How to Study the Great Scientists and Inventors


My son wants to work in the science industry when he grows up.  Because of this, we make it a point to do an in-depth study of a scientist or invention every month. Other than giving him inspiration, the most profound effect that I can see is that these men and women teach my son to never give up. One characteristic that can be found in the personality and behavior of almost every successful scientist or inventor is perseverance.

College admission boards are now putting more emphasis on key traits like dedication and commitment, over grades and GPAs. They want more Thomas Edisons and Henry Fords.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time.  -Thomas Edison

My son has always felt a special connection to the brilliant Thomas Edison, as they are actually 6th cousins (a few times removed due to the generation gap.) We often use these Venn Diagrams that I created to compare and contrast two different scientists or even compare a scientist directly to my son. Click on the images to download the files.

Scientist Venn Diagram 2 small Scientist Venn Diagram small

 We also use this scientist notebooking page from Jimmie at

Scientist Biography page

Some of our favorite books are pictured above, but the best one of all is DK’s Great Scientists. I only promote the best and DK Eyewitness books seriously are the best.


A colorful section on Galileo and the history of his telescope.


Oh look, cousin Tom!


Now this is why I say the DK Eyewitness books are the best of the best and everyone should have several of these on their bookshelf.


  1. Look at the selection of titles in the back of this book! Amazing.
  2. You can get them for around $13 each at Amazon.
  3. The recent titles, like this one, come with a clip art CD.
  4. They also include a poster.
  5. They are durable hardback.
  6. They are kid-friendly encyclopedias.
  7. They pack a ton of knowledge inside, but not in a textbook fashion.

Back to the resources in my intro photo above. Also pictured are:


Another great resource are the books in the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Inventors & Scientists series. My friend Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler created a lapbook set to go along with these books.

Books not pictured because we either got them from the library or own the ebook versions.


What is Your Patronus?

My Patronus is...T-shirts and Mug

Harry Potter fans will immediately understand the meaning behind these shirts. For everyone else, let me explain. In the Harry Potter world, a patronus is sort of like a spirit that comes in a reflection of your personality. Like a guardian, it is produced when one needs protection from evil. For example, Harry Potter’s patronus took the form of a stag, his mother’s was a doe, and Professor Dumbledore’s was a Phoenix.

I saw a T-shirt online that read “My Patronus is a TARDIS” and immediately wanted to recreate it. So I casually asked my son what his patronus would be, if they were real, and he cracked me up by stating, “Chuck Norris.”

My Patronus is Chuck Norris

A few minutes later, I asked my husband, via Google Chat, what his patronus would be and he ironically said, “Bruce Lee.”

Like father like son!!! I live with two ninjas. My husband loves his shirt, but he said he wouldn’t wear it around strangers.

My Patronus is Bruce Lee

So, I rushed to my Silhouette and cut out these beauties with heat transfer vinyl.

Who is mine? River Song of course. I had to make myself a mug because, honestly, I also wouldn’t be caught dead walking around in a T-shirt like this. That would be a bit too geeky.

My Patronus is River Song

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10 Little Things That Make My Son’s Day

Reading Bill O'Reilly

1. Unexpected peanut butter pancakes for breakfast. On a week day.

2. Waking up to realize there is cold pizza in the refrigerator.

3. When first thing in the morning I look him right in the eyes and say, “I challenge you to Mario Cart.” I have never won a single game, but he thoroughly loves beating me and it makes him so happy when I show interest in video games.

4. When I read aloud to him. I love to read to him and I hope he never grows out of it. I joke that when he is an adult, I’ll call him every day to read him a chapter in a story.

5. When I ask him to open a jar for me. He pretty much is as strong as me now.

6. When my husband sends me funny videos or interesting articles during the day and tells me to share it with him. It makes him happy to know that Dad thinks of him during the day.

7. When my husband unexpectedly comes home early.

8. Waking up and realizing we have absolutely nowhere to go that day.

9. A huge pile of pillows and blankets.

10. When I tell him it is a Netflix school morning and we watch nothing but documentaries all morning.


Every Tuesday, for the next ten weeks, I will be participating in a special Ten in Ten blog hop with iHomeschool Network. This blog hop is inspired by our dear friend and sister Angie of Many Little Blessings. We would love to have you join us during our ten week adventure. Please link up at Angie’s blog by clicking the image below.