Monday, August 24, 2015

Math, Science and History - Homeschooling High School

I've written a bit already on how we teach Math, Science, Biology and History in our home. Check out some previous posts:
Godly Patterns in Homeschooling
Discovering Patterns
Social and Physical Sciences 
Classical STEM
VCF-Globe Trotting

I've also talked about lasagna learning in our  homeschool. This is a very classical approach to learning. What I mean by lasagna learning is layer upon layer; overview, review, mastery. Going over material one time, in simple form, might be just enough to whet an appetite, but to really get a-hold of an area, to own it, love it and be able to play with it, requires familiarity, understanding it from multiple sides, from different depths and perspectives.

I am always a bit perplexed by people who talk about nailing down the one perfect curriculum for a specific subject area- especially those areas that are content rich, like Bible and History. We grab as many resources as we can find and do, what is probably best described, a yearly smash up in content areas. For instance, in Bible, my kids have their own reading/study; will be doing some serious Apologetics in CC, have spent the week-end immersed in presentations by a Rabbi from CJCUC, took part in a Middle East study last fall presented by former Missionaries to Turkey, etc. Their history reading delves into church history, as does Timeline memorization, along with much of the fiction that they read. Yes, we do actually intentionally purchase curriculum, but at this point, in High School, it's more pre-determined by who they are studying with, any outsourced classes they are taking and areas of interest.

The year, Cub will be delving deep into American History. We just finished Notgrass' 900+ page 2 volume series on "America the Beautiful." This year he'll be reading source documents and thinking and writing deeply on issues such as Free Market Economics and Liberty. Is redundancy wasted time? Hardly, if it is done with intentionality and purpose, and not as a time -filler- it takes the studetn from passive to active learner. Love that. 

In between, and for fun, he is reading The History of the Renaissance World and the Story of Science by SWB, so it's not like he'll be solely focusing on American History for the entirety of high school.

Skill specific subject areas like Math and the hard sciences require a different approach. For these classes, memory work has to happen. Laws, Rules, facts memorized make everything go so much more smoothly. Then, time on task. You can't get through much math if you don't actually sit down and do the math. I do have a math slug and for that student I set the timer. They work hard while the timer is going and when the hour is over, they are done with that subject; otherwise they'll spend all day in front of their math book, getting more and more discouraged, not getting anything done and feeling guilty about their lack of motivation.

Check out more on Math, Science and History.

http://i1297.photobucket.com/albums/ag30/Lisa_Nehring/siggywithflower_zps2ffa66ba.png @Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

1 comment:

Kym Thorpe said...

Absolutely LOVE the term "lasagna learning" - it describes it so well!