Science is all around us. From the moment we wake up, there is running water and optimal temperature in the house. It is very easy to get used to them. And ignore them. But these are the exact things that children love to know:
- how do we get water in the sink?
- why do planes fly?
- why do we need trees to make paper?
- who teaches a spider how to spin?
These are some of the many “why’s” my daughter rattled off at the beginning of our homeschooling adventure.
Truth being told, I have forgotten some of those answers myself. So, I asked for help. It came in the form of a set of movies: The Magic School Bus Series by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degan. She was so interested that I needed to go back to the library, the very next day, and get more movies plus the books. She was only four at that time.
Slowly, ever so slowly, these movies lost their appeal. I knew that we were ready for the next step.
I introduced her to Thornton Burgess and his very human critters who live in the same wood or pond. We read about Old Mother West Wind, her children, Paddy the beaver, Jimmy skunk and Reddy fox. The time marched on and we went back to The Magic School Bus.
This time we were enjoying the original books that inspired the TV series. They are packed with information and lovely illustrations. Our favorites were:
- The Magic School Bus inside the Earth;
- The Magic School Bus inside the human body;
- The Magic School Bus lost in the Solar System;
- The Magic School Bus on the ocean floor.
Then there is the very awesome Chemical Lab for The Magic School Bus Series. You can find it here:
During our daily walks, I needed a guide to answer all of her questions. Peterson’s Field Guides came to the rescue with detailed description and beautiful full-color illustrations plus black and white copies ready to be colored. Our favorites : wildflowers and tropical forests.
It became evident that I needed help in organizing all this information. “The Storybook of science”, by Jean-Henri Fabre, did just that. It allowed us to start our study time with a read aloud session which made the walks very enjoyable. We were ready to discuss all the new information “Uncle Paul” and his students introduced during the different chapters. These readings were supplemented with movies from the DK Eyewitness News Series and Schlesinger Media.
The most loved of all the books in our Nature and Science class was : James Harriot’s Treasury For Children. It brought all of us so much closer to understanding and respecting animals.
That is the reason for Science in general: to understand and better protect the beauty and majesty of the world.