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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Science of Change

I've been thinking a lot about science, it is the foremost subject on my mind. It is my "pet" subject, the one I can really shape and mold to our liking without messing it up too much.

So, I've been reading what everyone thinks about science, Christine Miller of, Ruth Beechick, Laura Berquist, Elizabeth Foss, the Bluedorns, even a few online academies like Great Books Academy.

I've come to the conclusion that studying natural science without a formal curriculum is the preferred way to go. I'm still ironing out some details that I'm not ready to share but it is highly likely we will not be studying Chemistry next year or if we do it will be very brief, only for one quarter.

There are certain elements that are very important to me and have been but I haven't had the courage to break away from The Well-Trained Mind until now.

- short lessons
- nature study
- use of living books*
- scheduling our year into 4 quarters
- trivium as an organizer for subjects and depth

*Living books- what I consider living books are books that are engaging, authored by someone who has a passion for the subject in which they have written about. They are not non-fiction, just give me the facts please, books. Books that provide the same benefits as interviewing someone in their field of study, or biographies which share the passion of the person in which the biography is about.

Sometimes an author writes about many subjects and it is apparent that the actual subjects is not that person's passion, in certain cases that is deceiving. An author who is passionate about writing comes across as passionate in their writing, no matter the subject. Because this is a science post, here's the living science books that I have added to our wishlist. Most of these books are highly rated at Amazon through their review system.



Michele said...

Good luck on your journey, Jessica. I find your blog interesting and insightful. I am looking forward to the next update.


Sea Star said...

The Well Trained Mind leaves Science a lot less structured then many of the other subjects. We do a lot of our science just from reading books, fiction and non fiction. We too love "Living Science books". We have read a number of the books that you have on your list. I will have to look up some of the others.

Some I didn't see were the Crinkleroot series. We really enjoy these.


Daisy said...

Hey, I actually have some of those. Thanks for the great list! I'm going to add some to my wish list.

~Java Mama~ said...

Thanks Jessica for sharing your knowledge and your ideas, they are always beneficial.

JOYfully in Him,

my5wolfcubs said...

An Egg is Quiet is a wonderful book!! Seastar recommended it on her blog -- she has great book ideas! I also want the Eric Sloane books. Thanks for sharing your wishlist -- I have to check my library now. :)

me :) said...

If you haven't read the Burgess Bird Book for Children - it's brilliant - and free online (just google it and you'll find it). LOVING the blog and it seems that I'm on a similar journey! LOL!

Sherri said...

Jessica, what a beautiful list! Thank you so much for posting it!!

LisaWA said...

Crinkleroot series... I agree... My son loved them!

Now I need to go check out your wish list!! *Ü*


jennybell said...

I'll second the Crinkleroot books by Jim Arnoski, but really anything from him. Also, I haven't read the Burgess Bird book, but the only Burgess book our library has is Old Mother West Wind. We loved that and it inspired several trips to wikipedia to learn more about DS's new friends. So, I bought the Burgess Animal Book, but to me the stories are very "lecture-y" and not fun like the Old Mother West Wind stories, so more of those stories are going in my wish list.

Thanks for compiling this list. We're headed to the beach in June, and I just hate to have a vacation with no learning!

School for Us said...

I just found your blog tonight and have really been enjoying it. Thanks for linking to your living science book "wish list." I'll have to check some of these out! I, too, am on the journey to becoming more and more of a CM follower and I have a 7 year old daughter, too!

Dawne said...

Yesterdays Classics has some very good nature books, they are truly high quality in the literary department. We have enjoyed a few of the Among the _____ People ones. :)

Trivium Academy said...

I will be posting a comprehensive list of books (old and new) of what we will be using soon. Almost all of the Yesterday's Classics books in the Nature section will be utilized within our grade level/age appropriate list.

I am still in research mode with this but the final product will be a way to teach science with excellent literature, experiments/projects, a scope and sequence with a nature study focus.

I just don't want to post it prematurely.

:) Jessica

Mom2legomaniacs said...

Good luck on the new journey. I love that you are digging in to find out what path you are supposed to be on and sharing the journey with us!

Oh, check your email. I sent you a message!

Chandra said...

We found a great book recently called Natural Treasures: field guide for kids. It's by Elizabeth Biesiot and it gives clues to look for that lead to finding various animals and insects in the backyard/on walks, etc. There are sight clues, sound clues, smell clues, etc. Camille would probably love it.