Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Science and Purim... gotta love Nancy Larson!

A few months ago, we were fortunate to receive the Nancy Larson Science Homeschool Kit to review, which is just fabulous. I have written about it in the past, and we just can't get enough of it!

The fact that I am a left handed Pisces and am a lot more artistically inclined then Scientifically inclined, makes it very ironic that my little guy is OBSESSED with finding out how EVERYTHING works, and why, and when and what etc.

So when we are learning about Purim, you would think I would be safe from going in the direction of Science- but oh no... check out these tangents that the little guy led us on and thanks to Nancy Larson, he was completely satisfied with his answers!

She just explains things SO clearly and literally has the dictation written out on how to explain each thing to the kids. There is constant repetition and review so by the time we are done with a topic, the kids completely understand it and feel really good about it. I wish she had other subjects, the way she gives over information is just wonderful. She does have a specific order in which to learn the curriculum, but for us, we incorporate it into the other subjects we are learning at that present time.

It all started out when we were baking Hamantashen, (with this recipe!)

when the little guy goes, "mommy, where do the Hamantashen go when we eat them?" so I told him it goes into our tummies. "I know," he says, "but HOW does it get into our tummies?" .... looks like a job for.... NANCY!

So we took out this fabulous book that comes with the set and read about and looked at gorgeous simple illustrations of digestion. We spoke about this for quite a while...

Then he is looking at the windpipe and asks, "what's that for?"... and we move on to the respiratory system! There are workbooks and student pages and it is all so clear and simple, he completely got it. So we were talking about the lungs and I took his hand and put it on his ribs to show him where his lungs are- little did I know that now we had to talk about the BONES! To which I told him we would do the following day (didn't want to cram him with too much info in one day).

So the next day, first thing in the morning, he wants to learn about the bones. Now this was SUCH a huge hit- the Science kit came with a true to life size X-ray copies of the entire body (child's body), so we lay it out on the table and used it with the different books and workbooks and felt our own bones and he was just completely engrossed. I think we may have a future doctor on our hands, and I'm not just saying that cos I'm a Jewish mother:)

Here is one of the books-
and our x-ray man- it comes with all the names of each bone that you can put on it, but we didn't get that far. We did look at the femur bone and he felt his and we spoke about Yakov and his fight with the Malach and how he broke his femur bone- he was fascinated!

Ok, so later on in the day we got back to talking about Purim... and my hubby told the kids how Esthers name was Haddasah which means "myrtle" and a myrtle tree is an evergreen tree. We learn that even in the Palace, Esther kept her Jewish ways, just like an evergreen tree, no matter what weather it is in, it stays the same.

Evergreen trees. "mommy, do we have any evergreen trees outside? what do trees that are NOT evergreens look like?" Oh NANCY! I took out the cards that the Science Kit came with and we put them down on the table which made things VERY clear to the kiddos.

Each card had the 2 trees on each side in each season. You see how the evergreen tree stays exactly the same through each season and how the deciduous tree changes with each season.
and then I really have no idea how we got to talking about mammals, but Nancy to the rescue once again! The kit came with a bunch of different large clear cards for the different subjects, so we took cards of mammals and non mammals and divided them up to get a clear picture on what mammals are and what constitutes one to be a mammal. The little guy got a kick out of the fact that humans and certain animals are BOTH mammals:)

So yes, this is such a fabulous kit, we use it all the time and whether you are using it like you SHOULD (as a curriculum in the order it is written) or like us, to fit in with everything else we are learning about at that time, it just works.

Oh, and to any orthodox Jewish homeschooling moms, I have not found anything in the curriculum that contradicts Torah- it is a very pareve kit.

Wishing all a wonderful week,

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