Books, Books, Books!

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On Thursday we went to the library and as we were getting into the car everyone was complaining about how terribly hungry they were. But when we got home out came the books and everyone except Anthony was rapt, faces firmly buried in their books. I had to almost pry them away to get them to eat lunch.

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Then I went to put Anthony down for his nap and shooed them all outside to play. When Anthony was asleep I found them happily swinging on the swings. I hesitated to call them in for story time when it was such a lovely day so I gathered a pile of books and a big blanket and headed out to the yard.

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When they spotted me, they first asked, “What are you doing? What are you doing?” Then I spread out the blanket under the maples trees and plopped the books down on it. “Books! Books! Books!” screamed Bella and Sophie and Ben as they ran across the yard and threw themselves down on the blanket. We had a lovely afternoon reading our way through the stack. When I went in to get some water I grabbed the camera because they made such a pretty picture.

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Then Bella, Sophie and Ben each had to take a few pictures with the camera.

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After a while Anthony woke up and joined us.

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  • I had a feeling this was the science you were using! I love Nebel’s books, even though they are a lot of work and planning. I have failed to implement, but I’m going to give it a second try this year. Just a wonderful review, Melanie!

  • Thanks, Jennifer. It might have been you whose mention of them inspired me to look up Nebel? They are a lot of work but the systematic approach is just so appealing to me. I figure even if we don’t finish the curriculum, we’re still better off using something that gets us excited about science.

  • Sorry! My comment wasn’t meant to be so obnoxious. I probably channeled all of my residual guilt over not using Nebel’s book into my comment. It really is terrific – I heard about it via Darwin Catholic, I think. I have a vague plan of using it in conjunction with various TOPS units (and, not to be That Commenter again, but I do think you’d enjoy those, too, and they don’t really require that the child be reading) – but I haven’t been disciplined enough about it to make said plan a reality. Which pretty much sums up the Speed Family Homeschool, in toto.

  • You are such a better homeschooler than I. I have that book, but I found it…overwhelming. I need to look at it more closely. I am finding that anything that isn’t “here, hand this to the kids so they can do it while you supervise” is probably not going to actually get used around here.

    Have you seen the individual units of study from TOPS? I am a big fan so far. We are doing the unit on electricity and I like that it gives lab sheets that the kids can use in conjunction with the instructions for the teacher.

  • Dorian, I didn’t find your comment obnoxious at all. My fear is actually that I won’t follow through and keep up with the curriculum as much as I love it. I think part of my motivation at publishing my review (which I began in draft form last November but never published because we petered out after two lessons) is in part an attempt to hold myself accountable for continuing with the lessons.

    I will look into the TOPS but probably not till we return from our journey. I find it hard to be in a homeschooling frame of mind while traveling.

    Goodness discipline isn’t at all a strength of the Bettinelli family homeschool so far and I don’t anticipate getting much better. In fact this post of Lissa’s spoke to me because I fully expect that in a decade’s time I’ll be like her looking over a homeschooling history strewn with resources purchased and not used.

  • Dorian,

    First, note that I’ve only done three lessons in a year. I do find it a bit overwhelming to implement; but when I do get around to it, it has a huge payoff. I love the idea so much, though, I’m determined to keep trying to make it work.

    Second, Bella can’t read yet so there is no such thing as a “here hand this to the kids so they can do it while you supervise” with her yet. Everything has to be interpreted and explained and read to her.

  • I think teaching the foundations of scientific thinking early is very important, but it is also very difficult. In Finland where I live our education system often ranks highly in PISA tests and other measurements, but on my opinion not enough attention is paid to teaching the fundamentals of scientific reasoning in basic education. It is not the same as teachging mathematics.