Science Ideas

Posted On July 26, 2008

Filed under Charlotte Mason, Science

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The objective of Charlotte’s nature study is to help the child learn to be observant. Who can see the most and tell the most about….any plant, insect or anything nearby. This appears to be an early form of narration. With as little talking as possible and absolutely no lecturing, have them notice the geography of the area, the position of the sun, the weather, and the clouds.

Take them where they will find things worth observing. Charlotte wanted children to have beautiful memories of their childhood. Our memories are blurry because we did not slow down and really look. Have the children look, then shut their eyes and describe the scene. If it is blurry have them look again, then close their eyes and describe.

Learn to recognize plants, stones, constellations, birds, field crops, and leaves. Be extremely careful not to burden the verbal memory with scientific nomenclature. Teach the thing before the name. A child will learn the name when the item is present and she needs a name for it. Teach the correct term like pollen or antennae instead of sticky up thing.

Get sample pieces of woods in lengthwise and crosswise cuts and compare the natural state of it to the finished state of being oiled and polished. (Wood Identification Kit from Woodcraft includes 50 4×9 samples for $30).

Science Ideas
~Keep a calendar of when the first leaves fall or when the fruit tree first ripened for the year. ~Children should know the leaves of their neighborhood. They should be noticing some leaves are heart shaped, others divided, some fall off in winter.
~With time they will distinguish between petal, sepal and other flower parts.
~They will see on their own that some creatures have backbones and others do not.
~Give them a pocket compass and a microscope or magnifying glass. Buy the best you can afford and check it at the store to be sure it focuses well.
~Notice the winds and tell them the wind is named by what direction it comes from (You are American even if you go to Canada).
~Have them walk a distance and measure how far they’ve walked.
~Place a caterpillar in a box with a netting over it and watch it spin.
~Keep an ant farm
~Gather frogs’ eggs and place them in a large glass jar. After the tadpoles begin to form legs, take them back and release them.
~Keep silkworms
~DO NOT pull flowers apart in the name of botany or destroy life.

Source: A Charlotte Mason Education; A Home Schooling How To Manual by Catherine Levison