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Science - Each New Thing is a Delight

from A Gardener's Almanac by Mary Azarian

 Science, a Vast and Joyous Region

Science is one of these provinces. Here, the stars are measured, the ocean sounded, and the wind made the servant of man; here, every flower that blooms reveals the secret of its growth, and every grain of sand recounts its history. This is a vast and joyous realm; for the people who walk therein are always discovering new things, and each new thing is a delight, because the things are not a medley, but each is a part of the great whole. So immense is the realm of Science that one of the wisest and greatest travellers therein, who had discovered many things, said, when he was an old man, that he was only like a little child playing with pebbles on the beach. -Charlotte Mason, Ourselves, p. 35

That wise and great traveler was none other than Sir Isaac Newton.*  Mason assures us  that we can make science that wide place where each new thing is a delight.  I don't think the answer is in dry textbooks but in living books with plenty of time and space to explore and discover.  Some of the books we have been talking about this week are Longitude by Sobel, The Story Book of Science by Fabre, The Disappearing Spoon by Kean, The Cloudspotter's Guide by Pretor-Pinney, Raymond Ditmars by Wood, Microbe Hunters by De Kruif, The Mayos by Regli, Secrets of the Universe by Fleisher, The Search for the Elements by Asimov, The Practical Geologist by Dixon and The Seven States of Minnesota by Toren.  One of the beauties of homeschooling with the Mason method is that nothing is really read in isolation.  So when 6 people are reading different books, everyone is hearing narrations from other books, watching experiments by others, and sharing in the new ideas as well as grappling with them. (Myself included - and I grapple a lot.)

A science drawing narration is required here at least once a week by each student.  We have used many different notebooks over the years. We have found one that is a favorite  - the Fusion by Cachet.  It has lines on the left side and a blank page on the right, as shown in the pictures that follow.  If you want to read more about our science narration journals, see this post.






From joy to joy,
Nancy

*Here is the quote from Newton:
“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

More science journal posts -
Science Narration Journals
My Calendar of Firsts

14 comments:

  1. Your notebooks are inspiring. Where did you find the Fusion notebooks? Those would be ideal for us.

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    1. Dear CLL,

      Thank you! I found ours at Michael's using a 40% off coupon. Sometimes all the sketchbooks go 40% off which was the case last time I bought them - and I bought a bunch for the future! They are carried by many stores. Ours are 10 x 7.

      HTH!
      Nancy

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  2. This is what I love too: 'So when 6 people are reading different books, everyone is hearing narrations from other books, watching experiments by others, and sharing in the new ideas as well as grappling with them.' Just this morning my youngest was listening in to her older brother's narration and started asking him questions...so good.

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    1. Dear Carol,

      Indeed it is! And the cumulative effect of such listening is astounding!

      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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    2. I'm seeing this also this year! I am so tickled about it! Also in Group Narration, I see some neat things happening... :)

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  3. Great post! I actually had my Anne (10) start a Science journal last year after poking around here...I bought ones this year for my boys as well. We are just starting to use them...we are reading The Moon in Fact and Fancy and I hope to have them do some entry's about the moons phases...those journals look PERFECT. I'll have to look for those or something similar next time. :)

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    1. Dear Amy,
      Do be sure to post some of your pictures, too!
      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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  4. Nancy~

    Thank you that I can spend a few minutes reading one of your posts while I re-heat a cup of tea and go from overwhelmed to inspired. You are so good at giving your readers both inspiration (with your ideology) and motivation (with your methodology). And the pictures are always appreciated! Claudia

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    1. Dear Claudia,
      What kind and gracious words from you today! Thank you. You are an encourager!
      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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  5. Nancy,

    Lovely!! Thanks for sharing so much of your experience and wisdom. I wonder what age you think is appropriate for starting a science notebook. We taught/used them a bit in teacher's college and in workshops but in general the students I taught (1st-2nd) didn't write enough to make much of a journal, really. My oldest is 9, 4th grade this year studying Science in Ancient Greece, and I wonder if I should start this this year or a little later. We don't follow AO (we use mostly Mater Amabilis) but I was thinking of adding some of their living science book selections in addition to encourage journaling. But I wonder if I should wait until he's a little older. We are starting written narrations this year, as well.

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    1. Dear Amanda,
      Why don't you just wait a little and let him get comfortable with his written narrations first? All of mine started these drawing narrations in either 4th or 5th grade. It was a welcomed change of pace from their oral narrating and they were excited to begin in their journals. Maybe start by telling him that it will be something he will get to do soon? I think it is important to remember that this is a narration and that they are telling back what they have read. The first year or so probably won't look like the pictures up in the post, just as their first written narrations probably won't be as long or thorough.
      HTH,
      Nancy

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  6. The notebooks are so beautiful!

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  7. what a great find for a science lab book! it works perfectly! It really helps to have that blank page to encourage illustrations. thank you for sharing.

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  8. This year my big kids are taking their lead for nature study from "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" by Edith Holden. They are journalling down one side of a spread and periodically drawing (1-2 times per week) on the other. I didn't know there was this kind of notebook though! It would have made things so much easier - and tidier. Thank you so much for sharing that, as well as your thoughts. You are always an inspiration - in a reassuring, come back down to earth kind of way. Just the kind of inspiration I need.

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