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Now I know some of you are reading this and saying "My kid loves history AND science, and here's what I do." Well in this case I'm really talking about a history-lover, the person who (for pleasure, mind you) compares adult biographies of Queen Elizabeth to clarify discrepancies and thinks no hands-on is complete unless you're really DOING the thing (build a log cabin to live like Little House on the Prairie, etc.). She has always been like this. I'm the polar opposite, so I've sort of taken a "get out of the way" approach to history, which works for us. Y'all with science-y kids do it with them, and that's what I do for history.

 

So for science we've done lots of things. She's fine conceptually, understands things well, engages when we do good hands-on. However we're finally to the stage where she just really doesn't give a flip. And she's asking for the same accommodations for her science disinterest that I, as a history-lover, would gladly give her if she were lamenting history. Thing is, we have this reverse problem, where I can't figure out how our whole discussion of the feeding methods of cnidaria don't interest. Adding hands-on won't help, and getting out of the box won't help. I mean mercy, I'm cool with out of the box. But it's a step beyond that. I think it's how do you do *minimalist* science for the history-lover. Is that it? Is that what I'm looking for?

 

I know there are people in this boat. I have this complex about not doing a good job or preparing her well-enough that she would be comfortable homeschooling her own kids one day. I *think* I'm even starting to get some ideas for how I could do things very differently with her and still have her cover the concepts. (For instance we could do the Practical books from the Singapore science series, which is all the labs, and then fill in with topic books, that sort of thing.) But I still would like to hear some stories about how you put science in its place for your child. To me, and this is just me, it would be more balanced to do equal amounts of history and science daily. That's not her reality. She wants 3 hours of history a day and acquiesces to 45 minutes of science, kwim? And if this were flipped, with your kid doing 3 hours of SCIENCE a day and 45 min. of history, you'd say he was doing perfectly enough. Unfortunately, these junior high and high school sciences take LONGER than that per day, at least for her. Maybe that's where the rub is? I can't trim it down and still feel like I'm doing a good job, kwim?

 

So anyways, if you just wanna come out of the closet and talk about how you did science with your humanities person, I'd be grateful. Curriculum is fine, but even concepts or amount of time or the general chopping principles you use or even just hindsite about what you WISH you had done would be great too.

 

Hope that wasn't too confusing. Thanks!

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You know this is a really interesting question. Have you looked at books about the history of science, like by Hakim, or ones by Robert Winston?

 

I look forward to more ideas, I have to go now.

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Yes, that's actually what I have on my bench right now! I got the 3 Hakim science books from the library, haven't yet seen the guides that go with them. As you say, I've never really tried to approach science from a HISTORY angle. I like science straight, for what it is, lol. But I'm very linguistic, etc. and don't have a problem with that. I'm starting to realize this doesn't have to be a hill to die on. It doesn't matter a flying fig if she learns stories of science or terms of science. 40 years from now, it will all be a wash. Actually, that's not even true. 40 years from now she'll remember the stories and the hands-on and have forgotten the terms.

 

I'll go look up that Winston. I've never heard of him.

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I have one of those now half-way through college (majoring in history), and another one approaching his senior year of high school.

 

Any time that one of the dc has had less-than-active interest in a required subject, we have responded low-key, but matter-of-fact. Just teach the subject, using curricula which we sense will be a sufficiently close "fit" for the dc in question. It's part of our working philosophy that not everything in life appeals, but must be dealt with in a cheerful frame of mind.

 

For the older of the two referenced, we used ABeka biology, The Spectrum chemistry, and Hewitt's "Conceptual Physical Science." That last-mentioned book was an outright homerun hit with our son!

 

I sure hear you about an intense love for college-level reading matter on the part of high school dc. We still are joking that DS received his scholarship from SMU because they were hypnotized by the unexpected transcript of a student who spent an entire self-designed credit on "The History of the Ottoman Empire with an Emphasis on Ethnicity" ! :001_huh:

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We basically did science with my history lover...through history...chronologically....and worked in experiment books etc.

 

With my Art Lover, we worked our history and science chronologically around art and artists...

 

We read biographies, primary source documents, topical books from the library, etc. Definitely made science more approachable and interesting.

Faithe

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My undergraduate degree was in the history of science, so I enthusiastically support the suggestions along those lines which you are receiving !

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MommyFaithe, can you tell me more about the art-focused plan (if you have time)? How did you do this? Could it possibly work for a co-op? I have Janson's History of Art for young people sitting on my shelf, just crying out to be used... (apologies to OhElizabeth for hijacking, but I'm desperate for us to have a better year this year)

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It helped for my son to be in a class with peers. Even if he just did the lab portion in a coop, and the rest at home. It was not perfect, but he actually got the work done :D

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MommyFaithe, can you tell me more about the art-focused plan (if you have time)? How did you do this? Could it possibly work for a co-op? I have Janson's History of Art for young people sitting on my shelf, just crying out to be used... (apologies to OhElizabeth for hijacking, but I'm desperate for us to have a better year this year)

 

My dd was in high school when we did this, but it could work at any stage. Basically, I took her art book....which was my big, hefty college one...but Janson's is fantastic, and I split it up into 4 sections ala WTM. I then did some library research ( we didn't have a computer back then....so it is so much easier now,) and chose topical art books, artist bios, history and lit books from the time period etc. So, when we studied Ancient Egypt, we learned about their architecture, pyramids and hieroglyphs. She read about the history of Egypt and how the art/ architecture reflected the society. We learned about their culture through our readings...she read about he Pharoahs etc. I had her choose a piece of art each week or 2 and copy it in some way...either in a drawing or a sculpture or using a technique that was learned about in her studies.

 

I wrote a brief outline of where I wanted her to go, but she was very motivated and fleshed out the program herself. I did use many of the WTM suggestions for history and lit....but we used the Art History book as one of her spines.

 

Hth...

 

Oh, this would work with a history of science as well....

 

Faithe

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And if this were flipped, with your kid doing 3 hours of SCIENCE a day and 45 min. of history, you'd say he was doing perfectly enough.

 

Ha, that's my kid. :)

Here are some history of science books she may enjoy:

 

Napoleon's Buttons

The Disappearing Spoon -- a nice back-to-back read with the Flavia de Luce mystery novels if she hasn't already read those

John Gribbin's books, e.g. The Scientists

Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything

 

Someone mentioned The Joy of Chemistry and I second that.

I agree that the Story of Science guides are not necessary.

 

HTH!

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mmm. One thing to consider is that you will need LAB science in high school. But perhaps you could do it with a history emphasis. Take a typical textbook and look at the table of contents. Find the main scientists. Have her make a notebook where she researches and writes biographies on the scientists, maybe summaries of their major discoveries and then labs she performs about the topic. For example: electricity could include Benjamin Franklin and I have a book somewhere where you do some of the experiments that he did. I'm sure other books exist.. I'm thinking Archimedes. some of his experiments can be recreated on a smaller scale. Also, what about KNEX.. I've used sets to show simple machines as well as a few physics topics.

 

Here are some websites I just googled:

 

http://charlottemason.tripod.com/hisci.html

 

http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/sciencebooks.htm

 

http://basicallybeechick.blogspot.com/2011/02/living-books-for-highschool-science.html

 

http://www.abasiccurriculum.com/homeschool/raqlivingscience.html

 

http://appliejuice.wordpress.com/brain-suff/living-book-list-for-science/

 

My middle, history-loving son is about to start Biology as a 9th grader. I may have to try this...

 

Christine

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mmm. One thing to consider is that you will need LAB science in high school. But perhaps you could do it with a history emphasis. Take a typical textbook and look at the table of contents. Find the main scientists. Have her make a notebook where she researches and writes biographies on the scientists, maybe summaries of their major discoveries and then labs she performs about the topic. For example: electricity could include Benjamin Franklin and I have a book somewhere where you do some of the experiments that he did. I'm sure other books exist.. I'm thinking Archimedes. some of his experiments can be recreated on a smaller scale. Also, what about KNEX.. I've used sets to show simple machines as well as a few physics topics.

 

Here are some websites I just googled:

 

http://charlottemason.tripod.com/hisci.html

 

http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/sciencebooks.htm

 

http://basicallybeechick.blogspot.com/2011/02/living-books-for-highschool-science.html

 

http://www.abasiccurriculum.com/homeschool/raqlivingscience.html

 

http://appliejuice.wordpress.com/brain-suff/living-book-list-for-science/

 

My middle, history-loving son is about to start Biology as a 9th grader. I may have to try this...

 

Christine

 

Yes, this is what I was lamely trying to describe. In high school it was not hard to match labs to biographies and primary source documents. Our library has tons of topical experiment books...but even a good high school level text has pretty simple experiments...or ones that cN be modified to show the same process using the kitchen and household items.

 

Faithe

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I just discovered MatchCard Science and am very impressed so far. The author is preparing this curriculum for publication, but it is free for now.

MatchCard Science

 

About a decade ago I read Science Matters and the articles about science at the Robinson Curriculum site. I've done high school with 2 boys (one "gifted" and one "normal" who chose a C.C. instead of a selective 4 year college. I've watched a good friend navigate the college scene starting at age 40.

 

I no longer believe the typical middle and high school science scope and sequence is appropriate for the average homeschool student, who in reality is far more likely to attend a C.C. before or instead of a selective school. I think scientific literacy, observation skills, research skills and the ability to document, are more important than the type of labs and content suggested for this age group, and will better prepare them for life and career and becoming a homeschool parent.

 

MatchCard Science appears to be the spine I have been searching for, for a decade. In a few months I'll be able to give a better review. But in the meantime I have a decade of experience that I believe in, based on Science Matters and Dr Robinson's focus on maths instead of pre-college science texts.

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The John Hudson Tiner books might go over well now in middle school -- each covers key people in a particular field of science and the key discoveries they made. These are from a distinctly Christian point of view. More of a supplement than a spine, BUT you could then add in some text about the science concept discovered and do some hands-on.

 

- Exploring Planet Earth (gr. 4-6) = key people and discoveries in geography and earth science

- History of Medicine (gr. 5-7) = key people, medical practices and discoveries

- World of Chemistry (gr. 6-9) = key chemistry people and discoveries

- World of Physics (gr. 7-10) = key physics people and discoveries

- World of Mathematics (gr. 7-10) = key math people and discoveries (some helpful math that will later on connect up with high school Algebra and Geometry, and even a few Physics topics)

 

For high school school, you might also look at John Tiner's Integrated Chemistry and Physics, and spread it out over 2 years. It comes in 4 volumes, also with a test book and answers/solutions book to accompany each volume. NOT cheap! It is like an expanded version of the books listed above, but designed to be used as a full credit for Physics and for Chemistry. From a people/history point of view and how science fits into the flow of history; written in a more story-like format with the science equations and key concepts integrated into the history of science. You would need to add in experiments. TOPS units could work for this -- most are pretty quick; here are ones we've found useful in middle school AND high school:

 

TOPS Chemistry Units

- Analysis (also buy the supply kit)

- Solutions (also buy the supply kit)

- Oxidation

- Cohesion/Adhesion

 

TOPS Physics Units

- Pressure

- Motion

- Heat

- Electricity

- Magnetism

 

 

You might also see what 8FillsTheHeart has to say about Spectrum Chemistry for high school -- it is the high school chemistry course by the same people who put out Rainbow Science for middle school -- gentle, short, self-guided lessons with everything included for the experiments, from a Christian point of view. Here is the Cathy Duffy review.

 

 

For our younger DS who is a VSL (visual-spatial learner), we've watched lots of NOVA and Mythbuster episodes and he seems to absorb some science concepts informally that way -- then later when we run across the concept in the textbook, it rings a bell. We all really enjoy these science shows and they do make science fun, exciting, interesting, relevant. I keep wishing there were high school chemistry and physics classes based on the Mythbuster series, where you watch a segment, read some text, do some experiments, and then come back to a "wrap-up" video segment of the Mythbusters again... I dream on...

 

There are series of videos from Schlessinger Media, both for middle school AND high school science. If she gets more from watching, that might be an option. (I am not personally familiar with these.)

 

 

Our VSL DS also enjoyed lots of hands-on all through middle school, but by high school doesn't seem to care much any more -- he just "gets it done". But then, there aren't ANY school topics he is much interested in, so most of high school has been "just getting it done" for him... sigh...

 

We've been using Conceptual Chemistry this year, and while it IS a textbook, there are free, neat little videos on the website to accompany the chapters, and he has some very helpful examples for visualizing the abstract concepts in the text; it is lighter on the math, but it is still a science textbook. We are working our way quite slowly through it (about half in one school year), and adding in TOPS experiments for labs. The Conceptual Physics is by a different author (Conceptual Chemistry's father-in-law!), and has no videos, but it is also very good at describing and visualizing intangible concepts; it is very gentle and do-able, and you can choose how much or how little of the math to include.

 

 

BEST of luck in finding what connects for your DD! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I no longer believe the typical middle and high school science scope and sequence is appropriate for the average homeschool student, who in reality is far more likely to attend a C.C. before or instead of a selective school. I think scientific literacy, observation skills, research skills and the ability to document, are more important than the type of labs and content suggested for this age group, and will better prepare them for life and career and becoming a homeschool parent.

 

frankly I am not sure the typical approach is good even for sciency types. Someone posted a link to a study that most people learned science outside of school. Certain people are just more inclined to explore more on their own. I also agree observation and documentation -- and preparing yourself for the wonder of discovery -- is more appropriate than a bunch of boring worksheets where the answers related exclusively to what was just studied!

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-The Life of Birds (read about 2/3)

-The Life of Mammals (read all...both by David Attenborough

-Of Wolves and Men

 

My history loving son also has a love of animals.

 

-The Way Life Works (not history or animal based, but a very good read)

-Microbe Hunters (history of the "microbe hunting" scientist...VERY interesting).

 

Most of those titles listed above came from this website...

http://charlottemason.tripod.com/biology.html

 

This year (11th), he's gonna read A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I'm reading this now (gotta mention that I'm also a history lover who is NOT usually a fan of anything science related). It is SO enjoyable. Highly recommended!

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So many great ideas!!!!!

 

Hunter--Hadn't seen that Matchcard Science before, so I downloaded it, thanks. With a quick look, it looks sort of like where I was thinking we would go. I went to the library today and picked up Science Matters. What a great recommend! And not only that, but getting that section a lot started to click for me about how practical it was to use REAL BOOKS for science, just like we use real books for history, duh... I don't know why I hadn't figured that out.

 

Greta--Thanks for that link! That sounds like exactly what I need!

 

Lori--As always, ideas I hadn't thought of, thanks!

 

Faithe--Thanks for explaining what you did with the bios, labs, and primary sources. I reread the science chapters in WTM today, and it makes a lot more sense!

 

Choirfarm--I think what you're describing, with the bios and labs, is about where we're going to end up (some mixture of narrative and doing). However, just looking over the Hakim stuff and thinking a bit, I think the way WTM keeps things organized *topically* is still going to end up more efficient than traditional chronological. At least that's what I'm thinking right now. That way concepts can build historically *within* the field of study. (Earth science, but cover it both topically and chronologically, chemistry covered chronologically, etc.) That way you don't end up with too much of a jumble. But that's just what I'm thinking.

 

Orthodox--I appreciated hearing how you approached it. It was one of the options I discussed with dd today, and while I don't think it's the track we'll take *right now*, it might be the best way later.

 

Thanks so much!! Of course I welcome more comments, but at least I feel like we're finding some new ways to approach this. Thanks!!!

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Thanks stripe! There's clearly a whole train of thought out there with how to approach science that I'm out of touch with...

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I, also, downloaded the "Match Science" materials, and here's a THANK YOU! for that link. The website, however, calls the program a K-8 product, so it might be awkward to explain it being on a high school transcript. But then, maybe not. Perhaps others of you with dc in college did not have to do this, but SMU required that I list every single book and resource used by ds throughout his homeschooling years.

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As a society we have the habit of requiring our children to work on the most difficult things possible, that they are capable of doing. We discriminate against topics that younger children are capable of, as if that taints them or makes them unacceptable. It's just silly!

 

So we start teaching sciences that have nothing to do with the world that the average middle/high school student inhabits and require them to invest large amounts of time studying things that are as far as possible removed from what they can see and touch, and call it "rigor".

 

Science Matters starts out with a bang, but after awhile focuses too much on the type of topics that a citizen will read about in the newspaper and maybe have to vote on. That is important as a part of scientific literacy, but to have room for those topics in such a small book, too much else is skipped, to be able to use the book as a spine or scope and sequence. The first few chapters are life changing though for some homeschool parents, and is one of my favorite books.

 

I do think that MatchCard can be used out of order, to supplement history lessons. Because you print out a set of cards and actually have the full set in your hands, it is easy to shuffle through them and physically remove the cards desired and to see exactly which ones still need to be covered. And it helps the mom stay focused on the core basics and not get drawn down a fun, but non priority path. If there is no card to match the unit study topic, then you know you shouldn't be making that topic a priority and should only add it in as fun if the student would think it was fun.

 

For example my unit study suggested studying ships and there is not card for ships. I checked Karen Stout's Science Scope and she also does not list ships as a priority. There is a card for bridges though and Karen also lists that, so I will be doing bridges instead and not feel guilty about not covering what my unit study had listed under science. So I can still study a science topic that lines up with my geography based unit, but also be systematically working through an organized science curriculum too.

 

Another thing to do a little research on, is AP Environmental Science. Looking through the AP prep workbooks will give you a good idea of what a college student would need to know to pass this course. I like to call the earlier high school years pre AP Environmental Science and the later years AP Environmental Science :-) There is also an AP Geography class that overlaps a lot with AP Environmental Science.

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I, also, downloaded the "Match Science" materials, and here's a THANK YOU! for that link. The website, however, calls the program a K-8 product, so it might be awkward to explain it being on a high school transcript. But then, maybe not. Perhaps others of you with dc in college did not have to do this, but SMU required that I list every single book and resource used by ds throughout his homeschooling years.

 

As the primary text, I would list Teaching Company's The Joy of Science which I don't like all that much, but was written by the author of Science Matters to attempt to teach scientific literacy to college students. I would just use portions of it. I would list the cards as a supplement. But in reality I would use the cards as the core text.

 

EDIT: Here is the updated version of the text that Joy of Science uses. See below for the cheaper older text.

The Sciences: An Integrated Approach

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For our younger DS who is a VSL (visual-spatial learner), we've watched lots of NOVA and Mythbuster episodes and he seems to absorb some science concepts informally that way -- then later when we run across the concept in the textbook, it rings a bell. We all really enjoy these science shows and they do make science fun, exciting, interesting, relevant. I keep wishing there were high school chemistry and physics classes based on the Mythbuster series, where you watch a segment, read some text, do some experiments, and then come back to a "wrap-up" video segment of the Mythbusters again... I dream on...

 

Along those same lines - though not exactly what you are wishing for, which I wish someone would do as well - there is this, hosted by the gal on Mythbusters and intercut with Mythbusters episodes but containing more actual, direct science: Headrush

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That reminds me of what my friend, who was an aerospace engineer even though she didn't get to calculus in high school, told me about engineering. She said the best engineering students she encountered in school were not those who had taken the most math and science in high school, but those who had spent the most time "tinkering"--taking things apart to see how they worked, or taking various components and putting them together to make something, etc.

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Hurrah! Justification for our multitudinous Lego and FischerTechnik kits ! :)

 

That reminds me of what my friend, who was an aerospace engineer even though she didn't get to calculus in high school, told me about engineering. She said the best engineering students she encountered in school were not those who had taken the most math and science in high school, but those who had spent the most time "tinkering"--taking things apart to see how they worked, or taking various components and putting them together to make something, etc.

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That reminds me of what my friend, who was an aerospace engineer even though she didn't get to calculus in high school, told me about engineering. She said the best engineering students she encountered in school were not those who had taken the most math and science in high school, but those who had spent the most time "tinkering"--taking things apart to see how they worked, or taking various components and putting them together to make something, etc.

 

My dh put it a bit differently. His background in math and science was extremely weak from high school, so he struggled the first two years of engineering school compared to other students. However once he got to the APPLIED stuff, he was great. He knew where it was going and had DONE the things.

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And neither saw the most success from students who had the strongest lab science backgrounds right?

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And neither saw the most success from students who had the strongest lab science backgrounds right?

 

I don't think my dh would have said that. He would have wished for BOTH the book learning and the experiential. That stronger academic background would have made the first two years a lot easier. It's not an either/or thing. You work to give the kid both.

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I'm not talking about book learning vs hands on.

 

I'm talking more about an emphasis on the 3Rs and scientific literacy; and looser methods of the scientific method, focusing on observation and research, rather than variables and clear hypothesi.

 

I don't know how to exactly say what I mean, but it has NOTHING to do with hands on vs textbooks.

 

I'm all for a textbook if it efficiently covers the topics I want to cover. I love textbooks, when I can find the right ones. My boys and I really liked some of the textbooks American School wrote. They were the exact ones other parents complained about, because they were boring and black and white. My boys wanted efficeincy, not eye candy.

 

It's the scope and sequence of high school texts I don't like, not textbook learning. It's the scope and sequence of MatchCard science that I am impressed with, not the idea of the MatchCard method.

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You are not going to like my response.

 

If there are no cognitive barriers for the student to master the content (and as you said, conceptually she is fine), I address their unwillingness to work as a character issue and do not treat it as a need to drastically adapt the content or the focus (which would be the case if I had a student with LDs, cognitive barriers with regard to some school areas, etc.). It is an excellent preparation for life, among other things, to know how to preserve even in such circumstances, when they are not very interested or are pushed out of their comfort zone.

 

So, I have one that is not crazy about science or math, but thrives on humanities, and I basically tell her to suck it up, put on her big girl panties and not get out of her room until she knows her biology cold. Cruel? Maybe, but it is a part of her educational framework, there are no reasons good enough to have her skip it, life is also about having a get-it-done attitude about things you dislike, so I go minimalistic about the expectations (i.e. I expect reproduction of facts and intradisciplinary connections, rather than application, synthesis from various fields, practical work, etc. - and she is okay with the implications for her grade that such an approach might mean in the upper years), she does it, gets tested on it and we are cool and move onto something more pleasant for both of us humanities lovers.

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I think Beautiful Feet has a History of Science program. You could also use some of the TOPS books for experiments, even just one or two a year. Most of them are short and sweet, but give the student a chance at coming up with hypothesis and conclusions and writing them out. If you selected TOPS books that SL uses, you could even get their Discover & Do dvd and science kit to go along with it.

 

My son loves history, but is not as interested in science. We've always used SL history and science and he actually hasn't minded the science. I hear SL Science 5 is really good and that's what we're doing this upcoming year.

 

Lisa

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so I go minimalistic about the expectations .... she does it, gets tested on it and we are cool and move onto something more pleasant for both of us humanities lovers.

Well, this thread is about ways to explore science in depth in a meaningful way from a non-traditional angle. Some of us are using this thread to bounce ideas for additional classes, ways to tie the humanities into the sciences.

 

I am a science and math fan and am looking for this. It's not about there being the one correct style and syllabus for science and math. Just as some people use Singapore while others use Saxon, the teacher can choose (as you yourself described) to adapt the course, except in this case we are talking about going maximalistic about our expectations, which is that our children learn science.

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Well, this thread is about ways to explore science in depth in a meaningful way from a non-traditional angle. Some of us are using this thread to bounce ideas for additional classes, ways to tie the humanities into the sciences.

 

I am a science and math fan and am looking for this. It's not about there being the one correct style and syllabus for science and math. Just as some people use Singapore while others use Saxon, the teacher can choose (as you yourself described) to adapt the course, except in this case we are talking about going maximalistic about our expectations, which is that our children learn science.

:confused:

 

I am answering the question from the title of the thread: how do I do science with a kid who could not care less about it.

There are multiple possible ways of going about it, which include tieing one's interests to non-interests (i.e. approaching them from a different angle, thus making it more tolerable), but which also include a get-it-done attitude, not sweating that particular area, shrugging and saying "well, c'est la vie, not everybody loves everything" and having the kid do exactly what we planned, in what we consider reasonable time and level for their age group, regardless of the fact they dislike it, to whatever is our minimal standard.

 

I am merely reminding that there is also the latter possibility of approaching it. It worked for us and it saved us a lot of tension and irratation in the air to set things that way.

 

As far as non-traditional approaches are concerned, to make this more tolerable for this particular DC, we did some readings on philosophy of science (to try to determine more clearly what science is, where are its boundaries, etc.), science and/vs. philosophy in antiquity and we correlated some of that with our Bible / worldview studies. I can forsee Kuhn and Slifkin working nicely for this particular kid too (so far we did only some excerpts from the two), I am not sure how palpable Slifkin would be for the general (i.e. non-Judaic) public, but Kuhn for sure is. Since this particular DC loves languages too, I took advantage of that fact too as it made her more willing to read on something if it was in non-English and non-Italian. But at the end of the day, she still had to do her science, so...

ETA: What I am trying to say, I guess, is that in our case non of that really "helped", only for the sake of perspective it did - the kid still had to do those same things she would have to do anyway. I find that much of the weight went off my chest - and hers - when we just agreed that not everybody has to enjoy everything, but that we still have to learn required things, so in a way, giving up on making it fun for her or tieing it to her interests all the time was a great thing for us. We can even do mother-daughter connecting on our hating of science LOL, but the kid has to do it.

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Although the OP clarified what she hopes to achieve, I came in, as did Ester Maria, based on the thread title. (I don't, however, hold that calling a dc "a history lover" axiomatically equates to "could not care less about the subject of science") (impossible, given my B.A. in the history of science!) In my own earlier post, I referred to my family's philosophy of "knuckle down and do it, even if not so palatable as humanities and social sciences." So the "thought" already was here in the thread.

 

Ester Maria's suggestion of Thomas Kuhn's classic work is perfect. Another work that fits in well is C. P. Snow's The Two Cultures, also a classic.

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You are not going to like my response.

 

If there are no cognitive barriers for the student to master the content (and as you said, conceptually she is fine), I address their unwillingness to work as a character issue and do not treat it as a need to drastically adapt the content or the focus (which would be the case if I had a student with LDs, cognitive barriers with regard to some school areas, etc.). It is an excellent preparation for life, among other things, to know how to preserve even in such circumstances, when they are not very interested or are pushed out of their comfort zone.

 

So, I have one that is not crazy about science or math, but thrives on humanities, and I basically tell her to suck it up, put on her big girl panties and not get out of her room until she knows her biology cold. Cruel? Maybe, but it is a part of her educational framework, there are no reasons good enough to have her skip it, life is also about having a get-it-done attitude about things you dislike, so I go minimalistic about the expectations (i.e. I expect reproduction of facts and intradisciplinary connections, rather than application, synthesis from various fields, practical work, etc. - and she is okay with the implications for her grade that such an approach might mean in the upper years), she does it, gets tested on it and we are cool and move onto something more pleasant for both of us humanities lovers.

 

Why would I not like your response? I asked because I wanted to hear. :)

 

Can you flesh out this part in bold? Those terms aren't meaning much to me. I mean, I know they mean something, but I need it a little more clear or applied.

 

And yes, there actually are some learning differences driving this. If it were ONLY the humanities thing, it wouldn't be such a problem. We wouldn't have stuck with the route I prefer for so long if I didn't have such a tenacious, get'er done approach. Yes, I've sent her to her room to study for tests. But now I'm to the point where, with the two combined, I'm having to look for other options. It's not what I wanted. I don't like the idea of trading off what I could have given her. But the reality is, you pour water into a colander and it all comes out. I need to start pouring in porridge or something that will stick. And like you're saying, I think there is a fundamental approach shift, an approach that no doubt has consequences for their ability to say go into a science field, that would make a huge difference in what I'm pouring into the colander. That's what I need right now.

 

So whether your dc has a learning difference or not, to the extent that you've changed what you're pouring into the colander, you're helpful to me. :)

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I am answering the question from the title of the thread: how do I do science with a kid who could not care less about it.

But that's not actually the title of the thread.

 

I object to the idea that one is abandoning serious science simply because one is doing it differently.

 

You suggested 'go[ing] minimalistic' as a way to preserve the sanctity of the scientific endeavor. Memorize, blast throught it, and be done. There is, you suggest, one proper way to do science, involving knowing it cold, and one should wear big girl panties (your term) and endure it. This is your concept of education. To deviate from the accepted norm is to capitulate, to diminish one's expectations. It does not matter what the child wants to do, because there are specific things a person needs to know in order to be educated.

 

Some people, however, see the advantage of homeschooling as a way to tailor their child's education to the individual, to present to a child (even as an introduction) certain things to capture his/her interest and show applications to the child's own life. This is not about lowering standards or bastardizing expectations or some touchy feely endeavor.

 

I was suggesting another approach, one that might actually result in the child having a different understanding of science than knowing biology cold and then moving on to what she really wanted to do.

 

I really appreciated the resources that were shared in this thread as I plan to use them to increase my kids' depth of scientific learning.

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I think Beautiful Feet has a History of Science program. You could also use some of the TOPS books for experiments, even just one or two a year. Most of them are short and sweet, but give the student a chance at coming up with hypothesis and conclusions and writing them out. If you selected TOPS books that SL uses, you could even get their Discover & Do dvd and science kit to go along with it.

 

My son loves history, but is not as interested in science. We've always used SL history and science and he actually hasn't minded the science. I hear SL Science 5 is really good and that's what we're doing this upcoming year.

 

Lisa

 

Thank you Lisa, I had heard of the BF science but never really looked at it. And I didn't realize some of the SL D&D dvd's used TOPs! Interesting. I have a couple TOPS books that I picked up at a sale last year that we haven't tried yet. The lady kept saying I ought to, so I bought them, hehe. I guess this is a sign. :)

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Along those same lines - though not exactly what you are wishing for, which I wish someone would do as well - there is this, hosted by the gal on Mythbusters and intercut with Mythbusters episodes but containing more actual, direct science: Headrush

 

Thanks for sharing this! Dd is crazy excited to go look at it! We don't get the science channel, so next we need to figure out if there is a way to watch the episodes. Maybe it's on there and we just haven't found it yet? In any case, yes, very good recommend! :)

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As the primary text, I would list Teaching Company's The Joy of Science which I don't like all that much, but was written by the author of Science Matters to attempt to teach scientific literacy to college students. I would just use portions of it. I would list the cards as a supplement. But in reality I would use the cards as the core text.

 

EDIT: Here is the updated version of the text that Joy of Science uses. See below for the cheaper older text.

The Sciences: An Integrated Approach

 

Hunter, I think it took a few reads before what you're saying started to make sense or click in my pea brain. I need to go look at the Matchcard things, which I did download. Are you saying (and clearly I could figure this out for myself) the MC *uses* the Joy of Science as a spine? Or you're saying you would use it as a spine and flesh out the topics, over the years, with MC and other such things to explore the topics?

 

See here's what occurs to me. Karen is always getting on me that I don't get out of the box enough. I've just never seen anything that was do-able and fit her. But there is a sense in which you can take advantage of some of the flex of homeschooling and do a survey course the first year hitting multiple disciplines (chem, physics, bio), then explore those again and again over the next three years, and award 3 credits/units at the end. If you put in the time, it's fine. Doesn't matter that it's over three years. So to me, yes, that would be a perfectly legitimate, alternative, way out way to get there. And ironically, isn't that what Jackie (Corraleno) said she's aspiring to do with her ds? Maybe that was only for the next couple years and not high school? I think Nan has plied a few courses that way too.

 

I don't know, that's just a very different and interesting way of approaching it. I wanted to make sure I was understanding what you were saying. Probably half of what I just said was my own extrapolation and brainstorm and had nothing to do with you. I just keep finding so many fragments that would work and not wholes, that at some point it might be more reasonable just to DO the fragments and let them connect another way, over time. Sort of interesting to ponder.

 

But again, clearly I haven't caught onto whehter you're espousing in your own mind a sequence change or a method change or a content change or what.

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So we start teaching sciences that have nothing to do with the world that the average middle/high school student inhabits and require them to invest large amounts of time studying things that are as far as possible removed from what they can see and touch, and call it "rigor".

 

Science Matters starts out with a bang, but after awhile focuses too much on the type of topics that a citizen will read about in the newspaper and maybe have to vote on. That is important as a part of scientific literacy, but to have room for those topics in such a small book, too much else is skipped, to be able to use the book as a spine or scope and sequence. The first few chapters are life changing though for some homeschool parents, and is one of my favorite books.

 

I do think that MatchCard can be used out of order, to supplement history lessons. ... If there is no card to match the unit study topic, then you know you shouldn't be making that topic a priority and should only add it in as fun if the student would think it was fun.

 

 

 

Yes, that whole idea of rigor as a measure of artificial abstraction, not actual content, is a good one. I've never been one to care about rigor, but I do care about skills (which of course textbook reading can be) and content (that sets you up with a foundation to understand what you encounter in the world). So as long as we are still nailing skills and content, I don't care how non-traditional the approach. But that's sort of hard to do, because at some point those things start giving, and you have to ask whether the things you're changing are ok.

 

I guess I'm confused by your comment about Science Matters. I got it at the library and see what you mean. However I thought that was sort of a plus for my student. At the right age she could read that, interact with the concepts, and know the specific content she needs to be informed for interacting in her world. That seems good to me.

 

Now on this whole unit study thing, that's a leap I hadn't made mentally yet. Interesting point. My attempts at unit studies usually devolve, so I do them only for flings once or twice a year. The rest of the year we have some sequence we are working through. Whether a unit study approach would work for her or not, the fact remains that I have to be able to implement it and do a good job with it. Me and my "good job" mantra. Oh well. But it's interesting to ponder. I opened the thread asking for new perspectives, and boy have I gotten them! :)

 

And who knows, we may get there on the unit study or tying it closely to history. It's just blowing my mind so much I need a bit more time to think about it.

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I'm not talking about book learning vs hands on.

 

I'm talking more about an emphasis on the 3Rs and scientific literacy; and looser methods of the scientific method, focusing on observation and research, rather than variables and clear hypothesi.

... It's the scope and sequence of MatchCard science that I am impressed with, not the idea of the MatchCard method.

 

With my dh, he grew up tinkering, building, and doing experientially the things they were learning about from in books in engineering school. So yes, I think that would fit in with what you're talking about, with time to explore and do vs. only doing scripted little perfect labs that have expected outcomes and limited rabbit trails. Let's just say, when he does mechanics labs with dd, they don't stop with the textbook questions, lol. And there's that terrible difference, to me at least, between enjoying the exploration and learning of a real topic (find jellyfish, look at them, talk about what you see) that I think dd *could* engage with well enough and the read about it, list the parts, memorize these terms because I said to, which just has little holding power with her. I can get it to hold for a test, but no longer. It wasn't real, and she doesn't have the bent that overcomes that.

 

Take the aortic arches in worms. I studied them in 7th grade, never heard about them again, and remembered them perfectly well, um, and embarrassing number of years later. Why? The term interested me. But she, even after dissecting worms multiple times, outlining, studying, doing worksheets, etc., etc. is going to have that info pour right out of her brain, never to stick. It didn't matter in her world. At some point you have to stop the insanity of making her spend multiple hours a week sifting through information that doesn't matter to her, isn't going to stick, etc. etc. I mean it's just the epitomy of school stupidity. I keep her home to do something different, but when push comes to shove it's really hard to break that mold and be confident enough to DO that different thing, kwim? I feel like I'm robbing her or jipping her. Every adult wants that pleasant memory of knowing the parts of a worm, right? :)

 

Ok, now since I have your ear, have you pondered the difference between aligning science to history vs. pulling topics to fit one discipline or branch? See it seems like it would be easy to study science using alternative methods, say focusing on earth one year, chemistry the next, etc. In fact, that's precisely what WTM does, and some people around here have stunning lists for it. That would be one method. But when you start connecting your science and history, does you still try to have a focus for the year? Or do you literally just let it wander between earth, chemistry, etc. and not even worry about it? Doesn't that become haphazard? Clearly there's something I'm missing there. And obviously what works for one age might not be appropriate for another.

 

So obviously unit studies aren't my preferred method of getting there, but I'm trying to understand exactly what you (and Faithe) meant.

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Another thing to do a little research on, is AP Environmental Science. Looking through the AP prep workbooks will give you a good idea of what a college student would need to know to pass this course. I like to call the earlier high school years pre AP Environmental Science and the later years AP Environmental Science :-) There is also an AP Geography class that overlaps a lot with AP Environmental Science.

 

Can I be so brash as to say I've assumed, all these times that I've read AP Envir. Science, that it was some sort of pc recycling course? LOL What in the world do they cover? I can go look. What is your fascination with this? Do you mean you *literally* call the early high school years pre-AP Envir. Science? No. You mean you're focusing on topics that are more graspable and viewable for the humanities student?

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Can you flesh out this part in bold? Those terms aren't meaning much to me. I mean, I know they mean something, but I need it a little more clear or applied.

It basically means that she can skip the more advanced content which deals with manipulation of what she has learned: I allow her, for the sake of peace in the house, to stay on the level of knowing it and understanding it on a basic theoretical level of how it all fits together (i.e. the typical level required at schools), without asking her to do something practical with it or giving her problems which would require significant application (this does not mean that I give her the type of problems where she just has to fill in formulae and numbers - I still make her think - but that I do not go to the very highest extent of what I could possibly give to her regarding her abilities and potential). It is like comparing what she could be doing, with her intelligence and skills, to PS standards that are the bare minimum she has to do: we are normally not minimalists, but for some battles we have opted not to fight we decided to allow the kids to pursue a typical PS-ish level.

 

This kid is a rollercoaster when it comes to interests, though they are firmly within the sphere of humanities - it sometimes irritates me because she is so very smart and yet, despite that, will sometimes allow herself to sink to miserable levels just because she "would prefer not to" do something (:rolleyes:). I know it is just teenage antics, I was like that too, but I think what helps some kids the most in that situation is to give it up on trying to reconcile them with the subject - it is an enormous source of peace for us to not even attempt to make some things fun or relevant, which is why I thought you might consider whether it is applicable to your situation. I have no LDs involved, though, just a kid who thinks science is boring - and, I suspect, out of the need to be contrarian more than anything else.

 

The major issue for my DD is time. She does not want more time dedicated to this area than absolutely necessary, which pretty much makes some more creative approaches impossible. Plus, keep in mind that we do have definite programs and standards to reach in our case, so even if I wanted to be creative, that would pretty much be impossible if the kids were not meeting the minimum. I do not really homeschool in the way you do, it is more like having kids enrolled in the system with the exemption regarding regular attendance, rather than being allowed to fully do your own thing. So it is spelled out out there what exactly they need to know, and when, by which bibliography list, and I cannot allow them much leeway regarding that - thus my quick-fix solution of "just. do it." LOL.

 

On a side note, think about that Kuhn. Maybe not ideal for 12 year olds, but not out of reach of a high school student. It has a nice historical bent to it, but it requests a certain level of scientific literacy too to be followed.

Slifkin, whom I also mentioned, is specifically Judaic, and deals with evolution, which is a perfect match for my DD as it provides a connection to something she likes.

Bioethics is also a neat "bridge", if you have a philosophically inclined one, since it connects to many moral issues in sciences and may spark some kind of interest for science too (I am still hoping for it LOL) - when it comes to things such as atomic energy, for example.

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Ester Maria's suggestion of Thomas Kuhn's classic work is perfect. Another work that fits in well is C. P. Snow's The Two Cultures, also a classic.

 

Well I just looked those up, and that's a whole world of thought I didn't knew existed! Hmm. As I read the comments about Snow, I was trying to figure out if, maybe in this day and age of Star Trek and whatnot, some of that has become outdated. And I didn't quite understand if the discussion of scientific method vs. scientific viewpoint in the wikipedia article was akin to what Hunter was talking about (not directly, but more or less), sort of a glorification of observation over method. But maybe they were just saying the humanities person approaches science with scientific viewpoint rather than scientific method?

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I object to the idea that one is abandoning serious science simply because one is doing it differently.

I have no problems with anyone doing things differently as long as they cover the standard high school content (no matter how vague that is) while doing it however differently they wish. I would have problems doing a general history of science class and calling it chemistry - but NOT doing chemistry from an angle which emphasizes its historicity, as long as everything expected from a chemistry course was still there. On the whole, I find those alternative angles to be more work, rather than less work, exactly because of that (as in addition to the regular content they cover something more to it), and I wanted to point out to the possibility that some children might prefer an approach which is maybe more dry, but also involves less work, which may or may not be OP's situation, but it worth considering as an option.

 

Nowhere did I call anything abandoning serious science or any other things from your post. I just suggested that maybe she can consider also not doing any extreme makeover of the traditional course for her DD, if that might end up in less time and overall less fuss devoted to an area which is not of particular interest to her anyway.

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There are multiple possible ways of going about it, which include tieing one's interests to non-interests (i.e. approaching them from a different angle, thus making it more tolerable), but which also include a get-it-done attitude, not sweating that particular area, shrugging and saying "well, c'est la vie, not everybody loves everything" and having the kid do exactly what we planned, in what we consider reasonable time and level for their age group, regardless of the fact they dislike it, to whatever is our minimal standard.

 

As far as non-traditional approaches are concerned, to make this more tolerable for this particular DC, we did some readings on philosophy of science (to try to determine more clearly what science is, where are its boundaries, etc.), science and/vs. philosophy in antiquity and we correlated some of that with our Bible / worldview studies....

ETA: What I am trying to say, I guess, is that in our case non of that really "helped", only for the sake of perspective it did - the kid still had to do those same things she would have to do anyway.

 

Yes, this is where I've come to, that we could take either route, and that at one time or another one might be more appropriate. I'm just glad to have those options.

 

I was left with the question though of whether your normal approach to science is already rather in-sync with the humanities. It doesn't sound like you're opening the BJU textbook, doing the chapter, discussing, and calling it good. You're out there pulling in other resources, delving into rabbit trails, etc. So you might naturally be pulling together something that is more fitting to a humanities person, something more concept and thought oriented.

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