FREE Shipping on all our products! (Please expect 2.5 weeks for delivery due to  transit delays. We ship every day including Saturday


Your Cart is Empty

Which is better traditional science or classical science? {Season 9, Episode 116}

June 06, 2022 6 min read

Which one is better - the traditional way of teaching science or classical science? This episode will answer just that.

Welcome back to season 9 of the Tips for Homeschool Science podcast where we are sharing both audio and video for a short season on classical education and homeschool science.

In this episode, we'll be discussing how classical science compares to traditional science and a few of the benefits we have found from doing classical science.

Key Takeaways

  • The classical student won’t follow the traditional model, but you can rest assured that they will be prepared for what’s ahead.
  • We found that classical education allowed us to dig deep into an area of science to come up with questions that our student had.
  • The way that classical education approaches science already has the foundation of success already woven into a plan for science.

Listen to this episode

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Podcast Addict, Castbox, Stitcher, or Spotify.

Share the Tips

If you found these homeschool science tips to be helpful, would you please take a moment to rate it in the podcasting app you use to listen to the show? This would help me tremendously in getting the word out so that more earbuds are filled with science-teaching encouragement.

Episode 116 - Which is better traditional science or classical science? Transcript

00:00 - 00:29

Traditional science or classical science? Which one should you use? Hi, I'm Paige Hudson. And you're listening to the Tips for Homeschool Science Show, where we're breaking down the lofty ideals of teaching science into building blocks you can use in your homeschool.

(Intro Music)

So how does classical science compare to the traditional scope and sequence that you would find in the public school?

00:29 - 00:56

Well, first of all, classical science doesn't follow the typical state standards in that same order. That said, if you complete the four year cycle, you will cover all the same topics and probably a bit more than you would find in the typical public school curriculum. For example, the typical standards don't usually cover a lot of chemistry and physics in the elementary years, whereas with the classical educator, you will cover those.

00:57 - 01:20

The students who's classically educated will also study each discipline twice before high school. This means that they'll have a chance to interact with the basic facts and principles of science before they get to the tough concepts that they'll find in high school curriculum. This makes it possible for the classical student to be free to really study the math behind the science or these more difficult concepts because they've already covered them before.

Which one is better - the traditional way of teaching science or classical science? This episode will answer just that.

01:20 - 01:43

That's not to say that doing the traditional approach, you can't study the basic facts, but the classical student really does make sure that they hit all those basic facts and principles and laws and have a good understanding of those before they hit the high school years. So your classical student is not going to follow the traditional model, but you can rest assured that they will be prepared.

01:44 - 02:01

The classical student will be ready for the rigors of college science when they get there. And how do I know? Because I've seen it happen. So if you've listened to this podcast for any amount of time, you know that we have graduated our oldest. Now, I will say that we did not follow classical education to the letter of the law.

02:01 - 02:21

We didn't do every jot and tittle, but it was always our lighthouse or our guiding force behind our decisions for her education. And we did add a few things in. Even though she did online high school, we did add a lot of things in that had to do with the classical homeschool. Just to give her a broader, more rounded education.

02:22 - 02:48

So she wanted to be an engineer - no big surprise there as she's got two scientist parents. And because of her goals, we decided to seek out an online high school for her that would give her official transcripts just because it makes it a bit easier for the applying to colleges and the whole process in getting into an engineering program. Because it wasn't just about getting into the college it was also about getting into an engineering program.

02:48 - 03:15

So we wanted to start that process in eighth grade, and we had her do, rather, we were going to have her do online English and math as a part of that to get her kind of ready for that online high school. And surprise of all surprises, she tested into ninth grade. Thank you, classical education! So classical education definitely gave her a strong education, a strong foundation for her college, for her high school and for her college years.

03:16 - 03:42

So I don't say that to brag about our homeschool. Rather, I want to encourage you - those of you that are embarking on classical education journey to let you know that all this work is totally worth it because it really will prepare your students for the rigors of college education. So I feel like there were three things that classical education gave our daughter an edge over traditional approach to science.

03:42 - 04:12

And the first was that she learned to summarize well. So one of the hallmarks of classical education is narration. And we've talked about it during the grammar stage years, during their narration. Then, during the logic stage years taking those narrations and moving them into outlines, and writing paragraphs during the rhetoric stage years as they mature. Those skills of narration mature with them, and they really learn how to summarize a larger piece of writing, which is an excellent skill to have.

04:12 - 04:56

So the classical student puts a lot of time into practicing narrating and summarizing, but these skills are so useful and it really helped our daughter when she got to college, especially being able to read a lot of information and distill it down to what is key for them to know. And I thank classical education for that. The other thing that I think classical education and classical science in particular helped her to learn was to know how to analyze the information she reads. Again, from doing all these narrations and the summaries and tying it in with the experiments - having every piece tied together and then also looking at the events in science and seeing how that

04:56 - 05:36

looked in the bigger picture of history. All these opportunities to see not only the minute details, but to learn the facts and learn the details, but also see how those facts and details coordinate or fit into a larger picture of a discipline of science or in the larger picture of history. I think really helped our student learn to analyze the information that she read. So the third thing that I think classical science has an edge over traditional approach to science is it really helped our daughter learn to ask questions not that you can't do discussion time with a student when you're taking a more traditional approach to science.

05:36 - 05:57

But I really found that classical education allowed us to dig deep into an area of science to come up with questions that she had. We didn't just do a surface skim over things. Instead, we were allowed to dig deep into an area and really think about it and come up with questions and come up with ideas and really explore that.

05:57 - 06:24

There was the time and the freedom to explore an area of science that we were learning because we had a whole year to learn about it. And I feel like that extra time helped our student to learn to ask more questions about things. So again, I have nothing against the traditional approach to teaching science. I just wanted to highlight some of the benefits of classical education and the approach that classical education takes towards teaching science.

06:24 - 06:49

It's not that you can't apply some of these principles and help your student, you know, learn to think more critically and learn how to summarize and learn how to ask questions. In the traditional approach, you can certainly do those things. It just takes a little bit more effort. But classical education in the way that classical education approaches, science kind of already has that foundation or those principles already woven into what you're doing as a part of your plan

06:49 - 07:16

for science. So I hope you have enjoyed this look at classical education and homeschool science. Thanks for listening and I hope you have a great week playing with science.

(Exit Music)

Have you struggled with finding a science curriculum that fits the classical education model you want to use in your homeschool? Rest easy! At Elemental Science, we have easy-to-use, award-winning science plans to help you teach classical science to your students.

07:16 - 07:42

Each of our classical science programs will focus on an area of science all year long, giving you plans for weekly demonstrations or experiments for reading assignments from visually appealing children's encyclopedias from publishers like DK, Usborne, and Kingfisher. Plus, you'll have customized student pages specifically for what you are studying that week. The programs in our classical science series are part of Well-trained Mind’s

07:42 - 07:56

Top Recommendations, are part of Cathy Duffy's Top Picks, and every year homeschoolers say they love our programs! Come see how we can help you teach classical science in your homeschool at

Also in {Podcast} The Tips for Homeschool Science Show

How to use living books for elementary science {Season 10, Episode 119}

March 20, 2023 10 min read

What does it look like to use living books for elementary science? Come listen to what it looks like when you use a living book as your main source of information.

Living books for science, along with a few recommendations {Season 10, Episode 118}

March 13, 2023 8 min read

Come listen to what to look for in a living book for science, how you can use these books, and a few living book suggestions for you to check out! 

What is a Living Book? (with Leah Boden) {Season 10, Episode 117}

March 06, 2023 22 min read

What is a living book? Listen for this answer and more in episode 117 of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show.

Join Us