Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Much Needed Change - Science Curriculum

Today was the smoothest day so far.  It went so well that we actually finished our school work before lunch (we normally have an hour or two to do after lunch). 

Yesterday went pretty well too - except, we started at 10:00 instead of 9:00.  Oh well.  My friend Emily brought us a ton of vegetables from her parents garden, so we ended yesterday with making zucchini bread (used this fantastic recipe but left out the walnuts since Lou isn't a fan).  That counts for math, right?!  The bread is almost gone - even my hubby ate some (and asked if I would make some more).  If you know how picky he is, that's saying a lot.

Today I was not looking forward to Science at all.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Science - it's been my favorite subject for as long as I can remember (except Chemistry.  I HATE Chemistry).  But, our first day of Science was rough.  We purchased Apologia's Astronomy book and the issue is that the book is for K-6th grade.  In order to make it though the book in one year, there's four or five pages of textbook reading per lesson.  Plus there's a journal and experiments.  I could tell on the first day that the book wasn't going to work for us.  At least not this year. 

I consulted with another homeschooling mom, and decided that I'm coming up with my own Science curriculum. We're going to study space, but in an easier, kindergarten appropriate way.  I want him to LOVE Science, not dread it.  So, I have a ton of small books about space, and we have a very extensive public library. We'll read two books about space per week.  My parents also gave me some of my favorite books from when I was a kid (Just Ask books by Weekly Reader).  So, today, we read "What is A Star?".   The kids LOVED it!  They know the order of heat intensity (blue is hottest, red is coolest), size classification (dwarf up to supergiant).  And learned so much more than they did using the textbook last week. 

We also made our own stars.  We each decided how hot we wanted our star to be (X-Man wanted the hottest - blue, and Little Lou wanted a star with mid-range heat - yellow).  Then, they decided which size (both wanted supergiant).  I helped them trace a circle on construction paper, they cut them out on their own (more fine motor work!).  Then on one side, X-Man wrote the name of his star, how hot it was, and the size.  On the front we swirled glitter glue to signify the gasses that swirl on each star.  It was amazing to me how much information they retained.

We're also going to spend time each week observing nature (Mason method) and using a notebook to sketch an observation.  I feel so much better about science now.  And less stressed.  So far, we pretty much love homeschool!

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