploit public education than any other individual in U.S. history.

That’s why parents need to be ever stronger advocates of quality education, and if they can’t find that education in the schools their tax dollars support, then they need to look for it elsewhere. As a former wildlife biologist, a former teacher in Seattle’s corporatized public schools, a political activist and the webmaster of the Geobop websites (including Politix), I know what I’m talking about.

Geobop

The Geobop family of websites were designed as an educational resource from the very beginning. Unfortunately, it can take years to research and write the content needed for a good curriculum. It takes additional years to learn web design and programming.

After two decades of hard work, I’ve acquired a mountain of information and ideas. It would probably take several lifetimes to get it all online.

Dynamic Testing

Fortunately, the latest web technology has made things a little easier. Geobop websites now feature dynamic tests and quizzes. Take a test, click the Submit button, and you can instantly see your score, along with feedback.

It gets even better if you register. If you’re registered and logged in, your test scores will be entered into a database. You can then see a snapshot of your progress on your own personal membership page.

Dynamic Ideas

Of course, Geobop isn’t the only website that offers online tests. There are lots of home schooling resources out there.

What sets Geobop apart is ideas.

Geobop teaches students about evolution, not creationism. Between GeoWorld and GeoZoo, students will get a solid grounding in the natural sciences, including geology and biology.

But what really makes Geobop special is Politix. Just as Geobop slaps junk science out of the ring with real science, so does it bury propaganda and politics-as-usual with genuine political science.

The late Carl Sagan is one of my heroes, a rare example of a scientist who was also a political activist. And science and political science (spelled Politix) are a potent mix.

GeoSymbols gives Geobop’s curricula another twist, for symbols are among the most potent ideas. From the white dove of peace to the Nazi swastika, they can evoke powerful emotions and influence the way we think.

Last but not least is the youngest member of the Geobop family of websites, SeaLatin. But what could Latin music possibly have to do with gravity, photosynthesis, economics and revolution?

Why don’t you find out for yourself?

Organization

Each major Geobop website begins with an introductory series of articles. These five series, averaging about ten articles each, form the foundation of Geobop’s home schooling mission.

Of course, fifty articles is a drop in the bucket, which is itself swallowed by an ocean of human knowledge. But you have to start somewhere, and a solid foundation will prepare you for further learning adventures. Besides, new content will continually be added to Geobop.

Geobop websites are organized thematically. That means many articles belong to one or more series, which often overlap. Each article in a series is typically accompanied by a ten-question quiz. Each series is in turn covered by a longer test, usually fifty questions.

I strongly recommend that you start at the beginning. Register with Geobop, then take the following five tests (50 questions each) before reading the associated articles, just to see what you already know. Then pick a series and work your way through it at your leisure, quizzing yourself on each article. When you take the series test again, you will probably see a big improvement in your score.

So why not turn off the TV, put the Xbox away for a while and give your mind a workout?