06 July 2006

Noeo Science

I know I've declared our homeschool a Multum non Multa zone, but the kids kept talking about the science they wanted to study.

Kid2 is obsessed with weather. Mostly she's obsessed with weather disasters, especially weather disasters that may impinge on her personal territory (specifically tornadoes, although any sort of storm is good for a panic attack). And both kids have announced that we need to study the human body during the next school year.

I was noodling around on the computer, looking at curriculum websites for no particular reason (Multum non Multa! We don't need your silly little curriculums for every cotton-pickin' subject! We are free from curriculum-purchase frenzy!**), when I happened upon Noeo Science .

Hold on, folks ... look at that Biology 1. Is that ... could it be ... they start the course with weather, then move through various biology topics including the human body? And it's all laid out for me week by week? In a nice, neat little package?

I kept coming back to the website, intrigued. Who starts a biology course with weather? What a concept! And all in a package, sort of like a Sonlight history program, but for science. And with a hefty discount for buying the package.

I took the plunge. I ordered. It arrived quickly at my door. Oooooooh, a box of books and experiments to open!

Kid2 said she didn't want to start right away. She first wanted to get used to the idea that it was here in our house (an interesting comment for a 6 year old to make). So we let the box sit for a week.

Yesterday I announced that we were going to "do" weather. We read the first assignment, which was about the layers of atmosphere and about how the Earth moves about the sun giving us our seasons. Then we did the assignment, which was to draw the Earth in 4 positions around the sun, illustrating the seasons. I had thought through this process, and decided to approach it much the same as our Christopherus drawings. I got out the "good" crayons (Stockmars, a tin each of block and stick). I drew a sample picture myself, discussing how and why I decided to draw certain things certain ways. Then they set to work.

Kid1 completed the assignment quickly and easily. She's been through this Earth-tilt-makes-seasons business numerous times, including in her recent astronomy studies. Kid2 was surprisingly confused. I was holding a paperclip on the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth-drawing she had made, saying, "Okay, now it's pointing towards the sun so we have summer here. As we go around the circle this was we end up at winter [moving paper clip through the various drawing]. What season is in between?" She kept answering, "Spring!" Hmmm. I really thought she understood this better than she did. Just goes to show that there's something to this narration and picture-drawing business, if only to remind me that a 6 year old isn't quite ready for so much abstract reasoning.

**The Rainbow Resource catalog arrived the other day. I simply threw it in a pile of catalogs. No desire to skim through it looking for cool curricula that would revolutionize our lives. I'm over that mania, at least for now.


Olive Oyl/Pensguys said...

Oh, I've been tempted by that too! And we are Multum non Multa too!!!!!

Science is being covered through Classical Conversations this year and then I'm CONTEMPLATING Noeo for next year since my guys like science...we'll see.

JoVE said...

I was going to suggest some of the Horrible Geographies series for weather and whatnot. My daughter has read one on Hurricanes and one on Tornadoes (and possibly others, I can't keep up) and really liked them.

Taking this approach allows you to incorporate some of those interests without getting into a whole curriculum. Also means that they can learn something and decide how much detail they might like to go into at this stage.

For the six year old, you might also check out the Magic Treehouse series for a way in to some of those topics that fits easily in the free-time reading part of your day.