Book 7: Pumpkins Mazes and …

In early October, Northern Minnesota’s trees are dressed in shades of gold, orange, red, green and yellow. The setting sun that Friday evening made the colors look even sharper than they looked during the day.

Seven-year-old Melody and her twin brother Mallory, noses pressed against the windows of the eight-seat airplane, didn’t even realize that they had already landed at a small airport north of Duluth.

“Mel, look,” Mallory motioned to his sister. “Mal, look,” Melody said at the same time. Neither twin noticed that Grandpa Mike had stepped out of the cockpit of the rented eight-seat airplane and into the main cabin area.

Learning how leaves change colors in the fall, how to visualize the size of an acre, and how to use two sticks in a forest to figure out the direction you’re going (when you don’t have a compass) — these are just a small sampling of about a hundred mini-lessons awaiting readers of  BioFables’ Book 7.

And that’s not counting Grandpa’s BIG surprise. We’re not telling, though. You’ll have to read Pumpkins, Mazes to find out.

Our main focus of all BioFables children’s books is on illuminating Sciences (STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) principles through fun stories. As you probably know from experience, though, applying Sciences  in the real world requires a balancing perspective of Humanities studies and one’s internal Values/Behaviors. These are the three main Core Disciplines of learning that are an important part of the BioFables books.

We’ve been asked, “Why are you including Behaviors in the Values/Behaviors category and not in the two others?” Here are some reasons:

  1.  The Core Discipline Values/Behaviors represent BioFables characters’ personal, internal attributes, which are usually reflected in their Behavior and are therefore closely related;
  2. We believe that important lessons may be learned from one’s own behavior, or from observing the behavior of others;
  3. The Sciences and Humanities Core Disciplines, on the other hand, are behavior-neutral.

If you’d like to purchase Pumpkins, Mazes, please click on the Buy Pumpkins, Mazes icon to go directly to Barnes & Noble’s Pumpkin’s, Mazes page. Your purchase of Pumpkins, Mazes helps support our ongoing efforts to continue expanding the wealth of this site’s free resources for  homeschooling and all parents who are dedicated to the intellectual growth of their children.

If you’d like to learn more about using the considerable Pumpkins, Mazes resources at this site, please read on.

Pumpkins, Mazes Resources

The ten chapters in Pumpkins, Mazes contain nearly a hundred practical mini-lessons and pop-up lessons woven throughout Pumpkins, Mazes. We call these practical lessons Knowledge Nuggets. These Knowledge Nuggets contain specific information that readers can apply to their everyday lives. They may be in the form of a mini-lesson, with simple explanations of a specific concept, or as a quick, unplanned pop-up lesson.

You will find that many of these Knowledge Nugget lessons are in stealth mode. This is true especially in the  Humanitiess and Values/Behaviors Core Disciplines, where common family experiences in Pumpkins, Mazes offer lessons that might easily be missed.

Homeschooling parents often want to know where the specific Knowledge Nugget lessons fit into more general learning classifications. To address that need, we’ve designed a 5-tier structure for all BioFable books, ranging from the most general (Core Disciplines) to the most specific (Knowledge Nuggets) catgories:

    • 1. Core Disciplines: Sciences, Humanities, Values/Behaviors
      • 2. Knowledge Gateways (Color-coded examples: Earth/Space Science, History, Ethics/Morals)
        • 3.  Discovery Paths (Example: Geology, a Discovery Path of Earth/Space Science)
          • 4. Discovery Path Branches (Example: Geysers, a Discovery Path Branch of Geology)
            • 5. Knowledge Nuggets: Specific mini- or pop-up lessons (Example: Geyser ingredients)

So, starting from the “Geyser ingredients” Knowledge Nugget mini-lesson, you can follow its order back to its Core Discipline (Sciences):

    • Geyser ingredients (Knowledge Nugget)
      • Geysers (Discovery Path Branch)
        • Geology (Discovery Path)
          • Earth/Space Science (Knowledge Gateway)
            • Sciences (Core Discipline)

Click —> PUMPKINS, MAZES KNOWLEDGE GATEWAYS PAGE <— to access four sets of tables and lists that help you to place a given Knowledge Nugget within the greater realm of learning. As shown in both two 5-tier structures above, the three Core Disciplines and their associated Knowledge Gateways share the same Red, Blue and Purple color. We’ve not added colors to the terms in the more detailed tiers because these terms can be applied in different Core Cisciplines or Knowledge Gateways. An example: Geysers may appear in the context of a History lesson (Society), rather than in a Geology (Sciences) lesson.