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Mother Culture: Notes on A Biblical Home Education, Chapter Three: Science

From December 6, 2012

Friends,

Once again, Jacki has blessed us with her organizational talents and shared her notes on our discussion and observations from our Charlotte Mason meeting.  If you are new to our little spot here “Under the Maple Tree” then, please join our little group.  You will find details here about this actual and virtual support group and our previous notes on the blog site under the tag “Mother Culture”.  In short, we meet as a small support group to learn from one another and a good book as well as to encourage and spur one another on in this crazy homeschooling life.  This year our book of choice is A Biblical Home Education by Dr. Ruth Beechick.  If you are interested in joining us even if only virtually, then the book is available through Maple Tree.  Contact me, Cori, for ordering information.

If you are following our little group online or if you missed the meeting in person or if you were here and wanted to look over the ideas and resources that we discussed then please enjoy the notes below with thanks again to the talented Jacki Young.  There are so many great ideas, information and suggestions here that you might want to check back here for a reference here and there.
 
Blessings,
Cori

 ___________
 Chapter 3 – Science to Match the Bible

(p.41) Ruth Beechick states that homeschooling parents seem to “fear science more than any other subject”  (Do you really think that that is the case?)
o As homeschooling parents, we don’t always remember learning the materials we are now teaching. It is difficult to teach materials that we aren’t familiar with
o Many “traditional” teachers don’t invite students to ask questions. Beechick advises that priority should be given to having students ask questions and seek answers. “If you spend more time on space and less time on insects, it is fine as long as children are learning to ask questions and seek answers” (p. 52)
o Many science students and in fact, science professionals, have to hide their creationist stance or risk losing the respect of friends or colleagues
o Good resources like Apologia help to manage the fear of teaching science

(p.55) “Some `readers’ may not enjoy what we call hands-on science activities. Other students may seem more balanced between learning from reading and learning from activities.” How do we know that our “readers” understand the scientific concepts they are reading about?
o Discussion shows understanding of concepts
o Narrating shows understanding of concepts
o Jonathan Park CDs have been shown to teach concepts well

Should we focus on doing dissections with our children as part of learning science?
o Can buy “shrink wrapped” creatures for dissection
o Can easily obtain creatures in our “own backyard” eg. Cori’s dead fish anatomy lesson 😉 (We were camping and found a “science lesson” on the beach.)
o Can extract skeleton of creature by burying near an anthill to speed up decomposition.  That sounds like a science lesson in itself!)
o Can euthanize creatures humanely with baking soda and vinegar.  This is what snake owners often to with rodents that they keep to feed to their pets.
o Some households not comfortable bringing in “dead bodies” due to sanitary concerns or because “life is precious”.  This is reasonable.  Charlotte Mason didn’t see the need for school children to do dissections needlessly.

Some resources for teaching science in primary grades
o Usborne early science books – series of 4-5 books on plants, fish, etc.
o Burgess Bird Book for Children
o Pagoo by Holling C. Holling and other Holling C.Holling books
o Christian Liberty Nature Readers – beginning reader for science topics
o “Apples, Bubbles & Crystals” teaches science as it goes through the alphabet.  This is a fun resource for young students.
o Field guides
o Handbook of Nature Study by Comstock
o “I Wonder Why” books
o DVDs
o Simple activities are helpful
§ Eg. Paint with lemon juice and put in the oven to make painting visible
§ Jance VanCleave book for simple science activities to be done from your kitchen

What is the difference between Babylonians and Sumerians? (p.45)

How did the calendar come to be?
o Calendar Quest by Jennifer Johnson Garrity

Other good resources recommended by HS Freebies website: www.homeschoolfreebie.com

How do I do science experiments at home?
o Apologia kits – don’t have to buy the kit to do the experiments
o For chemistry, some basic materials needed ie. Microscope, Bunsen burner
o If using Apologia check out www.donnayoung.org for schedules for completing the books

ApologiaGeneral Science curriculum

Red Wagon Tutorials – previous years on USB for $120 (Are there copyrights to consider here?)

Some important considerations to apply to home school science:
o Focus on teaching younger children what they’re interested in, and teaching middle & high school students what they need to know for their future plans
o Teach children to think for themselves & take responsibility for their own work
o Do science as a family group
o Talk together about what is learned so siblings have something in common and can learn from each other

(P. 58)”Science students can usually learn from any ol’ book”
o Are illustrations, colour and design wasted on “science minded” students?
o Science minded students will learn science regardless of the colour and design qualities

Nature Study

Project FeederWatch to learn about birds in your backyard. Submit data on birds visiting your backyard feeder to Cornell during the winter months
Country Diary of Edwardian Lady – a naturalist’s diary from 1906
Engage grandparents – you may be surprised how much knowledge and interest they have
Books by Susanna Moody & Catherine Parr Traillm (for older children and adults)
o Catherine Parr Traill’s “Backwoods of Canada” describes a naturalists experience emigrating from England to Canada
Local resources such as Eleanora’s Diary – journals of a Canadian pioneer girl
AGO
Great Canadian ArtPak by Cyndy Regeling
James Herriot – Childrens’ Treasury and other stories
Burgess Book series
Clare Walker Leslie’s “Keeping a Nature Journal” – suggests journaling topics through the seasons, sketching tips, and how to teach nature journaling

Notes


1) A couple resources to add to the last meeting’s topic of “History”:
o Series of accordion style history timelines @ Coles/Chapters/Indigo ie. “The Timechart History of the World”, “The Timechart History of Jewish Civilization”, etc.; very thorough and detailed ($19.99 each)
o Timeline of World History poster @ Creation.com incorporates Bible history and “secular”; gives high level look for reasonable price ($2 small, $6 large)
2) How to explain to “traditional schoolers” that our children always get an A? If the student hasn’t mastered a subject, we don’t move on!
3) Article on Finlandschools:  Why Are Finnish Kids So Smart?
Standardized testing has negative consequences on curriculum and teachers
Teaching in Finlandis prestigious career with good pay, high educational requirements (3 years masters) and high level of competition for jobs
Teachers focus on what’s best for students, not what will make them better than other students

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