Elemental Science began with me writing a classical science program for our daughter. I had fallen in love with the idea of a classical education but wasn't so enamored with the science options before me.
Over the last ten years, I have written and shared a few things about science in classical education. I figured it was about time for us to create an ultimate guide so that you could find all those tips in one place!
Here's what we'll cover in this post - you can click the links to go directly to that section if you would like to do so!
Without further ado, let's dive in!
Classical education, in a nutshell, is an educational model that focuses on teaching the students to think critically as well as training them to be familiar with how to learn.
Classical education does not believe that you will be able to cover everything in the 12+ years the students are in school. Rather, it covers the highlights and provides the students with the skills to know how to fill in the gaps on their own.
There are several flavors of classical education in the homeschool world at the moment. The most notable are:
They all teach that there are stages, or cycles, of learning that every student goes through in his or her educational journey.
In each stage, you are teaching to the student’s strengths and working on building the skills that will become assets in the next stage.
You can learn more about classical education from the following books:
If you find classical education a bit later in your homeschooling journey, here are a few tips to help you decide what to do if you find classical education mid-cycle.
Now that we understand what classical education is, let's look at how science should be taught.
There are three keys to teaching science:
These three pieces need to be represented in each week of your plan. They work together to create a solid science curriculum.
On top of that, a solid plan for science will start early and build upon itself throughout the years. We all recognize that the body of scientific knowledge can not be taught in the span of four years and many of the basic concepts of science can be learned at a young age.
You can learn more about teaching science at home from the following books we have written:
Science is taught like any other subject in the classical education model.
You focus on the different skills of the subject that are appropriate for each stage while seeking to build their knowledge base at each level.
For science, The Well-Trained Mind suggests that you do this by following a four-year cycle, with each year focusing on a different field of science.
Then you rinse and repeat, digging deeper into each discipline as you progress through the stages.
For a more detailed look at what science in the classical education model looks like, check out the following series:
For a more personal glimpse, check out the following:
You can also listen to the following podcasts to about classical science:
The classical student will not follow the traditional model, but rest assured, he or she will be well prepared to handle the rigors college-level science when that time arrives.
We provide easy-to-use plans for classical science, which have earned a top recommendation from the authors of The Well-Trained Mind. You can learn about our programs by clicking on the links:
Rhetoric Stage (High School)
Hands-on science - what can you use? Why do you have to do this? And how do you actually do experiments at home? Click "Read More" to get the answers.
Writing for homeschool science - what should it look like? And how do you know if you are doing it right? Click "Read More" to learn the answers!
The periodic table visually shows the elements. It is a key concept we need to share with our students, but which table is the right one - click "Read More" to find out.