Wednesday, June 14, 2017

2016-2017 Year in Review - Science and Nature...

Today, I'm going to review Riley and Ruben's 2016-2017 science studies as part of my year end reflection. Looking back helps me in planning how to proceed forward. I'll start with Ruben's study, including a book list and sample notebook pages. Then move to Riley's study, also including her book list and sample notebooking pages. In addition, I'll make note of whether each book was a hit or miss.

For Year 6, Ruben used the following science books as part of Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ:

Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day (HOD) - Ruben did OK with this book as long as I read it aloud. He did not enjoy reading it independently. I did not enjoy the textbook feel of it. HOD suggested a variety of activities while reading, including, weekly copywork, narration, questions, and experiments. Ruben did not like most of these activities. Exploring Creation with Zoology 3 was a miss.

Birds of the Air by Arabella Buckley (HOD, AO) and Plant Life in Field and Garden by Arabella Buckley (HOD, AO) - I read Birds of the Air aloud and Ruben read Plant Life independently. He did well with both of them. He created some fabulous notebook drawings while reading these books. One draw back of the Buckley books for us was that many of the plants and birds were native to Europe and not to our region here in the U.S. Overall, the Buckley books were a hit

Exploring the History of Medicine by John Hudson Tiner (HOD, Sonlight) - I started reading this book aloud to Ruben, but eventually he took it over on his own. The readings were short and fairly interesting. We answered the questions orally after each reading so there was no written work with this book. Exploring the History of Medicine was a hit

Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick (HOD, Beautiful Feet) - Ruben read Galen on his own and thoroughly enjoyed it. He produced excellent oral narrations after each reading and did a couple of notebooking pages as HOD suggested assignments. Galen and the Gateway to Medicine was a definite hit

An Illustrated Adventure in Human Anatomy by Kate Sweeney (HOD) - Neither Ruben, nor I thought much of this book. The short snippets of information and busy pages were not appealing. It was overstimulating and a bit overwhelming, as you didn't know in what order to read since the words were scattered around the page. At my request, Ruben did create a wonderful diagram of the heart. He also drew and labeled the skeletal system. An Illustrated Adventure in Human Anatomy was a miss.

As noted above, some of the books overlapped with other programs, such as Ambleside Online, Sonlight, and Beautiful Feet. Interestingly, the books that were used in various curricular were the books we liked best. Overall, it was a good science year for Ruben. I saw growth. His study mostly entailed biology or topics relating to living things. Below are samples of his notebooking pages...


For Year 7, Riley used a variety of books suggested from Ambleside Online, as well as a human anatomy book of her choice and a couple of nature books of my choice. She studied these books independently. Her list with hits and misses is as follows...


Apologia's Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology (Riley's choice) - There are 14 modules/chapters in this Apologia book. Riley used it twice a week, reading for two days one week and then notebooking on that reading for two days the following week. Hence, completing one module/chapter every two weeks. I used the schedule in the Apologia Anatomy Notebooking Journal. However, she did not complete the journal, but rather created her own notebook pages as I assigned, which turned out very well. Riley enjoyed this Apologia text. It was a hit.

Exploring the History of Medicine by John Hudson Tiner - This book was in my original plan, but somehow Riley inadvertently missed it on the schedule and therefore, she did not complete Exploring the History of Medicine

Natural Science 

Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie - Riley read a chapter a week from this book over Term 1 (12 weeks). I was hoping she would use it to help develop her nature journal, but I didn't give clear direction, so it didn't go as planned. Riley loved the drawings in Leslie's Journal, but the content didn't carry over as application because I didn't follow through on my expectation. Despite this, it was a hit

Secrets of the Woods and School of the Woods by William J. Long (AO 3 & 6) - Again, Riley simply read these books independently. She called them both a hit.

Nature Study 

Journaling a Year in Nature from Simply Charlotte Mason - Riley was supposed to venture out on a weekly nature study, journaling in this book through the process. However, she chose to write weekly entries regarding the weather in an old nature journal while looking out the window. She doesn't like cold weather and I didn't follow up. My resident box checker did not read my mind in order to understand the expectation. ;-p

Overall, Riley enjoyed all the books she read. She did notebook through her anatomy study, of which I will include samples below. In reviewing her books, I see that Riley also focused on biology and living organisms this year. 

In the upcoming school year, I aim to assign a wider variety of books from various branches of science. I also need to be more clear on my expectations and follow up regularly to see that those expectations are being met.