Thursday, October 31, 2013

Core C with Science D (edited)

We finished Core B in a year, a record for us. After that we took some time off and started Core C at the end of Sept this year.

This is our forth set of Sonlight curriculum, I was expecting smooth sailing but it has not progress as well as I planed. Main stumbling block - SCIENCE! Suprised! Den has always loves science, so this is indeed a suprise.

Core C should goes with Science C but i choose to skip Science C and jump right into Science D. I make the decision on using Core D science instead of Core C science due to two reasons:

1. Last year, Core B science was too easy for Den;

2. We will be doing Core D+E after Core C and the suggested science is Core E science, so I thought instead of skipping Core D science, we can do It this year.

I would not said it was a mistake but definitely a challenge.

Main reason - the language used in the first two books - Real Science for Kids: Biology Level 1 and the Lyrical Life Science (optional) are difficult. A lot of scientific terms and rather dry.

In three weeks of science, it has covered kingdom classification, different type of cells, Monotremes, Marsupials, carnivores, Pinnipeds etc etc...I would not even bother to go in the detail of the cells!

We struggle for the first few weeks and now we kind of find a way into it - I don't read out the text word by word. Instead, I read them first then I explain to Den in my own language. It kind of works for us. However we are still very much behind in schedule. Our history and Readaloud has been very much ahead of our science. So I actually have to have a week or two of only science week.

The main reason of why we are so behind is because I choose to use the optional books - Lyrical Life Science ol 1 & 2. Some week we have to cover 4-5 chapter a week. That's a lot.

Even though it take up a lot of time I will still suggest whoever is using Science D use the optional books as well. Real Science by it self is very boring with lots of scientific term and not much explanation and example. On the other hand Lyrical Life Science gives too much detail.

So what I do is we read Real Science together (word by word) and Den will do the worksheet. I will only explain/summarize the Lyrical Life Science, listen to the song that come with every chapter and do the worksheet orally together.

I also make visual aids to help Den remember some of the main point. Some of the aids we make:
Den painted different type of cells:

It took us three weeks just to go through Sceince week 3 alone!

Week 4 has another 5 chapters of Lyrical Life Science! Good news is no more Real Science in week 4 &5, instead we have the child friendly Mystery and Marvel of Nature! Yes!

I suppose I can understand the reasoning behind all the difficult sciencetific term. We has been studying animals and marvel at their uniqueness since pre-k and now it is time to introduce to student how the scientist look at the animals - thus kingdom classification. But boy oh boy, it is a tough jump! I'm walking very cautiously now, I want Den to continue to love science and appreciate how difficult and clever of the scientists in classifing the animals and not to be permanently put off by it.

The rest of the Core C - history, geography and Readaloud are just good. We especially enjoy the Geography song. Den and I now can name and correctly point to some of the country in Middle East. That is an achievement for someone who actually thought Africa is a country (me...not Den).

We also participate in this year Mission India. This is our third time and we enjoy as much as the first.

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