Since the curriculum giveaway ends tonight (hint, hint), let's talk learnin'.
As you might remember, if you memorize my every move as you should and don't ever, not ever, get me mixed up with one of those other Catholic homeschooling moms who blog (I mean, how many of us can there be?), I got most of my curriculum recommendations for this year from Angelicum Academy.
Among the many things I like about them is that I don't need to buy the entire curriculum as a set- I can pick and choose based on my children's needs and strengths and go with something else for a certain subject if I see fit.
Which I absolutely did when it came to Science. Their recommended science text was the kind of book that weighs 30 pounds and talks a little bit about everything a kid possibly ought to know but never really expects anyone to be very interested in what they're learning. No thanks.
So I hopped onto Cathy Duffy Reviews (which, by the way, is a fantastic resource for selecting books and materials for your homeschool) and started to dig.
Because I wanted to try a multi-grade level approach and thought it would be nice to have something that would definitely interest the 5 year old boy, I ended up choosing the Great Science Adventure series for this year. Yes, despite the fact that it requires "high" parent/teacher instruction. See, I figured if this was the one multi-level subject we'd be doing, then I could force myself to be involved despite my inclination to throw worksheets at the reading-able children and tell them not to bother me unless I've accidentally given them a sheet with instructions in Swahili.
So far, we're all enjoying this book (the books are divided by topic, so you do an in-depth study a specific topic before moving on to a new one rather than a cursory overview of a bunch of different things), which is more than I can say for any science class I ever had growing up.
Putting the little booklets together for each lesson might be a pain for some people, but I find it doesn't take me that long and I have older kids who can help. Doing the hands-on portion of this book is really going to help my tactile and visual learners retain the information, and doing just a teeny bit every day makes it really manageable.
But my very most favorite part is the optional activities section at the end of each lesson. There you'll find suggestions for projects, reading exercises, and research for all different ability levels which you can perform as written or which can act as springboards for your kids to come up with their own activities.
And that is exactly what happened last week.
We're studying fish (They're the largest class of vertebrates. Did you know that???) and two of the research project suggestions were to identify the top five fishing countries in the world and the populations of the top five fresh-water fish in your region. The boy, being 5, drew a picture of fish. Well, no, that's not true. He drew a picture of a car. And then I said "How about a fish?" so he drew a small car driving the big car and said that the small car was a fish. Perhaps he needs the remedial science program....
My big girls took those two ideas and expanded on them- Katy taking the first one and finding out how many tons of fish are produced by the top countries and locating them on a map, Lizzy finding the largest populations of fresh-water fish in our region and comparing the size of each, converting them all into ounces to do so.
Once they got their data, I showed them how to plug the numbers into Excel and make snazzy bar graphs with just a few clicky clicks of the mouse...
And there it is: science + geography + math + computer class in one fell swoop, made possible by a jump start from Great Science Adventures.
Don't forget this day, friends. It's probably the most schooly schoolyish moment we're going to have this entire year, so I'm gonna revel in it!
If you homeschool, what do you use for the science portion of your week?
p.s. for some more of our curriculum choices, check out the blog's fan page, where I've been posting things on off days...