Book 1: Whoosh

NewFrontCover“Race ya.”
 The sun was barely peeking over the horizon at Yellowstone National Park when Melody shouted this unexpected challenge to her twin brother Mallory.
 “No fair. You got a head start!”
 A head start was exactly what Melody had in mind. She wanted to make sure Mallory didn’t reach Old Faithful before she did. (He didn’t)

If 7-year-old Melody Maloney had been standing anywhere else or Geyser Eruptionat any other time, this would have been an ordinary adventure story. But nature has a way of behaving that doesn’t always follow the rules.

What happens when the Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone decides to misbehave? Melody and her twin brother Mallory find out, but no one believes them.

Why is the world’s first National Park the site for this first book in the BioFables series? Well, besides its famous geysers, Yellowstone shows off the exotic colors of its hot springs. What’s so special about that? Those bright blues, yellows, pinks and other colors are thanks to extremophiles, the heat-loving variety of extremophile microbes that live in the steaming waters. So what? Glad you asked. Scientists agree that only microbes are classified as extremophiles. But Melody and her 7-year-old brother Mallory discover that one of them might also be an extremophile. Whoosh is, after all, a work of fiction, and human extremophile instances are the BioFables series’ only departure from legitimate science.

Our main focus of all BioFables children’s books is on illuminating Science (STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) principles through fun stories. As you probably know from experience, though, applying Science  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 category and not in the two others?” Here are some reasons:

  1.  The Core Discipline Values 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 Science and Humanities Core Disciplines, on the other hand, are behavior-neutral.

If you’d like to purchase Whoosh, please click on the Buy Whoosh icon to go directly to Amazon’s Whoosh page. Your purchase of Whoosh 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 Whoosh resources at this site, please read on.

Whoosh Resources

The ten chapters in Whoosh contain nearly a hundred practical mini-lessons and pop-up lessons woven throughout Whoosh. 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  Humanities and ValuesBehaviors Core Disciplines, where common family experiences in Whoosh 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: Science, 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 (Science):

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

Click on Whoosh Knowledge Gateways 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 (Humanities), rather than in a Geology (Science) lesson.