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throw some marine science resources at me!

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My non motivated hates school just wants to play mind craft son came to me today gushing about marine biology. No idea what sparked this, other than me forcing him to watch science documentaries last week for science. (he chose shows from Shark Week).


So, thinking of ditching physics for a month or so and doing marine science. This kid is NEVER enthused about anything remotely educational, so I'm jumping on this. Any thoughts? He's 13, a good reader.

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First, I'll throw out a resource for you. Find the book Project Based Learning: Mentoring Self Directed Learning. http://www.amazon.com/Project-Based-Homeschooling-Mentoring-Self-Directed-Learners/dp/1475239068/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362490139&sr=1-1&keywords=project+based+learning+homeschooling It's a really quick, easy read and it will help you to guide him in exploring this new interest. I can understand your excitement at this new found interest! Good for him (and great for you)! You can also explore the author's website: http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/what-children-want-vs-what-children-need for free. I haven't spent a lot of time on that website so I don't know how the information is presented and how accessible her premise is on the site but it might be worthwhile. The book itself helped me look at learning in a different way and gave me the tools to help me guide my children's learning on specific topics (and how to just to stand back and let them do it their way). I can't say it was a book that changed the way we homeschooled dramatically. It was more a reminder to me of how to stand back at times and let the learning occur on their terms. I think it's great that you're willing to give him lots of time to explore this new interest!


Before running out and getting a bunch of books, are you close to the ocean? Are you along the rocky New England Coast, the barrier islands of the South East, the Gulf Coast or the West Coast? That will determine what kind of books you want to present and where you can focus. Maybe all you'll be able to do is to go to an aquarium. If you can connect the materials with a physical environment and experience then it will have more meaning for your son. He can then come back home and do more in depth work to answer questions that arose following his experience. Can your son swim? Does he like to be physically challenged? Maybe he could do some boogie boarding while he's there so he can also feel the power and the exhilaration that the ocean can offer.


We're on the East Coast so two books that I would highly recommend would be Tideland Treasure by Todd Bllantine and The Seaside Naturalist: A Guide to Nature Study at the Seashore by Deborah A. Coulombe. There are other field guides that I would recommend but I don't want to overwhelm you with resources that might not be useful to you. If you're close to the ocean your son (and you) can read those guides (or ones like them) prior to making a little trip and then he can be the teacher when he's there--pointing out different things. If you can make multiple trips easily it might be best for him to just experience all the things the area has to offer and then on a subsequent trips make it more into a lesson that he's teaching. How about each of you making a nature journal of those trips?


Your son can also look at the history of marine exploration. Who came up with the idea of a submarine? How long did it take to make a design that worked? Did you know that the Piccards were scientists and between 1932 and 1960 they traveled both into the stratosphere and plunged into the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench in the floor of the Pacific?


There are so many different ways this kind of learning can go. . . but I think to really foster his interest this might have to go beyond just excellent books and include field trips and physical explorations as well.


Good luck!

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Online Class -- begins THIS WEEK (3-13-13)

CurrClick -- Marine Biology (Project Based)

$48 for 8 weeks

for grades 6-12

meets online Wed. at 9:30am -- OR -- Wed. at 6:30pm


Hands On (gr. 4-8) -- do not need to be near an ocean to do many of these:

How to Be an Ocean Scientist in Your Own Home (Simon)

Oceans For Every Kid (VanCleeve)



- Marine Biology (Doris) -- middle school level

- Connect the Thoughts: Oceanography -- for middle school

- Ocean (Dinwiddie) -- coffee table book just to enjoy dipping into from time to time

- Marine Science (Green) -- OOP, inexpensive, looks to be introductory level adult, used by high schools an an intro

- (teacher manual for this one is also OOP and expensive)

- Intro to Marine Biology -- free pdf

- Marine Biology (Castro) -- introductory college textbook (go for the 6th edition for a MUCH cheaper version that is only 5 years old!)

- various books that can be viewed online -- juvenile section on oceans/marine biology, University of Pennsylvania Library


Resources (for a high school level class)

list of (high school class) resources: http://www2.vims.edu...q.cfm#resources

The Blue Planet Ocean series (DVD)

Virtual Aquarium -- list of resources

Marine Biology website -- lots of info and resources, including a public disection of giant squid (recording of a live streamed event)

Marine Biology home disection kit

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