We started out just getting our toes wet; I suppose every Charlotte Mason homeschooler usually does at least that with Nature Study and Natural History. In recent years, we went wading and it did feel good, but this year we took the plunge into Living Science. We are not just getting our toes wet, no wading alongside textbooks, but all out swimming with Living Science. Let me tell you the water is fine!
It has been fairly simple really, once the decision was made. The hardest part was deciding exactly which living books to read, but I gained much wisdom and good advice from the new AO Living Science, Kelli at Grace for the Day, Kathy from Northwest by North, and Jeanne from A Peaceful Day. The Shrimp is simply doing the Living Science already listed on AO year4. The older two are working together on another handful of integrated science books. The mix is sort of odd since The Beauty had already done a full year of biology and Legoman has not, but it will even out over the next few years.
So they read from their Living Science book and then depict something about what they read into their science journals. Science journals are the best part of embracing Living Science in my opinion. They usually read from two or three different books each day and make an entry in their journal from each reading. They are suppose to spend about 45 minutes….we are working on using our time well and not rushing just to be done. We are also working on neatness.
Then they tell me about their entry. It’s almost like double narration. I love it. All of my children know mom’s mantra, “A reading without a narration is a reading wasted.” They first have to process what they read enough to decide what to depict in their journal, and then they have to explain it to me. I am not 100% sure we are “doing it right,” but it seems to be working for us.
Since the older two are reading the same books, it is very interesting to see the difference in their entries. The gist is usually the same, but sometimes the focus is different….which is ok because they are persons.
Legoman likes to use a lot of words, which is sort of odd because he generally avoids writing when possible. We have had to talk about neatness and that science journals are to show a depiction which can include words but should often include a picture, graph, or illustration. (Excuse the poor pictures. Apparently I need a new camera. 🙂 )
The Beauty on the other hand seems to like color, and like the rule follower she is, she will spend the last minutes of her forty-five touching up her page and adding a bit of color and flair.
They seem to remember well what they are learning and refer back to concepts and ideas as we simply live life. That is what I want. This year as we swim in the waters of Living Science they seem to be forming closer relationships and caring more. I am so glad we took the plunge.
The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him? Charlotte Mason, Vol. 3, p. 171.