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This week I am taking the time to talk about how I teach each subject and also what changes I am making for the rest of the year. If you didn't read the Classical Kindergarten...Take Two intro post, take a minute to read that first so you understand why I am making some changes for the rest of the year.
How we have been doing Science
We have been taking a pretty casual approach to science this year. Upon the recommendation of The Well Trained Mind, we've been going through the Kingfisher First Encyclopedia of Animals. Two times a week we pick an animal and read about it from the encyclopedia. I usually go to the library and try to find a 'living' type book about the animal to read to the kids as well. I like that this is simply a reading and discovery time.
I created these Animal Kingdom Notebooking Pages to keep track of the animals that we study. We fill out one page (and draw on another) per animal and keep the pages bound together in a book (using my new favorite tool). My son likes to look back at the animals he has learned about, and this is a pretty neat way to have all the info together.
We use the notebooking pages to record:
- Where the animal lives
- What type of land the animal lives on
- What the animal eats
- What eats the animal
- Whatever we find interesting (in the form of a written narration)
I really like this simple introduction to science. We usually complete this process (reading and notebooking) at the table while we eat breakfast. Sometimes my son tires of the notebooking pages, but I figured out why and will share that in the next section =)
The most simple thing I had to change about our science routine was the narration section on the notebooking pages. The Well Trained Mind recommends that the parent writes the narration for the child for at least the beginning of the 1st grade year. I had been making my son write his own narration (and he is just 5). He is fully capable of writing a sentence or two, but he would rather not =) Just today we did a science page and I told him that he could tell me what he learned and I would write it for him and he said "Thanks, mom! That's the only part I didn't like!" Well that was easy =)
The other change we are making is really an addition. My son has been asking and asking to do experiments. He looks through science experiment books and makes up experiments of his own and keeps asking for experiments. I really didn't want to throw random science experiments into the mix, so I really didn't know what to do. I figured we would wait until next year when the subject matter might lend itself more easily to experiments.
Then one day I discovered Elemental Science. Paige, the creator, had linked up one of her blog posts to Trivium Tuesdays (the classical education link-up here at Living and Learning at Home) and I noticed that she had a curriculum that was based on the resource recommendations from The Well Trained Mind.
The Biology for the Grammar Stage curriculum lays out lesson plans using the Kingfisher book we are already using and, lo and behold, includes experiments! It also includes narration pages, quizzes, and coloring pages. This, just like math and spelling, is going along with the theme of taking some of the planning work off of my shoulders. We are just starting this tomorrow, so I'll look forward to telling you more about it once we get a chance to use it for a while!
How do you teach Science to your kids?
This series is a part of the iHomeschool Network - How I Teach - blog hop! Click the picture below to learn how other homeschool moms teach Math!