|We will not send any more of our sons to NMMI for high school so we can study science the way we used to.|
My oldest student is in 10th grade. For the past two years we have used apologia's upper level science books. He has done well with each course but does not enjoy using the textbook approach to science. I don't blame him. I did well in High School science and actually took extra science courses because I enjoyed them. Of course, they would have been better and I would remember more if we had not used the standard textbook approach. Now, as an adult, when I want to learn something I do not seek out a textbook as a source book. For example, I have had an ongoing interest in nutrition for the past 11 years. I have read many books, research papers, and web pages but not one textbook.
The final deciding factor to give up the textbook approach for my non science oriented son was reading the following two quotes in the recent Memoria press catalog:
"The purpose of what we now call "science" was to behold nature in its fullness. But in the modern view, the whole point of science is to deconstruct nature-to reduce it to its ultimate meaningless components." ~ Martin Cothran, The Classical Teacher, Winter 2012
"The purpose of science is wonder, and wonder cannot be had in an approach whose whole purpose is to eliminate it. It can only be accomplished by viewing nature as a mystery we can never resolve, but at which we can only marvel." ~ Martin Cothran, The Classical Teacher, Winter 2012
|But a photo of a flower does belong on a story about studying science!|
After I asked my 18 year old what he remembered about Apologia Biology and receiving a blank stare and then his explanation that he didn't even recognize the book I was showing him I was even more motivated to come up with a different plan. The only reason we switched from reading "living books" was because we were preparing our oldest two sons to go to a college prep high school. We are not pursuing that route for our children now so we can relax and go back to an independent study model where the children will read and write about what they are reading instead of studying a textbook to pass a test. I feel so much better about this plan!
I think that children who love science will keep their love and wonder even through taking a textbook course but the students who are not even interested in the subject will not become interested with the same approach. We are going to try Exploring the World of Biology by J.H. Tiner instead(one of the books recommended by Memoria Press for High School). To make this a full lab course I will have my son choose one experiment a month to do and write up in his lab book. He will also take daily notes on his reading and write a few essays on topics of his choice. I will also have him read Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Yancy and Brand since the Biology book is only 160 pages long. I think he will actually remember something from his study time after using this approach. I want to make sure he spends his time learning from an interesting book he will remember instead of studying to pass a test.
How do you approach High School science?