Sahamamama Posted December 10, 2011 Share Posted December 10, 2011 I used to think that we would follow the WTM four-year cycle for science and history, but my perspective on both has changed. Just as there is more than one way to begin the journey into history, there are multiple roads into the sciences. To me, scientific understanding seems to grow in a spiral-like way, encompassing all the areas of science. The young child plays with ice, which melts into a puddle of water, and the parent puts the kettle on the stove and explains states of matter. See the steam? We can capture it on this spoon, and when it cools, it is water once again. Later, on a nature walk, the child sees minnows in a shallow lake. We slow down and observe them, then both share what we know about these animals that live in water. We find smooth, flat rocks and skip them on the surface of the lake. How do the rocks feel? What colors are they? Which ones make the best skippers? On the way home, we see dark clouds forming in the distance, and wonder if there will be a storm. Will there be rain or snow? A flock of geese race southward in V-formation as we crunch through the brown, rotting leaves. Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Physics, Meteorology, Ornithology, Ecology -- big names for little moments in a day. IMO, the main ingredient for great primary (Pre-K--2nd) science is an intelligent teacher who wonders, explores, and reads. Why should a young student be locked into a full year of Life Science? It sounds nice and neat for the planner/teacher, but do little kids learn best this way? Aren't there some concepts in Chemistry and Physics that have to be learned before they're encountered in Biology? When I first read WTM, lo, these many moons ago (1999) -- I wasn't even married then -- it sounded so... right. So organized. So orderly. I liked that back then. :lol: Now I have real children, and they don't seem to fit into the boxes. I understand that if they want to bring home a pile of rocks from our hike, I don't have to say, "No, girls, leave the rocks there until next year. This year is Life Science, so we'll come back for the rocks in sometime in 2012, please." But sometimes it feels like the yearly focus is more of a ball-and-chain on my thinking than a positive organizational tool. There are questions that come up, rabbit trails, interests, opportunities, and such. There are books we come across and want to read, DVDs to watch, people to talk to (about science), and this. I like The Happy Scientist. He makes me want to get up and do science experiments, for the first time in my life. :D We've done some of them, and now we are getting so off-track in our Life Science schedule. Sheesh. Does anyone know what I'm trying to say here? I don't know what is happening to me lately. :001_huh: I posted not that long ago about "falling away" from the WTM four-year approach to History, now it's happening again with Science. Next year, we're not doing one Science, as in ________ Science. Instead, we're doing Science, whatever we find, whatever we choose. I have a binder, and I'm putting into it all the ideas of things to do, books to read (Let's Read & Find Out), places to visit (the fish hatchery, the science museum, etc.), hands-on science projects we could actually do (like a small garden, a mini-greenhouse, a compost pile, rubber band boats, a rock collection, a butterfly house, a model volcano, etc.), links to websites, mini-book & model pages, and more. We'll keep lists of What We Read and What We Did. In the early years, do/did you give yourself and your kids freedom to take a "mixed" approach to science? Are there disadvantages to not sticking with "one science" for a year? Any advantages? :bigear: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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