For many years, my son Vincent has shown some interest in my amateur radio activities. He is now 13 years old. Today, he openly says that he will have a career in electronics or computing. I figured he knew enough of math to use the Ohm's law and reactance equations. So a month ago I suggested to him that he should try to study amateur radio and electronics and get his ham license. The timing is right, as we are in the summer and he has no school. He agreed to give it a try!
So I ordered in some ham radio course litterature: One book on electronics, one book on operating and regulations and a Questions bank CD. I figure it is well spent money, as anything he learns now will help hims in the electicity physics courses he will have to face in the next few years at school anyway.
We are now three weeks into the studying and things are progressing well. He has now read about capacitors , inductors and resonance. The way we proceed is that he reads a chapter and tries to pick up as much as possible. Then we sit down and review the chapter. He will usually have questions, so having someone knowledgeable to accompany him helps a lot.
Hey, he is a kid and will naturally want to play with his iPod-Touch and mix music rather than reading a theory book... So I have to motivate him: I remind him to read one of the books on a daily basis. The objective we set is to pass the exam in September, so he cannot relax for too long. He agrees to that so it is not a struggle, just reminders...
I will keep you updated on the progress. Come back in the near future!
I stumbled upon your blog via your "First EME Contact" You Tube and came over here. Firstly, congrats on your son following in your footsteps. I am a father of three boys (men, now) and two of them have gotten their ham licenses. The third -- my youngest -- is an E-4 in the USMC Reserves and is on active duty at this moment.(So I'll give him a pass.)
You think it's fun now, wait'll you sit beside them during a contest or a QSO.
Best of luck, and I'll be back as I have become interested in getting into EME and look to your experiences as guidance.
Update: My son has a deadline for the exam! It is September 7th. There is an exam session at a local hamfest on that date. So he has one month to complete the studying. He is about half way through the material. So I have to motivate him harder now!
Update: He has done it! Vincent took the Basic exam last Saturday at the Ottawa Hamfest and got a mark of 77%, which gives him access to the great world of Amateur Radio. Quite good for a 13-year old kid who got his head filled up with tons of new concepts. This mark is a bit shy of the 80% required to get him full HF privileges. But he will get those privileges by taking the 5 WPM Morse Code exam. That should not be an issue, as he has already started learning the code and shows good skills already.
As an anecdote, during the hamfest I showed him a Kenwood TR-2500 handheld available for sale on one of the tables. This was my first ham rig back in 1984. The owner overheard my comment and decided to give the radio to my son as a gift for being a new ham! Funny that both my son and I got the same first radio!
I will let you know what callsign my son will receive in a couple of weeks.