|from A Gardener's Almanac by Mary Azarian|
Science, a Vast and Joyous Region
Science is one of these provinces. Here, the stars are measured, the ocean sounded, and the wind made the servant of man; here, every flower that blooms reveals the secret of its growth, and every grain of sand recounts its history. This is a vast and joyous realm; for the people who walk therein are always discovering new things, and each new thing is a delight, because the things are not a medley, but each is a part of the great whole. So immense is the realm of Science that one of the wisest and greatest travellers therein, who had discovered many things, said, when he was an old man, that he was only like a little child playing with pebbles on the beach. -Charlotte Mason, Ourselves, p. 35
That wise and great traveler was none other than Sir Isaac Newton.* Mason assures us that we can make science that wide place where each new thing is a delight. I don't think the answer is in dry textbooks but in living books with plenty of time and space to explore and discover. Some of the books we have been talking about this week are Longitude by Sobel, The Story Book of Science by Fabre, The Disappearing Spoon by Kean, The Cloudspotter's Guide by Pretor-Pinney, Raymond Ditmars by Wood, Microbe Hunters by De Kruif, The Mayos by Regli, Secrets of the Universe by Fleisher, The Search for the Elements by Asimov, The Practical Geologist by Dixon and The Seven States of Minnesota by Toren. One of the beauties of homeschooling with the Mason method is that nothing is really read in isolation. So when 6 people are reading different books, everyone is hearing narrations from other books, watching experiments by others, and sharing in the new ideas as well as grappling with them. (Myself included - and I grapple a lot.)
A science drawing narration is required here at least once a week by each student. We have used many different notebooks over the years. We have found one that is a favorite - the Fusion by Cachet. It has lines on the left side and a blank page on the right, as shown in the pictures that follow. If you want to read more about our science narration journals, see this post.
From joy to joy,
*Here is the quote from Newton:
“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”