Homeschool Science Tutor Lyndsay Baker
Our homeschool Science Tutor Lyndsay Baker tells us about being homeschooled as a child in Kenya, her favourite do-at-home science experiment, and the two famous people she’d love to invite to dinner if she could…(it’s probably not a combination you’d expect!).
Who are your heroes?
My all-time hero is Nelson Mandela – so I geeked out massively when I heard that Wolsey Hall had actually given him his distance learning degree!
What’s your favourite fact or piece of trivia about science?
I cannot possibly think of a single favourite fact about science, because I’m a massive science geek and always have been – I just think it’s great. But if I had to choose, I think my favourite thing about science is that there’s always something new being discovered. In the 1800s, or the end of the 1800s, somebody was quoted stupidly as saying that “there is nothing new to discover” – and immediately quantum physics came along. So I love the fact that it’s always changing.
Do you have any personal experience with homeschooling?
I was homeschooled when I was a kid – we lived in the back of beyond in Kenya, and so my mum homeschooled me until I was 8, and then we moved to a city, and I was able to go to school. My own children are still very small, but it’s always been an option for me and my husband, that if we need to we would homeschool them, because I had a good experience with it.
What’s your favourite do-at-home science experiment?
I tend to do an awful lot of experiments at home, but I think the coolest is measuring the speed of sound in a field, which you can do with a friend, a stopwatch, and a tape measure. You can actually get incredibly accurate results with very, very simple equipment, and it’s just so cool – you’re actually measuring the speed of sound!
What’s your favourite TV show at the moment?
Probably my favourite TV show at the moment is Dr. Who – I told you I was a geek! But I’m also into the Great British Bake Off, because I don’t bake, but I like to pretend that I might, one day. And at the moment I’m ridiculously excited because I’m going to see Two Gentleman of Verona at the cinema on a live broadcast from the RSC – I love Shakespeare, and have done since I was a teenager.
If you could have dinner with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?
I would quite like to have a dinner party including, but not limited to: Nelson Mandela, of course – and Eddie Izzard, because he seems like a really interesting guy…
Finally, based on your experience at Wolsey Hall, what’s the biggest piece of advice
you would offer somebody just starting a homeschooling or distance learning course?
I think the most important piece of advice if you’re just starting out homeschooling is to be extremely proactive – almost pushy, though I think when people worry, ‘oh I feel a bit pushy here, asking so many questions’, usually the person you’re asking doesn’t look at it that way. So for example, as a homeschool science tutor, I have students who ask me loads of questions, and I don’t find it pushy at all. I really like it when students ask me questions. It can be quite a lonely thing, homeschooling, and you’re often by yourself, so take every opportunity possible to contact somebody who can help you, and ask lots and lots of questions. You really have to be proactive.