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Elementary Science Education

Not Clear on Getting Started

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      Not clear on getting started.


      I have a sequencing question.

      I know you say the lessons should be done in tandem but am unsure
      exactly what you mean by that. Sitting done for a science lesson is
      something we’ll be doing once a week and I can’t see us doing 3 or 4
      strands at one time. I’m sorry to say but the flowchart is confusing to me. Am I to rotate through the strands to do a Progression A, B, C, D lesson/topic (unless 2 lessons are closely linked and should be done in short sequence).


      Any one of your weekly lessons, I expect, will address a single lesson in the book. Indeed, you may find that you will want to stick with a given lesson for more than a week to get the ideas to sink in. Then, you may want to stick with lessons in a given thread for several weeks. But don’t expect to follow it all the way through to the end before shifting to another thread. 

      What I mean by carrying on the Progressions on more or less in tandem, is that your lessons for the year should include getting started on and moving forward with lessons in each of the threads. But, at what point you decide to shift from one thread to another and back  will be up to you. Play it according to your children’s interests, weather, and other opportunities. For example, beautiful spring days are great for getting outdoors and the life science lessons (Progression B) go hand in hand with what you see and find. Lessons in other threads are great for indoor activities when weather is not suitable for getting out. 

      Another related question is exactly where to start into a given strand. The lessons within each thread are designed to build logically and systematically from #1, #2, etc. (down the flowchart following the arrows). But, if your child already understands the concept of gravity, horizontal, and vertical, for example,  it would be pointless to spend much time on Lesson D-1 except as a brief review to bring her/him up to speed. Thus, start into and proceed with a thread according to what your child currently knows/understands, or does not know/understand. 

      A final point is the idea of sitting your children down at a given time in a given place for a specific lesson. With formal education this is a necessity, but go back a few generations to before the advent of widespread formal education. Kids worked along with their fathers and mothers and learned in a hands-on-continuing-discussion way the hows and whys of what needed to be done. Now, science is entwined with everything we do or experience. Therefore, think about how a given lesson relates/applies to various aspects of your everyday life, and through discussion, guide your children in seeing such connections. (Actually, I have had many parents report that they are blown away by their kids making such connections and coming out with them by themselves. When this occurs it shows that the lesson has really “taken root.”) You will find suggestions for making such connections in the “Questions/Discussion/Activities…” and “To Parents…” sections of each lesson.

      Bernie Nebel

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