Last year I wrote a post about our grammar stage earth science which was really fun for all of us.
This year, we are going to be doing logic stage earth science. Actually, I should say THEY are going to be doing logic stage earth science this year. Unbeknownst to my children as of yet, I am going to have very little to do with teaching science this year. They will be doing most of the learning themselves. In fact, I have not purchased or borrowed any materials whatsoever for earth science this year. (I feel positively un-schooly about this!)
We happen to have a membership to a decent natural history museum. I’ve decided to take advantage of this membership and let the museum be the cornerstone of our science curriculum this year. Here is my plan:
Before we begin, I’m going to purchase notebooks in which they can draw and write Perhaps something like this or this. I will take them shopping or let them browse online to pick a notebook they will enjoy using.
Once we’ve started our new school year, I’m going to have them look at some websites, such as Geology.com to learn what Earth Science is. Then I will have them pick a particular field in Earth Science to study first. So, let’s say Boy #1 chooses meteorology. I am going to assign him several tasks relating to the meteorology exhibits at the museum. First, he will have to list all of the meteorology exhibits he can find. Next, he will have to choose one particular exhibit and write a summary of what he has learned from that exhibit, including a drawing, graph, diagram, or some other type of illustration that demonstrates that he understood the exhibit. I will then discuss with him what he has written and drawn and assign him the task of doing more research on that topic using library books, websites, or materials we already have at home. I may assign the topic. For example, I may decide that I want him to learn more about the causes of hurricanes. Or, I may let him decide what aspect of meteorology has sparked his interest enough for further study. I will ask him to include the new information he has gathered in his notebook. We will discuss the topic again, comparing what he originally learned at the museum to the new information he has gathered.
Once I’m satisfied that he has thoroughly ingested this one topic, we will return to the museum where we’ll start the process over again with a new exhibit. I figure we will probably end up at the museum once every two weeks or so, with lots of reading in between. I’m looking forward to seeing their completed earth science notebooks this time next year.