Saturday, January 12, 2013

Discovering Patterns- How to Teach Math, Logic and Science

Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science

Math - I am a rocking arithmetician. Seriously, the basic 4 and I are good friends. I love the mental acuity of arithmetic and I find speed a fun challenge (percentages in the grocery store- bring 'em on).  Mathematics, however, kinda cooks my grits, I have to start working reel hard and the pay-off gets dimmer, imho. You know that pesky first Law of the Teacher which states the Teacher must know that which they teach? All that to say, upper level math has been our achilles heel- we've used Video-text (not enough practice), Saxon (not enough explanation), Life of Fred (not enough of either once you hit Trig). Our best success has been with a paid, personal tutor.
That being said, we've used the following:

 Right Start- I loved it, the kids learned an amazing amount but if you have much else going on, the teacher intensity of it can start bogging you down fast (at least it did me).
Saxon - love it or hate it, it gets the job done. This is what we are currently using- Alg 1/2 and 6/5. Both Flower and Cub are moving along at a lesson a day.
Life of Fred -a linguistic approach to a symbolic subject. Saved the day for Feeche after the fire. Alg I & II.
Perplexors -serious fun and hard work.
Mazes- what's not to love. Pre-school round here requires mazes.
Dot-to-Dot - see "mazes."
Critical Thinking Press - great products for all ages.
Usborne  Puzzle books. mazes, dot-to-dots. I used to be a consultant about a hundred years ago and collected the catalog. The Puzzle books are well worn and still gotten out on occasion. Great for long car rides.

Logic - Whether you consider yourself a classical educator or not, here's the deal. Kids love to argue. Kids in the dialectic stage (Jr. High) make it an art form. Instead of fighting them, give them some skills. If they're gonna argue anyway, you might as well give them some tools to do it well. Right?
Memoria Press' Traditional Logic and Logos's Intro and Intermediate Logic (with DVD- dry but gets the job done). I love the article Cothran wrote on the difference between teaching logic and critical thinking . (How to teach Logic by Martin Cothran). Cothran gives an excellent apologetic for Logic before Fallacies.
For older high school kids The Economist is a great overview of what is happening in the world financially and politically from a global perspective. Feeche is loving the Xmas gift subscription from G'pa & G'ma N!
Of course, public speaking, debate, forensics and writing all entail the ability to use logic well. If you are lucky enough to have any of these options in your area, go for it! If you don't have a homeschool Debate team close by, check out Toastmasters!

Science-We don't use much in the way of  formal science curriculum for eled. We do read a LOT of science books, involve our selves in nature study and think through the scientific method. In addition Dr. Dh has involved the kids in his love affair with weather and astronomy by getting them addicted to NOAA and NASA web-sites. We have spent countless hours in the great outdoors viewing astronomical wonders, walking lava beds, visiting Tar Pits and Aquariums and observing nature on both coasts and almost everywhere in between.

Along with all of that we've enjoyed the following:
Biology 101 and Chemistry 101
Magic School Bus books and videos.
Moody Science Videos
Great Courses - we've used Chemistry and Physics so far
Pinterest- one of my fav STEM pinners is Beth- she is taking a STEM approach and she finds the most amazing resources!
First Lego League
Apologia Science- for high school we've used General, Physical, Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Phy, Physics.
Reasons to Believe - they now offer a science apologetics course for high schoolers.
We're currently using Apologia's eled Anatomy and Physiology (check back around Feb 8 for my review)
My kids have had some great opportunities to take science courses from actual scientist at Tutoring Center and co-op. There fav teacher hands down is our friend Mary Daly who weaves in philosophy, theology and science, asks piercing questions.

Magazines we've enjoyed Ranger Rick, National Geographic and Natl Geographic for Kids, Science News, Biblical Archeology Review, Kids Discover.

And here's a whole lotta more inspiration for you!
The Hardest Part of Math by Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy

A Tour Through Our Math and Science Life by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool What Works for Us…Math by Piwi Mum @ Learning & Growing the Piwi Way Math Art – Geometry by Julie @ Highhill Education It's Math-magical by Missouri Mama @ Ozark Ramblings Virtual Curriculum Fair: Fun and Games with Math by Tonia @ The Sunny Patch Math for the Natural by Erin @ Delighting in His Richness Virtual Curriculum Fair~ Discovering Patterns by Karyn @ Teach Beside Me Too Many Math Programs or Not by Linda B @ Homeschooling6 Virtual Curriculum Fair: Math and More! by April @ Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum The post where I admit I was wrong by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset


Susan said...

Love the real life science adventures. ;0)

I'm wondering how things will be once we get to high school math---fortunately I have a live in tutor (dh has tutored and has taught some college level math) so maybe my life will actually get a little easier. ;0)

Thank you for sharing with the Virtual Curriculum Fair.

TechWife said...

The Virtual Curriculum Fair is so much fun! Years ago we spent hours on the NASA web site each week. Now that Rocket Boy is in high school, we should visit it again to peruse the high school articles and activities. Thanks for the reminder.

Kristi said...

Oh my goodness, your science walks sound like SO much fun!! Thank you so much for sharing!

annette from A Net In Time said...

I hadn't heard of some of your resources before. Thanks for telling me about them. :)

Joelle said...

Thanks for all these resources. Have you tried the courses from RTB? I listen to their podcast on a regular basis.