Physics for the Logic Stage is a physics curriculum written by a homeschooling mother with a science background and is aimed at students aged 12-13 (grades 7-8). It loosely follows the method for learning science in the logic stage as presented by Susan Wise Bauer in The Well-Trained Mind. It is part of a broader classical science series provided by Elemental Science that has guides for science in the grammar stage, logic stage, and rhetoric stage.
The curriculum is built around four key components - hands-on inquiry, information, writing, and a science project. The hands-on inquiry component guides students in observing science in life and practising the scientific method through weekly experiments. The information component gives students the opportunity to build their knowledge base through vocabulary study, researching, sketching and labelling. The writing component guides students in the skill of notetaking, outlining, narrating, and communicating what you have learned/observed in your own words. The science project is planned once for the year and gives students the opportunity to work through the scientific method on a topic of their choice.
Each week contains a series of assignment sheets for the student to follow with memory work, vocabulary studies, experiment and report guide, sketch page, and writing page. Two schedules are provided, a 2-day schedule and a 5-day schedule with optional quizzes and tests.
How We Are Using Physics for the Logic Stage
We are following the 2-day weekly schedule. On day 1 we complete the experiment, vocabulary study, enter dates onto the timeline, and look over the memory work. Day 2 includes the reading assignment from The Encyclopedia of Science, a written outline or Q&A response, memory work and completing the sketch. We are not following the full program or working through any of the extra ideas because this is not the only science we are working through. Our science for this year also includes a weekly homeschool science class exploring biology and a living science book from one of the AO living science suggestions.
Some Things I Appreciate in Physics for the Logic Stage
This curriculum contains some of my personal favourite components. It's laid out clearly, it's straightforward to follow, is as close to a pick-up-and-go science guide as you'll ever get (you still have to pick up extra materials for the experiments and projects - there is no way to avoid that!), it is not overcrowded with extra ideas and projects, can be worked through independently, and can be followed by a non-science Mama.
My 16 year old loves science but has trouble organising her ideas, maintaining neat and regular study habits, and developing her skills in thinking scientifically. This year she also required extra attention with vocabulary, outlining, and developing higher quality written responses to both general research and study questions and I saw a need for her to practise these skills across a variety of subject areas. This program, at this time, is providing a guide and framework for her to regularly engage in these skills of learning in a predictable and organised format while exploring a topic she loves.
My daughter sometimes gets lost amongst the literary language of the living science books we have been reading together, especially as we reach these higher levels of highschool level learning. Combining a literary science read aloud with the straightforward approach in this text has helped keep us moving along in science and not getting us bogged down. I am really liking this combination for us.
"...the reason geography is so valuable
is because it gives an opportunity to furnish the mind with ideas,
and to add pictures to the imagination.
That's what makes geography so educational.
from Volume 1: Home Education by Charlotte Mason
Topical CM Series
One of my favourite parts about planning a trip is digging out our maps, spreading them out over our table, and letting our eyes travel over the roads, rivers, national parks, and dot-towns scattered through the area we are planning to visit. Those names, dots, and lines mean something and I find myself wondering what the people are like, how they live and work, and how the local landscape looks and feels. Markings on a map cannot show us these things. But once our imagination takes hold of the pictures in our minds eye and in our experiences, those markings suddenly have meaning, including (but not limited to) where they are positioned on a map.
The geography series 'Visits To...' presented by Simply Charlotte Mason, is a geographical travel guide for families using maps and living books. It is designed to accommodate all ages so a family can learn together. When I had all three children homeschooling, our days were split into learning together times and learning independently times. Now, with just one daughter homeschooling, our days are split into personal tutoring time with me and her independent study time. As this series is new to us I began this book with her to help her get into the habit of following the guide and setting out of her maps and narrations in her notebook. Now she has the framework in place, she can complete the mapwork, narrations, and literature readings independently.
We are currently working through the Visits to South & Central America & Australia. This particular guide loosely connects with our modern time period history studies and some Aussie literature we are reading together.
Each section begins with some basic map labelling work and culminates in drawing your own complete map of the area being focussed on. A Meet the Families section is where you can meet families living in a country and learn about their work, lifestyles, and homelife through beautiful photo's and biographical sketches, followed up by discussion and narration. This combination of written biography and photo's assists young children and non-readers in igniting their own imaginations with the written word. Woven through these activities in a selection of living books to complement and expand on what is being introduced through the maps, photo's, short biographical sketches, and narrations. Books are listed for children ages 6-8 and for children aged 4-17. We are currently reading through Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl.
How We Are Using 'Visits To...'
The guide book is set out in an orderly and straightforward manner and can be a pick-up-and-go book if followed as laid out. I have tweaked it a little to suit our particular needs. My daughter is skipping the basic map labelling activities. Instead we look at the map in our visual atlas of the world and then she moves to the draw your own map section. Sometimes she follows the directions as written, sometimes I get her to add in some extra geographical or political features. I am encouraging her to experiment with different techniques for making her maps beautiful, like water colour, symbols, pen and ink line drawings.
Our week with Geography looks something like this:
~ Day 1 (Monday) - read Kon-Tiki and give an oral narration
~ Day 2 (Tuesday) - Complete the 'Meet the Families' section
add narrations to Geography notebook
~ Day 3 (Thursday) - Complete map work in Geography notebook
add notes to the Statistics Chart for each country visited
I think these 'Visits To...' series of geography guidebooks would suit homeschooling families who like to work together, for older students who appreciate having a framework and format to follow to mark their independent progress, and those new to the ideas of Charlotte Mason but feel like they need something concrete to help them find their feet while the begin implementing principles as they continue to learn and grow.
To learn more about Charlotte Mason's ideas of geography read here.