Sunday, July 13, 2014

Science Choices At Last

Science has been a bit of a mess this year for a variety of reasons. I have looked at a lot of science books & curriculum & read a whole lot of opinions on them, & now that we're halfway through our school year I've finally made a firm choice on our science. Hey, better late then never, right?

In the end, as it's so late in our year, we've decided to tackle more then one theme for science this year. Not a huge deal, especially if you were to look at a traditional science book which can cover many topics of science in any given year.

We'd all ready planned to cover physics this year, & chemistry next year, but as we're covering more then one at a time now I opted to add biology to this year & earth science to next years plans. Of course starting mid year means this will all last longer a bit longer which is nice as it'll reduce my need to search again anytime soon, right?

Morgan did Biology last year all though we did end up stopping just short of finishing thanks to moving house & all that it entailed. Jayden, however, was busy with zoology last year & didn't cover biology. So it works well in both cases.

For our Biology study we'll be using Winter Promise Human Body & Forensic Science. This uses the books: The Way We Work, Detective Science, Human Body For Every Kid, The Body Book, & The History Of Medicine. We'll also use the Winter Promise One Of A Kind Human Body Book, Boy's Body Book, & the Forensic Challenge Board Game. The later doesn't seem to be made anymore, but we found a copy of it on ebay & it came highly recommended for our science them so I opted to make the purchase. All of these items aside from Boy's Body Book are scheduled out over 2 days for 36 weeks with the WP HB & FS theme. Thus far all of these resources have been free from any OE or YE references.

It's broken down into 6 different topics plus a 2 week introductory topic. Most of the topics last 4-6 weeks or 8-12 days, with The History Of Medicine topic being 10 weeks & the introductory topic lasting for 2 weeks or 4 days. I really love that the WP science is set up to only be 2 days a week or can even be done in 1 day a week if you wanted. It makes it very doable in our home.

Physics was a bit trickier. Physics seems to be either a bit below my kids or a whole lot of above my kids. So I really debated what to do opting at first for Noeo Science, which is lovely but too much for Jayde & we did have to look a few words up for Morgan in our first book.

Then I remembered Winter Promise had a physics unit too. I figured if it was too simple for Morgan we could beef it up with the books from Noeo. So we snagged Jiggle Jostle Jolt to use. This theme uses Awesome Experiments in Electricity & Magnetism, Heat & Energy. It also uses a nifty little experiment kit which I found on ebay. I've opted to add in Christian Kids Explore Physics, & any of the Noeo physics books that will tie in well. The Physics book we may use as our spine vs the scheduled one, simply because I want to. The book comes with a cd with a list of extra books you could use, if desired to beef up, or round out, the study. Both CKEP & JJJ have quizzes & little worksheets inside which we'll use, but most likely in an oral fashion. I'll have the kids continue to use their science notebooks to record a few things from each day's learning.

Jiggle Jostle Jolt is also broken down into 6 topics. 3 are 5 weeks or 10 days, & the other three are 6, 7, & 8 weeks. You can easily work out the days, right? This WP science programme is also a 2 day programme with plans for 1 day if you'd prefer. Of course you could easily spread it all out over 5 days too if you wanted. CKEP is also meant to be used over 2 days in a week as well which makes it a perfect spine to tie into our studies.

The plan, for now, is to work on one topic from one science theme & then switch to the other for a topic. Varying back & forth as we work through the year. We'll see how it goes. I'm not one to normally worry about boredom for focusing on just one topic all year long, in fact I worry more about not remembering previous things because of switching around too much!

All in all we're pretty excited to have a game plan & be ready to move forward & get learning! My guys really love science so I hate all the meandering I've done in making a choice for them this year. We'll also continue with a scientist biography each month this year be it via a longer book or a small reading. We'll just pick one that goes with whatever theme/topic we are learning about for that time frame.

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