Our daily rhythms have always included some French and some math, but this year, we’re diving into a lot more science as well. We’ve been back in “school mode” for less than two weeks, and yet we’ve already tapped into a few of the science-related resources we’ll be using time and time again. Here’s what we’ve got on the schedule:
MOOC Botanique: With this online program, we’re delving into the world of plants. So far, we’ve learned what botanists do, how to observe plants, their common characteristics, about photosynthesis and plant cell structure. We were “plant paparazzi” when we walked through the woods with our camera, photographing flowers, leaves and stems. Today, we learned about the amazing biodiversity in the plant world. Our next task will be to find a spot where many different plants live densely together.
Basic Life Science: I bought this Oak Meadow science curriculum used, and I’m still not entirely sure what grade level(s) it’s meant for, but we’ve started working through it anyway. This past week, we learned the five steps of the scientific method and played some games that tested our powers of observation. I told them the story of my high school physics teacher who, on the first day of school, after a brief introduction to the class, ducked behind her enormous science lab desk/table and called to us to take out a sheet of paper and a pen. Giggling nervously and throwing each other confused glances, we did just that. She then asked us a series of questions about her physical appearance. Coming up and around her desk again, we went over our answers to see just how observant we were in everyday situations!
Today, Zahra and Noah each started their own science journal. I asked them to imagine what sort of scientist they might like to be and why. They each wrote a few sentences in their journal, along with a drawing. They were rather flippant about the exercise, I must say, but I hope that they’ll enjoy it more and their work will improve as we work our way through this book.
Mystery Science: We used this once last year, and I plan to use it two or three times this year. I like the short video segments that lead the kids through a process. The experiments are laid out well and there are handy lists to make sure you have all supplies on hand before you start. Always a good thing.
Be Naturally Curious: I’ve ordered a set of classroom magnets, and as soon as it arrives, I’m going to be using BNC’s Mighty Magnets curriculum. The phases-of-the-moon one we used last year was fantastic. I highly recommend these! They’re very interactive, hands-on, fun and inexpensive.
Classes: We have a number of classes that we will participate in as well, including nature walks at the Nook and Wilderness Workshops at the arboretum.
In other science news, my article on a leak-proof bag experiment was published on Little Passports’ blog. They asked me to write three different science experiment articles as they’re promoting a new science-themed monthly subscription box, so check it out (also this one on rainbow science, and this one on making “elephant toothpaste”). All three experiments were quick and easy and had real takeaways for the kids.
And reading. We were helping in Leila’s school library this morning, so I’m always browsing the shelves for books for my older kids. I found a book on caribou that looks like it will tie in nicely when we start to read about First Nations, as well as Journal d’un dégonflé which looks funny enough to interest Noah.
We have twenty pages left of this tattered, well loved book. Can you guess what it is?
Where the Red Fern Grows. Billy just came home from the big coon hunt competition, and I would have liked to keep going until the end, but Leila was delirious with fatigue and just couldn’t sit still any longer. Nor was she going to go to bed by herself or just fall asleep on my lap. So we folded down another page corner and will save the crying for tomorrow. This is going to be a hard book to follow…