Monday, May 08, 2006

I've Been Planning #2

Next year we will be studying Ancient History and I am attempting to link as many subjects as possible to this study. Science will be no exception, though there will be deviations from ancient studies here because I also want to focus on Biology. I want my children, especially my oldest to be able to identify the differences and similarities of plant and animal cells, identify and describe the parts of the human body and plants. I also want to get more serious about the scientific method. Here are the resources:
  • Joy Hakim's The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way tells the story of the birth of science using quotes from Ancient texts. Science began as an attempt to explain realities and garner predictability in the calendar. I like the historical approach to science, the introduction of early scientists (many of whom I would have neglected), the short reading segments, and colorful illustrations. I was able to get this book at Powells for $8.98 and for that price I can overlook the PC handling of the first couple of chapters.
  • Ancient Science by Jim Wiese -- This is a book of 40 experiments ancients. The book is divided into sections based on ancient cultures like Science from the Dawn of Time and Science among the Pyramids. These experiments are not particularly scientific, but lots of fun for your youngest scientists.
  • The Science of Life by Frank G. Bottone, Jr. is a thin five chapter book that delves into the five kingdoms - Prokaryotae, Plantae, Animalia, Fungi, and Protoctista - through experimentation. We will use this book as a base and supplement with microscope work, nature study, and the study of the human body.
  • As a supplementary text we will use Usborne Internet Linked Science Encyclopedia. My son has used this book until the covers have fallen off. The internet links are kept up-to-date via the Usborne website.
  • We also have the Usborne Internet linked Book of the Microscope to help us on our microscopic journey. My cousin who was a microscope researcher came up and helped my son with his microscope after he first got it and after those initial lessons he can really scan and focus. Our microscope came from Great Scopes - a family run business. We also got some really good pre-made slide sets from them and they have ideas, lessons, and links for the microscope.
As usual, I am so excited about another year of science. I have always loved science, though eventually the public schools squashed the love. When I was in fifth grade science in public school, there were no experiments. We just read a text, answered some questions, and moved to the next chapter. I am so excited that I can offer my six year old and 10 year old a different science experience. Isn't homeschooling grand?


Audrey said...

Just an additional resources for you: there is a series of books called "Science in Ancient..."

Science in ancient China / George Beshore.

Science in ancient Egypt / Geraldine Woods.

Science in ancient Greece / Kathlyn Gay.

Science in ancient Rome / Jacqueline L. Harris.

We used these this year. My science-loving ds thought they were great!

wisteria said...

Excellent!! More Stuff! I am looking at them online as I type. Thanks! Are there more? We love science!!

Audrey said...

That's it for the ancients in that series, but Crabtree also has a book called "Science and Technology in the Middle Ages" by Joanne Findon and Marsha Groves.

Myrtle said...

I got the first volume of Hakim's story of science and I just didn't like it that much. It's not the writing, I just didn't think she did a good job tracing the history of an idea. Rather she just gives a timeline of areas of study of scientists. Having said that, when certain topics come up I have had my son read a particular passage or two out of the book.

She only had three pages out of hundred discussing the contributions of Arabs (Persian Moslems actually) to math and it took quite a bit of digging for me in outside sources to figure out why they ought not be featured more prominently. It would have been nice if she included a discussion over that. Also, and in general, the children's books that I have on the history of science seem to treat technology as if it were science. That's a personal pet peeve.

A very good book for 4th or 5th graders and up is "The Ever Changing Atom." It begins with the Greeks and their ideas and it explains WHY they believed what they did. Then it traces the evolution of the idea all the way up to contemporary quantuum physics. It's larger than average font.

The best book that anyone ever recommended to me personally is "The Magic Furnace" which, again, starts with the Greeks, and traces the history of the discovery of the elements to modern day. What thing did each chemist in history puzzle over? Who picked up the mystery from there? It was great.

On Cosmology, "The Whole Shebang" was a good nontechnical exposition.

wisteria said...

Maybe that is why I picked up the Hakim book for 8.98. I know it is not exhaustive, but I need a narrative in which to organize our readings. We read many books. Thank you for your suggestions. I will check them out. We are so lucky to have so many resources. When school begins, I will have something for everyone.

Jon said...

I'm working on a detailed critique of Hakim's work. Wonder how it actually went for you.
Thanks for the list of other resources.