Posted on Leave a comment

3 Benefits of a Historical Approach to Science

science through history box set

If you have multiple children in elementary level studies, good news! Dr. Wile’s elementary science series contains multi-level books you can use for any grade K-6.

Science Through HiStory is elementary science simplified!

And the unique feature of this wonderful course is it uses history as its guide.

Science concepts are presented in the order they were discovered while constantly reminding students of the Creator who fashioned the marvels they are studying.

How We Teach Science: Historical vs. Topical

Most elementary science programs are built around a topical approach to science where students work through a unit focused on one area of science (i.e., weather) before moving to a different topic.

But Berean Builders’ five-volume Science Through HiStory series takes a completely different approach, exploring science through a chronological journey through science.

Students learn science in the order it was discovered by the great scientists of history. As a result, the topics change frequently.

For example, in the first 15 lessons of Science in the Ancient World, students learn about measuring tall things, fire, music, atoms, and medicine. The topics are unified by the people who studied them and the way science was developing at the time.

You may be asking, “Why chronological science?”

3 Reasons to Teach Science Using a Historical Approach

  1. Students learn the enormous debt science owes to Christianity. 

Many unsuspecting students are taught that Christianity has opposed science throughout history. In fact, if it weren’t for Christianity, we wouldn’t have the science we have today. When a

student sees how science developed, this truth becomes obvious.

  1. Students get a more realistic view of how science works.

Science is mostly about making mistakes and then learning from those mistakes. For example, in other curricula, students could be taught a brief synopsis of how the scientific view of the solar system changed over time. In our course, they learn in detail what scientists initially thought and see each major step that produced the modern view of the solar system.

  1. Thanks to frequent review, students have better retention. 

In a historical approach, students continually revisit science topics but in the context of a new person and how he refined an old idea. This narrative method makes science more interesting than a topical approach so children remember the material longer.

For more information about our historical approach to science, see p. 4 of the catalog.

The Eras of Science Through HiStory

science in the beginning book cover

Science in the Beginning uses the Biblical days of creation to introduce a wide range of scientific topics including the nature of light, energy conservation, the properties of air and water, introductory botany, our solar system, basic zoology, and some aspects of human anatomy and physiology.

science in the ancient world book cover

Science in the Ancient World covers the work of the natural philosophers who lived from about 600 BC to the early 1500s AD and presents science as it was developed. The ancient scientists, some who were devout Christians, got a lot right but also missed the mark on certain ideas. We explore these mistakes to advance our understanding of the natural world.

science in the scientific revolution book cover

Science in the Scientific Revolution spends time with natural philosophers from 1543 to the end of the 1600s covering new science concepts as they were discovered. From human anatomy to electricity and the laws of motion, this book shows the scientific thinking of the philosophers who embraced the Christian faith.

science in the age of reason book cover

Science in the Age of Reason sheds light on the discoveries of scientists from the 1600s to the early 1800s. The book covers a wide range of topics being discovered at the time and allows students a peek into the worldview of these pioneers and how that worldview shaped their scientific conclusions.

science in the industrial age book cover

Science in the Industrial Age encompasses the multitude of scientific discoveries that took place during the 1800s and early 1900s. The variety of topics covered includes biology, chemistry, geology, medicine, cell biology, and radiation, and brings to light how the worldview of the scientists affected the conclusions they drew.

Flexible and Engaging Science for Elementary Students

Each of these books can be used as a stand-alone science text and presents plenty of hands-on activities to keep elementary students engaged and curious.

Plus, with three levels of review for the lessons, you can adjust the level of challenge for each individual child. Older students can work with their younger siblings to enrich their science learning experience.

Coordinate Your History and Science Lessons If You Choose

What’s this special approach that no other science program takes? It’s a chronological one.

With this linear approach, it seems a natural fit to synchronize your Berean science to whatever history program you’re using. We have a guide here where you can find detailed notes for meshing these popular history programs with the Science Through HiStory series:

  • Biblioplan
  • Diana Waring
  • My Father’s World
  • The Mystery of History
  • Simply Charlotte Mason
  • Story of the World
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Veritas

But Should I Synchronize My Science and History Programs?

Yes, aligning your history and science programs may make sense on the surface, but please be forewarned: The process is a bit difficult and not all that beneficial.

First of all, history progressed at a steady pace, but science did not. Science started out slowly and then gained a lot of momentum as the Christian worldview developed. It gained even more momentum as technology developed.

For example, Science in the Ancient World covers about 2,100 years of history. The next book, Science in the Scientific Revolution, covers only 200 years. And the remaining two books, Science in the Age of Reason and Science in the Industrial Age, cover only 100 years each. Science in the Atomic Age (for junior high) also covers only about 100 years.

Your history program’s pace may not match at all!

We think the best thing you can do is cover history and science separately without worrying about matching them up perfectly. When you encounter the same ideas, scientists, or events in a different course, you get a chance to review what was already covered!

Your homeschool is a reflection of you and your family’s needs and goals.

We are delighted to offer this flexible, chronological approach to elementary science you can use in the way that works best for you!

And, as always, we are available to answer your questions about how to get the most out of our courses for your unique homeschool experience.

 

 

Posted on 3 Comments

Why We Teach The Sciences In A Specific Order

Remember when you were in high school? You probably took science in this order: Biology, Chemistry, Physics.

What is the reason for this sequence? To keep the subjects in alphabetical order?

Far from it.

The study of each of these sciences requires a certain level of understanding in mathematics for each. This discourages lower grades from leaping right into physics.

But What About Conceptual Physics For Lower Grades?

Some educational institutions have attempted to circumvent this by offering something called conceptual physics in lower grades.

And while it may offer a basic grasp of physics concepts, conceptual physics does not lead to a deep understanding of the science behind the equations.

Math-based physics is a superior approach in order for students to have an appreciation for the operations they are performing to demonstrate a physical concept.

A statement attributed to prominent physicist Ernest Rutherford is,

“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.”

In other words, we must understand the processes of biology, chemistry, and the other sciences through the lens of physics, or we’re simply gathering disconnected facts.

Physics, Or Natural Philosophy, Is The Basis For All The Sciences

Early scientists were all physicists. At the time, physics was called natural philosophy and focused on understanding the laws of the universe.

Speaking broadly, physics is the basis of everything, and to comprehend this broad natural philosophy, scientists needed to understand math.

Galileo stated it best when he said,

“Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written.

This book is written in the mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”

And to comprehend physics, students must have a firm grasp of trigonometry.

We Teach High School Science Backwards

So, we teach high school science “backwards”.

  • Our courses begin with biology, which only requires basic math skills.
  • Then we offer chemistry, which needs an understanding of algebra to grasp.
  • And finally, we dive into physics after the student has moved through geometry and trigonometry.

Alphabetical order, maybe, but for a very concrete reason.

If we were to begin with the hardest subject, even though it’s the basis for all science, we’d turn some students off, as they would struggle without strong math skills.

In short, no trig, no physics.

The Importance Of Keeping Students Engaged In Science Courses

Even students who don’t naturally gravitate toward the sciences are more likely to stick with science courses if they start with the easier math-based subjects before they move on to physics.

And it turns out, students who have taken trig-based physics (versus conceptual physics) in high school do better at university with a calculus-based course.

As you’re looking through our course sequence, you’ll notice we have math prerequisites listed for each.

Once your student has mastered the specific math levels, you can confidently approach that science for the year.

Not Ready For Higher Level Sciences? No Problem

But what if your student isn’t mathematically ready for the next subject?

You can fill in their science requirements with any one of the other basic courses we have available while you wait for their math skills to catch up.

Give your student the best chance at learning and appreciating science by following our course schedule to offer the appropriate subject based on the level of math they have mastered.

Posted on Leave a comment

Transcripts for Homeschool High School

Mother and son working at table

The holidays are behind us. Now we can take a deep breath and dive into a fresh new year of possibilities.

What’s up so far?

You’re still not sure about in-person homeschool conventions.

It’s too early to start researching textbooks for the next school year.

However, maybe you resolved to finally do something about that transcript you know you need to create for your student.

This is your year to see this resolution to completion. But where to start?

Making a high school transcript can sometimes feel daunting but you can do it!

Continue reading Transcripts for Homeschool High School