For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Monday, January 16, 2012

Social Studies and Science - What do we do?

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

It's week 3 of the Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted @ Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. It's time to talk Social Studies and Science, you know History, Geography etc...

Well, here in our homeschool, we love Tapestry of Grace. Tapestry of Grace is a History Curriculum that follows the classical way of studying the humanities: 4 year cycle that you repeat 2 or 3 times at different levels of learning: Grammar stage, Logic stage and Rhetoric stage. So far we have done year 1: Ancient Time, and are doing year 2: Middle Ages to Early Modern Time, and love it.

What we love about TOG:
  • The buffet of books to read in history, literature, geography, and Church History.
  • The buffet of hands on activities to choose from: salt dough maps, helmets, viking ships etc..
  • The reformed biblical perspective from which the author wrote, without it being overpowering.
  • It covers geography pretty extensively though mapping, vocabulary, and exposure to cultures.
  • The emphasis on interaction and engagement with the text, whether it be historical texts or literature.
  • Extensive teachers' notes.
The only thing that I see that could be a con against TOG (beside the cost, but you have to think of it as a long term investment as it is for 12 grades), is the planning involved. The curriculum is made up of 36 weeks divided into 4 - 9 week long units.  Because you are given a buffet to choose from you do have to spend the time picking out what you want to do and what you will not do. However, not being a planner myself, I find that you can still get so much out of the curriculum without being a rigid planner. The only planning I HAVE to do is make sure I order the books from the library ahead of time (since I cannot afford to buy the books). Everything else is often pick up and do. Planning allows for more but it is totally feasible.

Videos, when available on a particular study we are doing at the moment, are usually part of our social studies as well.

Another curriculum I got to mention on the subject is Story of the World, as my boys, especially my 8 year old, who is very auditory, loves to listen to the audios. It has been a great complement to TOG, especially that it follows more or less the same sequence as TOG.

For Science, we love Real Science 4 Kids. We did Pre-level 1 last year Physics, Chemistry and Biology and the boys loved it. It is REAL science taught in a way that kids can understand and come to love science.

This year we used Elemental Science Biology for the Grammar Stage, but I am having a hard time finishing it. I bought it in the hope of having the boys do more narration but that did not quite happen. The curriculum,which has you read through The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia,  for some reason, was not engaging enough to keep up wanting more. I will endeavour to finish it up, as we have not done much studies of animals plants and the human body, but I am definitely ordering Real Science 4 Kids Level 1 for next year.

For our science, we use lots and lots of videos as well. The boys' favourite is The Way Things Work which I get at the library. They also get lots of information about the animal world from books from The Magic Treehouse Series and the TV show Zoboomafo.

If you want to see what other homeschool do for Social Studies and/or Science make sure to visit the different blogs participating in the Fair:

Science and Worldview by Beth @ Ozark Ramblings

Nature Study as Science by Christine @ Crunchy Country Catholic

Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 3- Social Studies and more Science by Leah Courtney @ The Courtney Six Homeschool Family

Curriculum Fair–Exploring Our World by Angie @ Petra School

Paths of Exploration by Jen @ Forever, For Always

Learning Geography at Our House by Jessica @ Modest Mama

Mapping Out Our Social Studies by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

The Fascinating World Around Us by Cindy Horton @ Fenced in Family

More Heart of Dakota Praises by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun

Our History by Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool

Playful US Geography for First Grade by Pam @ Everyday Snapshots

Heart of Dakota-The Fine Details-Part 3 History by Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles

Exploring Our World Through History & Science by Brenda Emmett @ Garden of Learning

Two Must-haves by Letha @ justpitchingmytent

Learning About The World Around Us by Laura O from AK

History Chronologically and with Living Books by Debbie @ Debbie's Digest

Why History? by MissMOE @ Homeschooling While Living the Life of Easier

Exploring Our World by Christa Darr @ Fairfield Corner Academy


Susan said...

Thank you for mentioning Real Science 4 Kids, I'm researching what we'll do for science next year and I forgot about that one. ;0)

And thank you for participating in the Virtual Curriculum Fair.

MissMOE said...

Thanks for sharing how you do TOG. I've always been a little intimated by it.

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