Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Upcoming School Year in Focus: Science & Nature

I would be lying to you if I said these aren't my favorite subjects ; )  Regardless of what curriculum we've followed in the past, we always have enjoyed exploring and deviating due to all our Nature Study time.  I have found that these subjects blend so well and compliment each other that it is hard not to talk about one without the other.  Nature study and nature journaling is always done as a family. Now science as a subject pretty much gets divided by abilities.  Unfortunately, I didn't start combining siblings on this early on.  I also introduced formal science to my oldest from the beginning and she is quiet over our heads on this subject.  I am, however, going to start the practice with my other five children.  Keep in mind Charlotte Mason didn't advocate starting formal science in the younger years so the things I've selected hopefully will be a gentle approach.  With much of it being observable in the natural world through out the year.

on a wall at visitor center near Mono Hot Springs, camping trip 2011
 Monday:  Nature study/journaling day.  It's always been on this day because my husband has the day off and we use it to either go on small walks, hikes or hang out in the backyard while he works.  My oldest will also start her science week by following her own schedule based on the Fleisher books: Secrects of the Universe. I purchased all five books, but will not be using Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.  I put together a journaling notebook for her which contains vocabulary, narrating pages, copywork, timeline page, and lab pages.  She is scheduled to work four days a week and each day has an assignment.  This is the schedule for the first 8 weeks (I've created something similar for two of the five books so far.  I plan on doing the same for the other two we'll be using):

Tuesday: Now my third grader, first grader and kindergartener will follow with me Queen's Homeschool A Nature Walk with Aunt Bessie one lesson per week. This is the first time trying this product.  After working on the schedule for the Fleisher books, I really needed something simple and laid out for me.  Believe me I played with the idea of other things, maybe next year.

Wednesday:  Work through some of the labs in Elemental Science: Intro to Science  once a week. This is another program I'm trying for the first time.  I'm pretty sure the boys will appreciate hands on activities.  I purchased the kids journaling and lab kit.  It looks gentle enough and flexible too.   Remember these two programs will be tools for me and not a must do every single thing as instructed more stress on me or kids curriculum. 

Thursday:  We will read aloud from Burgess Animal Book for Children (this is meant for the little boys), no narration is required; but they usually tell me about it.  The little boys can draw in their science notebooks if they like. This day my third grader is also scheduled to read independently from Ways of Wood Folk by William J. Long.  My oldest will also be reading by William J. Long School of Woods.  I will ask for oral narrations from each of them.  These books fall under their Natural History readings*.

Friday:  This will just be a catch up day for any readings or work we may need to complete like demonstrations and labs. If there was no written work done during the week, I'll select some copywork for them too.

Along with these books we have many many picture books and field guides that we refer too when something catches our attention and we want to learn more about it. 

*I love that the girls enjoy their natural history selections so I'm thrilled that they will continue with them this year. I don't have a timeline for these but I do have the Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson lined up for my oldest when she's done with the School of Woods.  For my third grader I'll let her continue reading through the Long series with Wilderness Ways and Secrets of the Woods.

I don't think I forgot anything.  I hope you're not overwhelmed yet.  I'm actually excited writing all this down.  It has really helped me tremendously to put the school year into perspective. Next post I will combine all our Arts including Languages.


Eva said...

You have to tell how the Queen Homeschool book goes. I was looking at that also.

Grace'n'Chaos said...

I like that after each chapter there are journaling page(s) for the kids to do. I'll make sure to update once we start using it : )