This is the first year we're formally studying science. We've always kept nature journals and unschooled science as things came up, but my sister turned me onto this science book, "Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding" by Bernard J. Nebel. We've only had it for two weeks, but so far I'm loving it.
It is written for group teaching, but it might as well be written for homeschoolers because it is just so perfect. Nebel has organized the study in four different "threads" and uses a diagram to map the order of study of each thread--which can be taught in any order or/and in tandem. There is quite a bit of cross referencing between threads so that its easy to see where different areas of science overlap. If you're looking for a science book this is a good one.
Last week we began the Life Science thread, by categorizing things into groups of biological/living, natural non-living, and human made. The next lesson goes on to sort out plant and animal kingdoms, but before we get there it was recommended we do a study on energy. Can I say again how much I love this? I never would have thought to move onto energy--but seeing as all living things require energy it makes sense to cover this first. The kids and I charted four basic energy sources and discussed what roles they have in our immediate environment. I can tell there's going to be further discussion around energy (given Wylie's obsession with it). The book even has a section for each lesson entitled "teachable moments". Even if I wasn't teaching the lessons described in the book I can see how this would be a valuable resource to read just for the clear scientific explanations.
Kale has been finding his own work this week--eagerly taking on new big kid activities on his own accord.
We've also (informally) filled our days with some art work, candle making, deconstructing a monitor and subsequently learning quite a bit about cathode ray tubes, vacuums, and lead poisoning (not first hand mind you) and visiting with friends from NH.
Its been a good week.