Yesterday I posted our backwards version of a chemistry scope and sequence
. I mentioned that I had looked at several chemistry textbook table of contents, as well as course requirements, in order to come up with a list of items I think are important to cover when taking a chemistry class. It’s not that I want the “list” to order our learning, but I want to see how much of that list we cover inadvertently.
Currently my favorite scope and sequence guide is Science Scope by Kathryn Stout, which I got from the Living Book Library. This book is not a curriculum, but rather a guide, or outline of what items are important to teach in each area of science from Kindergarden to Senior Year. In the back of the book is a check list to note when each “skill level is completed”. When I saw that, an idea came back to me that I’d first gotten 2 years ago.
It was at the 2010 Childlight USA Conference. Jen Gagnon was speaking on the idea of Living Science, and she created a fantastic graphic image of the science of relations, and how it does indeed work in the actual field of science. Below I’ve included a snapshot from my notes. (I’m not expecting my notes to mean a lot to you without Jen’s fantastic lecture to accompany it, but I do want you to notice the idea that there are all these connecting ideas.)
During that lecture I got the idea in my head that if we could (or would) take down notes about our activities and experiences, then it might be interesting to look back at what we actually accomplish each year.
So, what if we used a book like Science Scope, and each week we journaled notes here and there in the book?
Here’s an example:
Last week we did an object lesson on cattails. We learned about where they live, their leaves and flowering parts, their uses, and the parts of it that are edible. (We even tasted it!)
When I look in the Science Scope book, I see on page 33 an outline of “Plants: Distinguishing Characteristics”, which includes a section about leaf size and shape. I will put a note there: Cattails, 9/2011. I also see on page 37 an outline of “Plants: Uses”. I will also put a note there: Cattails, 9/2011.
Later that same week we read a book about Crystals. I see on page 112 of the Science Scope “Define and observe crystals”. There are three bullet points under the heading, and it turns out that all three points were covered in the book. I will put a note next to that: Millions and Millions of Crystals, 9/2011. Later this term the Big Kids are going to do an experiment where they grow crystals. I will let the little kids help, and then I can note again with: Crystal Experiment, 10/2011.
There are several other things we touched on this week too. We searched out the names of the colorful fall flowers we are seeing everywhere, and painted several in our nature study notebooks. (Page 72, “Recognize characteristics of seasons including changes in: Plants”) We used our field guide to figure out what kind of pine trees are in the backyard. (Page 35, “Conifers”)
So, you get the idea. I’m not suggesting everyone do this. Can you believe I just wrote all this, and yet I say that?! No, I think it would be best if you just trust the process, because that is more likely to lead to a Sabbath Mood Homeschool. But if you are curious, or need to prove yourself to someone, (someone that matters – like hubby,) or you want to keep track on a blog so others feel more comfortable trusting the system, (that’s me,) then go for it!