Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Insect Unit Study~Charlotte Mason Style~


Summer is here and that means so are the insects~ My boys have been collecting them and keeping them for "further" study. Yup, they have... we have them in a few ziplock baggies and then also some of the styrofoam trays you get from the groccery store ( typically used for our painting palettes :) )

They are there and ready to go... hmmm, well we started an Insect Study last year from Great Science Adventures. {See below for explanation of what Great Science Adventures is and read my review}

It went pretty well, once we got going there was lots of information, and I mean alot. We never really finished it and yet I found myself overwhelmed to jump back into it again. So it sat, all ready to be worked on and looking great with our beautiful lapbook covers :) .

If you have been reading my blog lately you will have seen me post more about my learning and understanding about Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick methods of teaching. I think this is one more reason I never really jumped back into finishing this unit. I also found the boys were not that eager to work on it as well.

Then I found Katies Homeschool Cottage. A Charlotte Mason based blog that is quite helpful with resources and information. I joined her newsletter and found that she was in the midst of writing a unit study ~ (something I had been very interested in doing) for what else? INSECTS.

This is a CM based Unit study which reading about I thought would be just perfect for us. It had all the elements of what we were looking for and what we enjoyed. Combining notebooking, some and online activities, poetry, listings of "living books", copywork and lesson plans. The lesson plans are even separated by level, for multi-level teaching. There is much more to read about here: http://charlottemasonhomeschooling.wordpress.com/

The E-book is just perfect and once we work through the unit I plan to post back and list the activities we chose, (since we can pick and choose what activities we wish to do) and the fun we experienced.

I believe I had read that Katie is working currently on a Nature Study Unit. I will be very interested in reading about this more also. It's so nice to have everything all in one place and all the research and resources already done for me.. it just doesnt get any better than this~ .. I wonder if she will be doing any for History? Hmm I will have to find out about that... sure would be fun~

I am hopeful Katies Homeschool Cottage is successful in this endeavor, because it would be nice to continue to use these comprehensive studies in our learning at home.

Great Science Adventures
Table of Contents
Sample Lessons for Insects and Arachnids

This series is perfect for the confident lapbooker. It is filled with lapbooking folds, activities, experiments, online research and the "Little Science" Books are really neat for the boys to read from while learning the invidualized concepts.

The science program is multi level so it can be used to teach a variety of different ages and also abilities.

I think our favorite part so far in this book was the 3D insect book we began.. the outcome of these projects are really neat to see.

For us, this program was a bit too much cutting and pasting and folding. Somehow for my learners information was lost as it traveled it's way through the folds and lapbook activities.

My opinion of this particular program is it would be a perfect fit for the crafty, hands on learner who loves to lapbook. These books when completed are wonderful works and can be used as wonderful references in future learning. ( I have found many children love to use their own work for reference in further in depth learning).

I hope this brief review helps to explain GSA just a bit more~ :)

Happy Science Adventures~

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