The well known quote “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”, encapsulates our educational philosophy, a less erudite phrase that also sums up our approach is, “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” These two phrases shine forth quite strongly in our approach to understanding and learning about scientific matters.
Our science journey begins in the early years by encouraging exploration of the world around us. Living in the bush our lifestyle naturally lends itself to plenty of nature study opportunities, we combine this with the reading of many living books as well as books from our DK collection. A well written living book is completely engaging and ensures knowledge is easily absorbed. This approach to science has been a wonderful way to ‘light a fire’, not only are their interests easily caught but living books fan that flame.
Another core component of our early science years are the Magic School Bus DVDs, over the years I have been constantly astounded by just how much scientific knowledge our children have absorbed from watching the Magic School Bus DVDs. We don’t own as many living science books as we do living nature titles, but when we source them we find them invaluable.
We were DK team sales co-coordinators for a number of years and gathered an extensive collection of DK books, the bright attractive pictures combined with the factual information are a much valued part of our science resources. The Young Scientist series, written in an easy to understand style with solid information has also been an excellent backbone of our learning. God’s Design is another resource set that we use from time to time, whilst this set has been quite interesting to Michelangelo (13) the younger children prefer more living books to a series even though these books are written in an easy style.
Our various science experiment books are quite popular and often used. Many ideas for experiments abound on the internet too, currently a quite popular one with our children is 100 Engineering Projects. K’nex, lego kits and electronic kits are all accessible. We are always encouraging the children to put their scientific knowledge and learning to practical application as they did with their computer triage.
Science programs and youtubes also play a big part of kindling and fanning scientific minds in our home. Mythbusters, New Inventors, Scrap Heap Challenge, Bill Nye, Steve Spangler and National Geographic have proved to be among the very popular. Kahn Academy too is another resource.
Our teens have enjoyed John Hudson Tiner‘s books, textbooks written with a living style flavour. We also purchased Singapore Science, though our teens prefer living science books, with us often checking out various titles from our local library as well as having a few on our shelves. We choose books to rotate through the science disciplines ensuring a basic general knowledge, whilst our geography text covers much earth science, we also make certain to cover topics in physics, chemistry and biology. PC is extremely science orientated and often initiates and encourages scientific discussions, this ‘everyday’ approach does much to kindle and fan our children’s interest in all things science. Obviously it works as one son wants to be a scientist and is actively working towards that goal.