I feel like I will have an extremely firm grasp on my science plan by the time I finish poring over all these books!
One interesting thing about the classical approach to education is that we pull the focus AWAY from good ol’ textbooks and look to real life experience and “living” books instead. (By living books, I just mean books that are not sold as textbooks.)
However, I do actually have several ‘textbooks’ that we will reference this school year.
What I have in my planner for science this year is WAY more exciting than just textbooks. This is going to be a fabulously fun science year for us. I am stoked. Here’s a little preview of what I have in mind….
Last year we covered land forms, aquatic animals, and all the major systems of the human body (and traced our bodies and painted, labeled, and assembled all the major organs). We also memorized the first 16 elements of the Periodic Table, the scientific method, learned about evolution, and learned the definition and parts of an atom (even to include leptons and quarks!). We built our own little atom, and we did 24 science experiments in the classroom. We also observed sea mammals in their natural habitat, observed kelp forests, and we learned about gradual and sudden geological changes. We even discussed creationism versus the Theory of Evolution.
You know, it’s true that things change gradually over time. It’s completely bonkers to think that the intricate people, animals, and plants that we have in this world magically appeared with no creator. Bonkers! (But don’t worry. My children will be fully versed on both.)
This year is all about biology and earth science!
So here’s what I have for this year.. Most of these are in San Francisco
1. The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park (Okay, this ties in more with our history unit on ancient Japan.)
2. Bison Paddock
3. the San Francisco Botanical Garden
4. California Academy of Sciences (natural history museum, planetarium, and aquarium)
5. Conservatory of Flowers
6. Point Lobos
7. Yosemite National Park
8. The Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley
Yeah….I’m a little bit excited!
9. Sacramento, because it’s our state capital, and we’ve never been there.
10 Science Camp at Mount Hermon– We are already registered!
11. Backyard bucket garden. We’ve already started potatoes. We have too many gophers to put the plants in the ground!
This just gives Dan something to do while the big boys are drawing and labeling things in their science notebook.
Of course, Dan can also draw things. Labeling will come much later. Dan’s 4.
Here are a few books I’m looking forward to using for science this year:
Each page is full of animal names and facts.
Then I have this fun lift-the-flap Usborne science book that we used last year too:
From the Lift the Tab Usborne Science:
Child craft has interesting stories to go along with the facts.
Some people look neat, tidy, and organized when they are planning. This is what it looks like when I plan:
No school is complete without a system for chores. I will DEFINITELY keep this chore system in place. It has worked beautifully. I no longer have to unload the dishwasher in the mornings or kick-start the laundry by myself. By the end of this year, I’m hoping to be done putting all of the boys’ laundry away as well.
Outline of this year’s science topics:
Weeks 1 & 2: Dinosaurs!
I. Classifications of Living Things
II. 5 Kingdoms of Living Things
III. Parts of animal cells
IV.Plant Cell parts
V. Major Groups of Invertebrates
VII. Animal Reproduction (live birth, eggs, etc.)
VIII. Types of Seed Plants
IX. Parts of a Plant
X. Kinds of Leaves and Leaf Parts
XI. Parts of a Flower
XII. Plant Systems
Science Camp: 1 Week at Mount Hermon Science Camp
XIII. Parts of the Earth
XIV. 3 Kinds of Rock
XV. Each continent’s highest mountain
XVI. 4 Kinds of Volcanoes
XVII. Parts of a Volcano
XVIII. 4 types of ocean floor
XIX. 3 Ocean Zones
XX. Parts of the Atmosphere
XXI. 5 Major circles of latitude
XXII. Kinds of weather fronts
XXIII. Types of clouds
XXIV. Markings on the globe
I’ve already gotten each plan written on paper, and each print-out filed into that week’s folder.
I have a folder created for each of my students, for each week of the school year.
Nonna (a retired school teacher herself) gave me this organizational idea, and I love it. All the plans and printed materials I need for each week of the year is filed by boy and week, so when I need it, I can just grab it all from one place.
As their work is completed, I file it right back in their folder.
This frees up daily space, as we don’t have to keep up with a bunch of workbooks. Hurray!
Science is the subject I’m most excited for this year. What are you looking forward to most? Do you have any more California field trip suggestions for us? That’s our favorite, so DO share!!