Wednesday 15 July 2015

Science & Natural History with a 15 Year old Boy

In my last post I shared some thoughts on coming to Ambleside Online late, and the adjustments I made with my older children. This post follows on from some of what I wrote there as it concerns Benj who started AO when he was 12 years of age.

He is nearing the end of AO Year 8 and as many of you would know, this particular year has been updated recently to add in living books for science. Apart from Phineas Gage, one of the new additions which he'd already read a couple of years ago, we've just continued with the book selections before the new plans were added. I added in books to bring him more into line with his actual grade level of Year 10.

What he's done this year:

Natural History - we continue to use Insect Life in Australasia by William Gillies for our special studies. There's a good article here which explains how to implement these studies. We've been doing this once a week as well as continuing with nature walks. In the past two weeks we had a day at the beach and an afternoon/early evening walk at the riverside.

Understanding Physics by Isaac Asimov - he's enjoying this book and earlier in the year used Apologia Physical Science for experiment ideas which worked quite well. I found some interesting  videos recently I knew would appeal to him - posted here - and the notebook page above was based on one of them.

Apologia Biology - I picked out a few modules for him to work through; mostly the sections on the cell & DNA. It's a fairly dense book and he's more interested in other areas of science but I'd like him to do some biology and will probably include a biography or other narrative science book on this subject when I find one I like.

From the Year 8 selections:

The Microbe Hunters
William Harvey and the Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood 
Johann Kepler bio

Pelicans checking out the local fisherman

Special Study - Insects

From Benj's Biology readings:

The sun descending in the west,   
  The evening star does shine;   
The birds are silent in their nest.   
  And I must seek for mine.

William Blake


Silvia said...

Aw... lovely post. Always so encouraging. I love your Benj boy.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for sharing this!

Carol said...

Thanks Silvia. Your comments are always very encouraging to me.

Carol said...

You're very welcome.

prairiegirl said...

Carol, thank you so much for sharing this. I have decided to start AO with my 14 ye. old, gr. 9 boy this year. He will be doing Yr. 8 but in looking at the books for science, I am thinking that we might just start with Yr. 7 for science. I like how you put in sections of Apologia to 'meat it up' for a high school course. That gives me a lot to think about. Thank you.

Carol said...

That's probably a good idea as a few of the Year 7 books carry on into Year 8. The other thing to consider is that a couple of the Yr 8 books fit specifically into that time period - Microbe Hunters (only 1 chapter) Tiner's bio of Kepler, for example. Just thought you could perhaps add these if you wanted extra??

Celeste said...

He lays out his pages in such an orderly but creative way--I always love seeing his work! Thank you for sharing this with us, Carol.