We did really enjoy science year. Of course we gave up on the worksheets fairly quickly. I think we’ll stick to reading/discussion/practical this year.
We’re sticking to the How *** Works as our format. I’m going to try and do two themes this year.
Firstly we’re looking at ‘How the Body Works‘, planning to use activities and ideas from Pinterest for practicals but the DK book ‘Open Me Up‘ as our main reader. We’ve others focused on particular areas. It wouldn’t be Sam’s first choice but we don’t do much biology and to be honest I’ve been waiting for puberty questions that never come so thought it was time to nudge curiosity! I’ve planned the project to be as Sam friendly as possible.
The second project of the year is to look at ‘How Things Work‘ I’ve not planned it in any detail yet. Looking at the working of machines is right up Sam’s street though and it will tie in to the time we are looking at the Industrial Revolution.
Found my Science mojo again last year. Never quite came together the way I’d have liked though. Focused too much on the practical and too little on the background. Doing it with friends was fun but perhaps too much distraction so we’re back on our own.
I’ve been collecting a series of oldish books (suspect out of print) called ‘How ****** Works’. We’ve got least 5 or 6 now and I’m envisaging doing one a year until GCSE age. This will hopefully give us time to really get into things. The books are a mix of information and experiments and could almost stand alone as a curriculum. The biggest problem was deciding which book to start with – Sam’s mind changed frequently! In the end we settled on ‘How The Earth Works‘
The plan is to break it down into subtopics
- The Earth in Space
- Inside the Earth
- Volcanoes and Earthquakes
- Rocks and Soil (will make this one a long full term one – got to love Minecraft 🙂 )
- Water Cycle
- Atmosphere and Weather
I’ll plan a term at a time so we an adapt as needed.
These are the plans for this term
These are the activity books to supplement this term.
These are our reference books to refer to. They’re all excellent. The Earth book isn’t particularly child friendly but has some fabulous photographs. The Geog encyclopaedia and What’s Where in the World are both strong contenders for my top 10 books to grace a home ed bookshelf (I’ll write it one day 😉 )
I want to try and focus us a bit more this year, something a bit more than reading and experiments but nothing like lapbooks or workbooks. I’ve prepared a few worksheets/paper activities for the first 1/2 term as reinforcement (still got 2nd half to do). We’ve covered a scrapbook (the sparkly black thing) into which we’ll stick worksheets, photos etc.
I’ll try and remember to update as we go.
Science is my home ed stumbling block. Not because I find it difficult, just because it isn’t something that seems to capture either mine or Sam’s passion the way History for example does, so it is something we need to make time for rather than something that happens naturally.
The other issue has been finding the right way for us to study it. I believe very much on learning science through hands on exploration, however this approach is messy and time consuming and feels very bitty, we seem to have focussed on ‘wow element’ rather than the basic nuts and bolts. But workbooks for science just don’t feel right.
Therefore the plan is to take the book The Way Science Works and use this as a base for our studies. It covers 6 topics;
Looking at Matter
Atoms and Elements
Forces and Energy
Heat and Sound
Light and Colour
Electricity and Magnetisim
So will work out as one per half term.
The book features double page spreads of information, punctuated by experiments to illustrate points, the majority of which look very doable at home. I am hoping that we can achieve the balance I want by reading the info, doing as many of the experiments that we can fit and consolidating by doing small notebooking projects/worksheets I am preparing to sit alongside.
To help with motivation to fit it in to our schedule we have arranged for another family to join us once a fortnight. The idea is to do much of the practical work together with the reading, follow up work (friends may not want to do the pen and paper side) and some of the longer experiments particularly those that need several days to complete at home in between times.