17 March 2006

What we do for science

Right now we're concentrating on science. It's been moved to Most Favored Position in our morning line-up, which is right after we sing. This spot used to be held by Latin, mostly because I don't like Latin and KidV1 does; if it were left to me we would blow it off pretty much daily, so we put it in Most Favored Position so I couldn't weasle out of it. Now that I seem to have simmered down about my general dislike for Latin we've bumped the long-neglected subject of science into that spot.

Okay, actually, we haven't really been neglecting science. It's just sort of been nature study and random trips to the science museum lately.

KidV1 has a continuing interest in astronomy, and KidV2 is always asking questions about the weather. Voila, I found a book that has both subjects when I looked at My World Science . I was looking at the website, called out, "Hey, guys, how about if I order one of these?" The kids said, "Oh, definitely, the one with weather and astronomy." So I ordered the MWS stuff, as well as the suggested resources, and ... put them on the shelf for about a year. We dabbled here and there, doing a chapter once in a while. But that's it.

So, it seemed like it was time to Go Big Or Stay Home (this is the phrase we use around here when we're deciding whether to, say,set up a simple swingset vs. build a multilevel play fort with monkey bars, supersonic slide, climbing wall, trapeze and, yes, a swingset). I took the plunge and ordered Dinah Zike's Great Science Adventures The World of Space . We had used part of the Insect and Arachnid Great Science Adventure a few years back, and, frankly, got sick of all the ditsy little cut outs and crafty stuff; I had decided to never purchase another Great Science Adventure after that. But, here we were, with another one.

But, aha, this time it's different, because ... well, it just is. My World Science astronomy and Great Science Adventures astronomy really integrate well. Heck, it's like they were made to be used together. No need to draw up some elaborate schedule to designate when to read what chapter or when a particular experiiment will be appropriate. No, it can all be done seat-of-the-pants. We can open up the books and say, "okay, let's try using a magnifying glass to melt the coating off of Thin Mints" (which wasn't precisely what the book said to do to demonstrate the power of the sun, but was still plenty of fun; we also tried to toast marshmallows with a magnifying glass, but it didn't work). Or, we can say, "eeew, that sounds dorky and boring; let's skip it and go onto something else."

KidV1 loves the little booklets that you make with the Great Science Adventures, and seems quite thrilled to be making the graphic organizers. She also spends time reading the Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia, as well as the plethora of other astronomy books that seem to have collected on our shelves. She even fills out the My World Science worksheets. And watches Star Trek TNG, which she claims is easier to do now that she understands more of the space-realted terms like "electromagnetic radiation" (yeah, right. It's just an excuse to watch television, which we usually don't do, but I give her points for creativity in her arguements).

What we have NOT been doing is using the My World Science weather. We read about the weather, KidV2 has been keeping a weather log since the beginning of the year, but no elaborate projects. Yet. We've gone from being a family that doesn't do much science to a family using 2 astronomy programs, and that's enough for now.

1 comment:

Weaver Brewer & Fam said...

Thanks for the great ideas! our oldest is only 5 so this year we are totally just going for the accidental learning (you know, read to them, hang out with them and they will "accidentally" learn something :) but I am looking forward to next year trying some more curriculum-like things.

I replied to your comment (in the comments) on my Debbie post if you want to check it out

how's the mobius scarf going?
--Weaver