CLASSICALLY, FAITHFULLY HOMESCHOOLING 4 BOYS

Our Classical Science Homeschooling Plans and Curriculum

Our Classical Science Homeschooling Plans and Curriculum

We have always used the classical education method in our homeschooling so for this upcoming school year, we will focus on biology as our group science using the classical method. In reviewing our last school year, I realized there are several things I want to change this upcoming year. One of them being the way we learn science. Last year we did science with three different grade levels using three different programs. Boy was that was a mistake! I was running three science experiments a week, reading through three different science texts, helping with three different sets of questions & vocabulary, it was very time-consuming and tiring! So this year I decided to do one science program with ALL of the kids. We have always done our history, geography, science, and bible study as a group but somehow, in the last few years, we have gotten away from it. We drifted from the classical method and what it means to study science classically.

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So, you’re probably wondering how I plan to combine three different science curriculum with four different ages and grades. Well, first off, I don’t plan to do every experiment in all three books! I don’t want to go from one crazy to another crazy :). My plan is to look through the science experiments for the two younger grades and pick one for each week. My high schooler will have more difficult labs to complete, with them being scheduled every 4-6 weeks. On his weeks, we will observe his experiments. Especially when he does his dissections, fun fun!

For daily group learning, my plan is to combine the topics that match within each book as much as possible. We will study the Plant Kingdom at the same time, the Animal Kingdom together and the Human Body together. The older two boys will have more in-depth study’s in these topics and my little ones will only do science 1 – 2 days a week, so it should flow pretty smoothly.

Teaching science to a group of 4 kids requires me to do some up front planning if I want it to run smoothly. Since we use the classical education method, there are certain ways I will plan our science based on the classical stage they are in. Classical Science centers around living books and focuses on teaching children how to think critically about science and how to use the scientific method to confirm theories.

In the grammar stage, my two youngest will be using Elemental Science, Biology for the Grammar Stage. During this stage, the classical method focuses on developing the child’s curiosity and observation skills. They should become excited about science by doing fun experiments, drawing pictures, coloring pictures, doing nature studies and so on. The learn to observe the world around them, to become aware of things they’ve never noticed. To do this they use notebooking pages for narrations, lapbooking, coloring pages, and fun experiments. Until they can write their own narrations, my youngest boys will orally narrate to me what we read and I will write it down on the pages for them

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My 13 yr. old will also use Elemental Science, Biology for the Logic Stage. During this stage of the classical science method, our kids start to make connections in science. The focus is on how to think critically about science, to learn and understand the scientific method. They do this through experiments, lab reports, deeper research, writing summaries, sketches and labeling diagrams.

elemental science for logic stage

My oldest is using Apologia Biology for his 10th grade science credit. During this classical science stage, called the Rhetoric stage, science can be intellectually demanding. Students are encouraged to think on a broader scale and to ask what the implications are of their discoveries. They will study the laws of each scientific field, read from primary sources, write about scientists and their discoveries, and prepare a science research paper. They do this by reading & taking notes, writing summaries, making sketches, labeling diagrams, performing experiments & preparing extensive lab reports and writing an 8-10 page science research paper.

apologia biology classical science

For my two oldest boys, they will complete most of their work using my Science Journal Pages. I print these out, one set for each of them, and bind them using my Proclick Binder.

Science Journal Pages by www.sproutingtadpoles.com

As a group we will read the topic of study together and discuss it. We will cover memory work and timeline entries together, as well as performing experiments together. Our read aloud will include a science related book that covers the topic we are on that week. Because each classical science stage has different levels of required work, each of my boys will do their assignments independently after we read together as a group.

So while each of the boys will have their own work to complete, it will be so much easier combining the science as a group, because for me, it means that I only have to learn biology this year and not biology, astronomy and chemistry!! I only read from one book, our memory work will benefit everyone and we can make games of it. The younger boys get to see their big brothers do the big fun experiments and dissections! They love sitting in and watching their older brothers do their science stuff. And doing group work always benefits in bringing the kids closer. I also want to add in some fun nature studies so we can enjoy some time outdoors, maybe some pond observations and plot studies. Fun times!.

Here is a great resource for learning more about classical science from the Elemental Science blog.

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Comments

  1. I did a very similar plan a few years back. My oldest sons completed Apologia Biology while my two younger children did Elemental Science’s Logic Stage Biology. (The youngest 2 children were babies so I didn’t worry about them. We had a wonderful year of Biology! Everyone especially enjoyed doing the frog dissection as a group.

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