Thursday, May 24, 2007

How do I start?

Read. This is the foundation of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy—reading good single-authored, engaging books. Living books pique a child’s interest and imagination. Children sense the author’s excitement for a subject which often makes them excited about it as well. These same principles apply to science and math as they do to history and literature, though non-nature science is the most scarce.

Explore. Children learn through play, adults learn through experience. Activities and experiments are at the core of science learning. Charlotte Mason considered the laboratory first and then the engaging books to go along with it. Science is about understanding and describing God’s world around us. It usually starts with an observation, followed by a question, which is then answered through experimentation. Not all children are going to be scientists; still there is merit in the observation-question-experiment paradigm. It promotes reflective thinking when considering why things happen, and logical thinking when designing even simple experiments. These skills can be applied to other areas of life as well. How you integrate reading and exploring is up to you and your children, and hope to give you some great ideas here.

With a good activity book and a shelf full of Living Science books, you’re ready to go!

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