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Found 9 results

  1. Every year we do a large scientific investigation for our science fair. And I thought that there might be some in the hive who would like to see how scientific inquiry works, especially while we are in the middle of it rather than all tidied up and sugar coated at the end. :001_smile: We are studying Earth Science this year and have done 9 weeks each of astronomy, geology, and oceanography, so there are 9 left for our investigations. Earth Science is always the hardest science topic for kids to study IMHO because the processes are slow (plus I have never studying Earth Science (ever) so I am always at a loss.) I have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader, and the 6th grader will try for the regional science fair this year so there a lot of restrictions on originality and independence. Week 1 6th grader: We discuss what he will study and decide that since he has been reading about Oceanography most recently and has just started learning to sail that he would like to study the ocean. I try to sway him towards studying life in rock pools, maybe how different animals are affected by the tides or prevailing wind etc. He is not interested. "That's Biology; I want to study Earth Science!" sigh. "ok, so what are you interested in?" "I want to study the movement of sand." :001_huh: hummmm. Now, how is an 11-year old going to do that? After some more questioning, he tells me that he would like to see how sand moves differently depending on the location in the bay he sails in. Ok, that is a good question, just maybe not answerable without a million dollars worth of equipment. We go to the library, and find a textbook on seashore ecology which has a chapter on how waves affect animals (my original idea). But not much else. Next, we hunt for articles on sand movement in the peer-reviewed science journals using the library databases. We find that scientists use radioactive sand that they can then trace or they study a shoreline over the period of 5 years. Ok, neither of those are possible. But we discuss how maybe we can use a different color sand and dump it in the water and time its movement and measure its direction. We also brainstorm all the factors that could affect sand movement: sand size, wind speed and direction, prevailing currents, orientation of the bay to the wind and currents (sheltered?), obstacles (rocks, jetties), slope of the shore. WOW. That is a lot of variables to control once we set up the experiment. On Saturday, after sailing he takes a look around the bay to see if the sand moves at all. It does. That is all the information he brings back.:001_huh: Next, we go to a different beach and collect the sand there (which might be a different color), and collect magnetite (magnetic soil mixed into the sand on this beach, it is black and will definitely show up). Finally, we discuss how much he can generalize given the sampling he is considering. Tomorrow, we plan to put the collected sand and magnetite in the water and see if we have any chance of measuring anything, or if this is just a wild goose chase (which it definitely could be). Time: 4 hours including discussions 2nd grader: I start with my this ds trying to convince him that looking at animals in rock pools would be cool (can you see *I* really want to study this) but alas he is not interested. He wants to study how deep the roots of trees go into the soil. :001_huh: I tell him that we could look at this using road cuts, but that perhaps it would be pretty difficult to study. But he does still want to study soil (4 months ago, I read 30 minutes about soil profiles to him, so I am pretty surprised he remembers anything). So we review what we know about soil: layers A,B,C; earthworms, and that is about all he knows. We go to the library and find no books on soil in the kids section and 2 books with a chapter on soil profiles and topsoil composition. The next day when I am out for a walk in the early morning with a friend, I look at the road cuts and notice different layers in the soil. Perhaps we can identify the soil profile using these cuts. I tell ds, and he loves the idea. He packs a backpack and brings a tape measure, a "data collection booklet", a broken pencil :001_huh:, and a trowel. We go to his favorite spot where he digs out "mudrocks" and loves to throw them and watch them smash. I am wondering what a "mudrock" is from the point of view of a soil strata. We get to the site, and start measuring and recording and then promply cannot remember anything about the different strata and how to identify them:lol:. So back home we go, look up the info in the older ds's textbook, take some notes, and go back out. We measure the strata and feel pretty confident. Next, we walk around the woods looking at the different cuts and their strata. Our woods is on a small mountain (large hill) and it was used 100 years ago as a sheep farm so there are lots of old wagon trails that were cut out of the hill side (think Lord of the Rings Weathertop and "get off the road" scenes, because they were filmed 200m from my house). What really really surprises us is that the soil profile just along this one road cut is very different. Top soil thick to non-existant, B horizon 20cm to 150cm deep, or even areas with bedrock exposed. Funny how I have never noticed this before. So, now I ask *the* question: Why? Why is the soil profile different in different areas? We brainstorm a few reasons (I guide him here, but some he comes up with on his own): Slope, vegetation, bikers. He suggests (on his own) that pine trees inhibit the growth of plants under them so that there would be less topsoil where pine trees grow. !!! Excellent thinking and really cool hypothesis. He also suggests that the B horizon is thicker in some areas because in ancient times more soil collected and then over time compacted into b-horizon soil. so.... WOW, this is going to be an AWESOME project. How does the slope and vegetation of the mountain affect the amount of topsoil? If he were 11+, he could win the regional science fair with this one. (or is it that *I* could win? :lol:) Time: 2 hours Ruth in NZ
  2. It has been summer holidays here, so I have been reading, reading, reading about writing. I have read 3 of the 4 recommendations from SWB for rhetoric: Corbett's Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (re-read this one, and really studied it) DeAngelo's Composition in the Classical Tradition (yes, the examples are as bad as she says) They Say, I Say: Moves that Matter in Academic Writing I have also read Webster's Student Writing Handbook Lively Art of Writing And I have read the following curriculum (some I actually read like LtoW, CW and WWS; others I really just skimmed to understand what they were doing like Killgallon and WWE): Killgallon Sentence Composing (middle and high school levels) Lost Tools of Writing (LtoW, levels 1 and 2) Classical Composition's Fable Classical Writing's (CW) Homer, Maxim, and Chreia, (and soon Herodotus as it just arrived today) MCT's Island, Town and Voyage levels Writing with Skill (WWS) Writing with Ease (WWE levels 1,2,3) IEW's Structure and Style (luckily got these DVDs from the Homeschool library). Yes, as you can see, I have also spent a lot of money. But I see things so clearly now and I wanted to share my understanding. I hope this helps someone..... I also don't mind answering questions. I have found that Corbett is the best overview of the scope of writing, and would recommend it as a must read for anyone interested in teaching writing to her children up through high school. Corbett sorts classical writing into the 3 canons: Invention, Arrangement, and Elocution, and I have found that organization perfect to sort the different curriculum into. Invention: by far the best curriculum I have read to improve a student's invention is Lost Tools of Writing. It uses the exact same list of Common Topics found in Corbett. However, when I read Corbett, I just could not understand how to get from the list of topics to putting them into an essay. And in WWS and CW I was spoon fed too much, so I could not really see the forest through the trees and implement it on my own. LtoW teaches the student how to ask questions based on the Common Topics and then how to arrange them into an argument. Also, LtoW and CW are the only curriculum that give any attention to the Special Topics associated with judicial, deliberative, and ceremonial discourse. The Lively Art of Writing has 2 excellent chapters on how to create a thesis statement. WWS (as planned for grades 5-8) studies half of the Common Topics listed in Corbett, I assume she will cover the rest in her high school curriculum WWStyle. Arrangement: Different curriculum attacked this in different ways. IEW does the best job in teaching kids the traditional paragraph structure, story structure, 5 paragraph essay. But also does this is a very formulaic manner. I have not seen IEW's more advanced materials. LtoW is also formulaic, but at the essay level. They Say/ I Say is unique in its discussion of arrangement. It focuses on the persuasive essay at the highest level and how to incorporate your ideas into the ongoing Great Discussion of books, essays, and ideas. This is the kind of arrangement I needed to write my dissertation. WWS's discussion of arrangement is not based on an standard outline, but rather on imitation of great writers – imitating how they describe and narrate historical and scientific topics (for level 1, haven't obviously seen the other levels) Elocution: Killgallon and Classical Writing tie IMHO for the best instruction on style of the sentences. They both have you play with sentences, change them around, evaluate how the new sentence augments certain aspects of an idea. LtoW teaches some extremely advanced stylistic features that are covered in Corbett. However, it does not spend enough time on each of these features for the student to actually be able to use them effectively. IEW teaches more formulaic style including a certain number of features for each paragraph, but it does not actually teach you HOW to change a sentence around. WWS so far has a fairly limited approach to style. Critical Reading: Both WWS and CW require students to analyze classic writers to help them understand what makes writing effective. CW does this somewhat better than WWS. MCT has you read classic essays but does not spend much time guiding the student through them. Classical Curriculum using the Progymnasmata. Corbett does not discuss this at all and has a somewhat condescending attitude towards it. The progym is a series of exercises that teaches you how to create different paragraphs and discuss different set topics, It uses Corbett's rhetorical ideas in a restricted and controlled manner. DeAngelo explains the purpose of all of the exercises very well, but his writing examples are as bad as SWB said. I actually could not finish the book, and the examples tarnished my feeling towards the progym. Classical Composition is a progym course which you would finish by 8th grade and then move to rhetorical writing. CW is more than just progym. It stretches the progym out to cover up to 12th grade (although the additional books are not out yet). By stretching out the progym exercies, it mutates some of them to make them truly rhetoric, meaning persuasive essays. The initial idea of the progym is that it happened before rhetoric – a student learned how to write and think using the exercises and then used this understanding to construct persuasive arguments. CW merges the two at the higher levels. Classical Curriculum not using the progym: LtoW follows Corbett's text but does not use the progym exercises. It is an early Rhetoric curriculum that teaches persuasive writing. WWS also follows Corbett's text but does not use the progym exercises. However, in contrast to LtoW, WWS does not teach students about persuasive writing. Instead, it teaches each of the Common Topics (well, half of the Topics) that will be used later to construct a complete argument in a rhetorical composition. Classical vs Modern writing: I have seen some discussion of this, and was confused for a while. But all this reading has cleared it up. In Ancient times there was a lot of time spent on ceremonial and judicial speech, to praise the fallen and to defend oneself (you acted as your own lawyer). These types of writing are not really done now, more of an ancient style. Also, many of the progym exercises use essay starters (like maxims etc) that are not commonly found today. WWS definitely uses more modern styles of writing than CW for example. What I will be using: For 5th through 8th, we will use WWS with Killgallon to shore up the lack of style in WWS. I like the modern writing style in WWS. 9th and 10th LtoW, I may even compact levels 1 and 2 into 1 year. This is early rhetoric. 11th -12th : Rhetoric. We will be writing across the curriculum without a curriculum. For an overview of rhetoric, Ds will read Corbett both years; for critical reading, we will apply Corbett to essays; for arrangement, we will use They Say/ I Say; and for style we will continue with Killgallon. I like CW, I really do, but I am concerned about the focus on non-modern writing styles. I think I will be creating my own CW by using the above books. I disagree with SWB about how difficult Corbett was to read. If you skip the part on logic, the rest of the text is straight forward and relatively easy to read. I found his examples and very lengthy discussion of them to be excellent, just excellent. And after studying all the topics, I think that I could now guide my son to analyze other's essay writing (like MLK or Rachel Carson) using my knowledge of the topics. Very very useful text, and I will definitely have my son read it twice in both 11th and 12th grades. Well, that is about it!! Hope you enjoyed it!:001_smile: Ruth in NZ
  3. There have been so many threads about science recently, and I feel like many homeschoolers don't have a clear understanding of the materials that are available. It especially takes newbies quite a bit of time to get their head around the options. So....I would like to organize a list of what is out there with a small blurb about the approach and what types of kids it would be good for. My thought is that each of us can write up what we have used, and I can organize it into a big list. So what I need: Is it a curriculum, experiment set, or book? Title plus a link A brief description If it is a complete or partial year course (if a curriculum) Level of material or what types of students would enjoy it If a student can use it independently If it includes tests If it includes the supplies needed for experiments Please note if the material has a christian, YE, or other important POV. If you are recommending books, I would like to restrict it to large books that cover an entire topic well, rather than short nonfiction books or biographies (there was just a thread on living books that I can make up a list from some other time). And feel free to add to someone else's write up. I can merge everyone's ideas at the end, put it out for editing, and then post a final copy (yes, all in my free time :tongue_smilie: - meaning this might take me a few weeks). I will start. :001_smile: Books (see note above about types of books): The New Way Things Work - Explains with wonderful diagrams how simple machines work. Covers gears, flight, sound, and magnetism. Late elementary to Logic Stage Physics Curricula: The Elements by McHenry - Focuses on atomic structure, basic bonding, and trends in the periodic table. Large focus on becoming familiar with the periodic table. Includes numerous games to memorize symbol names and facts about the elements. Includes links to good websites, easy experiments with everyday materials, and crafts just for fun. Can be used with either elementary or logic stage students. A 1/2 year course. Well, that should give you a feel for what I am after. Open to suggestions about how to make this list the most useful possible. Thanks for your help, Ruth in NZ WHAT NEEDS TO BE DESCRIBED: I THINK OTHERS WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW THESE CURRICULA DIFFER. WHY WOULD SOMEONE CHOOSE ONE OVER THE OTHER. WHAT ARE THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES. ETC. Ok, organizing the list posted by leeyeewah. I've decided to sort by Christian and Secular because in my experience on this board, most families want one or the other, so it would be nice to have the lists separated. Obviously, there will be some curricula that don't fit into categories well, but I am doing the best I can. So no flaming please. (** indicates that someone has reviewed it) Christian Curriculum A Reason for Science YE Abeka Science YE Alpha Omega Lifepac ScienceYE Ambleside Online BJU Press ScienceYE Christian Cottage Unit StudiesYE Christian Kids Explore ScienceYE Christian Light Education ScienceYE Exploring Creation with ____ (Apologia)YE Exploring God's Creation (Christian Liberty Press?)YE God's Design for ScienceYE Rainbow ScienceYE Real Science 4 Kids (RS4K) Rod & Staff ScienceYE Science Excursion Science for Young Catholics (Seton) Science Shepherd Sonlight Science Wonders of CreationYE Truth in ScienceYE Secular (will add links later) Aha! Science Beautiful Feet History of Science Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU) Calvert **Classic Science/Mr. Q Science **Connect the Thoughts Core Knowledge Sequence CPO Science Delta Science In A Nutshell Discovery Education Science **Elemental Science Evan Moor Exploration Education Fascinating Education (Chemistry, Biology) Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Great Science Adventures Handbook of Nature Study Holt Science Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Science Intellego Unit Studies Janice vanCleave - multiple titles Junior Science K12 Science Lyrical Life Science Middle School Chemistry McRuffy Science **MSNucleus Singapore Science - My Pals are Here (MPH) Nancy Larson Science Noeo Oak Meadow Science Otter's Science Plato Science Pearson/Prentice Hall Science Explorer R.E.A.L Science Odyssey (RSO) Scott Foresman Science (Related to Pearson science?) Earlybird Science Secondary science education Singapore - Interactive Science Singapore - Science Matters So You Really Want to Learn Science (Galore Park) Spectrum of Science Supercharged Science **The Elements: Ingredients of the Universe The Story of Science Thinkwell Science TOPS Science
  4. Like many on this board, I read Lewelma's threads and posts with great interest. Thanks to her, I'm dedicating the last 6 weeks of school (could be 8) to a science investigation/inquiry of their choice - for both ds10 and dd6. I'm happy that I've always stressed reading from nonfiction. In fact, I believe if ds had a choice, he would prefer nonfiction. Last year he read a lot and this year I'm going to add in biographies as well. Basically this is what we do for science: we use BFSU, read a living book to accompany the topic, and this year I bought a middle school science text titled Behold and See 5 to enhance what we do. In history we're also reading scientist bios (doing SOTW 4). We also do Nature Study once a week. Next year, for 6th, I plan on going through an actual textbook (The Way Life Works). Believe it or not, I already have science pretty much planned for 7 and 8 too ;) I just read Lewelma's post on Middle School Science about tailoring the science to the kid. Ruth, if you're willing to even just critique my future plans for ds, please let me know. I'd be very glad to hear! Let me know if you need any more information. Thanks for any insight you can give me.
  5. Lewelma, I've seen that you've helped several people come up with plans for science, would you please help me also? I've got a 14 yr. old dd that's in the 9th grade. She is a ballet dancer and the only things she's talked about doing in the future are dance and massage therapy. My husband and I want to encourage her in her dance as much as possible and that includes curricula choices. While I love learning science with my daughter I don't feel that I know enough to teach it to her on my own. This year we started out trying to use Science Shepherd Biology and she was having a really hard time with it. I've realized that the reason for that was a lack of understanding in how to read nonfiction. We've worked on that and she now takes notes while she reads and her comprehension has improved drastically. We set Shepherd Science aside and I asked her what she would like to learn about. Her response was "I've always wanted to learn about genetics." I was able to find an online co op to facilitate the BJU Biology section on genetics. She is continuing with the co op and they are now going over the sections of the BJU book on the human body. Next year I would like for her to study anatomy more in depth. She's really enjoying what she's learning so far and I feel that anatomy would be beneficial regardless of what she decides to do in the future. I was able to purchase the Great Courses Intro to Human Anatomy and found a book called Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Haas. Do you think that this will be sufficient for the 10th grade? Overkill? Any other ideas for highschool science for her? I thought maybe nutrition or herbology? A big concern for me is evaluation. How do I approach that one? Thanks so much!!! ETA Dd also enjoys any type of art and is especially good at drawing if that helps at all.
  6. The purpose of this thread is to allow Hive members to petition Ruth (lewelma) to write a science book. For those of you who may have missed her threads, please read: Scientific Inquiry How important is science curriculum? Rigorous Logic Stage Science Sequence If there are any other great threads I might have forogtten to link, please let me know. Ruth's book could talk more in depth about scientific inquiry vs. scientific history, how to incorporate WTM science in a practical way, how to choose those three science books per year, whether you should let your student just absorb what's in those science books or if you should require some sort of report, why you should resist the urge to just buy a boxed curriculum, why science is usually taught the way it is to children in classrooms, and of course science projects (this would probably be half the book). I'd love to hear more of her ancedotes on the projects she's done with her children, and it'd be great to see more problem-solving tips to keep science projects from hitting a brick wall. I humbly submit that she contact Peace Hill Press to see if this is something they'd like to get involved with. If not, she should at least self-publish on Kindle! What say the Hive? Will you join me on bended knee in asking Ruth to write a book in her copious free time? If you'd like to treat this as a kickstarter project, feel free to copy my pledge into your comment as a show of support. I will absolutely buy Ruth's book about teaching children science. I'd be willing to pay $15 per copy.
  7. Ohhhh Ruuuuth. Lol. Help? 1) What content do you want your daughter to learn in middle school? Are you more concerned about breadth or depth? I want breadth at the moment. Because DD enjoy science but likes a variety (she wants Biology and Chemistry; my husband also wants her exposed to Physics), right now I want to expose her to a variety of fields, not just dive deeply into one. My husband is taking care of physics every other Saturday with her. That leaves the rest on me. 2) What content does she want to learn? What is she interested in? Have you asked her? Right now she wants to learn chemistry. 3) What skills do you want her to learn in science? Skills that you do not have covered somewhere else. For example, she could learn to read and write about a history textbook, but she could learn to make oral presentations and write lab reports in science. etc. Skills. This one is tough. Autumn is dyslexic and while she *can* read well, it takes her a considerable amount of time to get through the same books/texts - and it frustrates her. She hates reading with an unrivaled passion. I'm not sure how much I want to push it in science. She is required to read and write for every other subject and I think that contributes to her dislike of many other subjects (she loathes history, for example). I suppose it may be best for her to approach science with oral presentations and lab reports. DD is a visual learner. She retains very little when it is presented TO her orally. This is two fold in difficulty - her dyslexia makes it difficult for her to read higher level content that she craves/needs, but she must read it/see it in order to retain it. 4) What kind of program do you feel comfortable implementing? Do you have the time and inclination to work with her? Do you need 1 book or can you manage many? Can you do a hands on program or do you not have the space or inclination? I can implement almost any programss? Do lab work? Does she like to read living books or more get-to-the-point short and dense books? Does she like documentaries or lecture series? How does she process/remember the information? She wants to use the labs. She hates reading in general and dislikes "living" books. If she has to read, she prefers a text. She does enjoy visually stimulating documentaries (not lectures though). She remembers by *seeing*, *doing*, and *reading*. 6) And here is the most difficult question for you, and I don't mean this in a snarky way - really. Are you ready to actually design a program that works with her strengths and desires? Or are you just going through the motions? Do you think in your most honest moments, that you really can't be bothered and that tailoring a program is just too hard and not really worth the trouble? Do you kind of know that in the end, you will still put her with a traditional textbook program? (And I am not against textbooks, I am just not convinced that she has the capability or interest right now to read them) Definitely ready. I want to work with her ONE area of interest; I realize the importance of doing so since she appears to struggle so much in other areas and generally dislikes school - but for science. We tried a traditional text at the beginning of the year, but it was nothing new to her so she lost interest quickly. I'm willing to purchase more in terms of supplies, books, or texts - I'm just not sure where to go with it. On hand, for chemistry, I have the following right now: Conceptual Physical Science a couple TOPS units Thames and Kosmos Chem kit The Story of Science (chem, physics, astronomy, I believe) Horrible Science boxed set
  8. Hi everyone. I am trying to get all my ducks in a row. Dd10 is in 5th right now and we have enjoyed BFSU I, parts of II, The Elements by McHenry, and are now doing a combo of ES Logic Biology & CPO Life this year. I am trying to figure out a solid science sequence for 6th - 8th grade. Would you mind sharing what you have planned? So far this is what I have - 5th, Summer, fall of 6th - finish CPO Life & Biology... I would also like to do McHenry's Cells maybe & The Brain. (too many options!!) 6th - CPO Earth mixed with BFSU II & III (maybe) .. not sure WHAT I think of a whole year of Earth Science as it's not a topic I know much about. 7th & 8th I just don't know. I would like to try Exploration Education with them. I am thinking I would like to get Conceptual Physics in for 8th or at the very least 9th grade. But I can't really figure out what to put where. Other than what I am currently doing in 5th grade I am not set for 6th - 8th and I would love suggestions. I realize that high school is a long ways off, but I would like to plan on them being able to take a few AP courses in science around 11th - 12th grade and I want to make sure that I am giving them a solid foundation for their upcoming high school years. Thanks!
  9. I struggle with science, because it seems like one of our most difficult things to fit it. An actual science curriculum, that is. My dc are constantly learning a lot on their own. They are voracious readers, especially when it comes to animals, they are always looking up types of-whatever (birds, bugs, amphibians,etc...) in animal ref. books, or on the computer, they watch tons of animal shows & dvd's, Bill Nye, science guy.... They spend a lot of time outside, we do weekly nature walks, and we have lots of discussion. I have started soooooo many different curriculums-good ones-but life and their free learning always gets in the way. So, how important in the elementary years is a science curriculum? (Btw, I was thinking about it today; I don't remember anything from my grade school science stuff-I don't remember if we did experiments. )
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