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How do you "do" the Tiner books for science?

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    How do you "do" the Tiner books for science?

    I'm considering using 3 of the Tiner books for science. But not knowing a lot about how MP does science, I'm wondering what a typical day really involves. I've looked at the guides and my kids are underwhelmed. It just looks like reading and answering questions, and they're used to experiements and labs. So, this doesn't really trip their trigger. However, I like the deep rather than wide approach of MP and so will do what I think is best. I want genuine learning that they will remember. We cannot afford MPOA at this time so they would be doing it at home. I'm just wondering if there's more to it than what we see at first glance. Do you add anything to it? Can you give me ideas to make them come alive a bit? I'm thinking Medicine and Astronomy for sure.

    Hi Meadowlark!

    In all the lower school courses of science with MP, our children focus on building their body of knowledge of the natural world - things they can go out in their own backyards to observe and experience. This provides them with the opportunity to appreciate the whole-ness of God’s Creation, before they start analyzing it in its individual parts in upper school sciences.

    Therefore, studying the Tiner books may be a big change for your children, but they may be pleasantly surprised by what they are able to learn. Yes, experiments can be cool (when they actually work the way they should), but aside from offering a momentary experience which quickly fades from memory, there is little about them that contributes to the sense of really learning some substantial and meaningful. This is what we try to foster in the early years - a continuation of the commitment to “deep not shallow” classical learning.

    I would let let them know that this year you are trying something different, and that you will look forward to hearing their reaction to them at the end of the year - when they are done. That might help them put aside their initial reactions and give it time to bear fruit, you know?

    And you can even tell them that it is just a “break” from experiments, because they do come around again in Physical Science (typically 8th) and up.

    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 16
    DD, 14
    DD, 12
    DD, 10
    DD, 8
    DD, 6
    DS, 2


      One of my daughters loved "History of Medicine": she did complete the accompanying question book, but we also used a MP blank Copywork book for her to make her own drawings and quotes from each chapter. The personalities of the individuals in the "Medicine" text came alive to her and most of her narrations were a portrait of the doctor/scientist or a story from the chapter with a quote that she wanted to remember. She really enjoyed making a kind of Commonplace book of her readings and helped boost her retention. We are planning on reading the "Biology" and "Astronomy" texts next.
      Laura H.

      DD: 14, special-needs (modified 7M Core)
      DD: 11
      DD: 7
      DD: 7


        You can also add in a fun hands-on demonstration (experiment) whenever the topic suggests: grow mold on bread when reading about development of penicillin. Cook a chicken, remove the meat (muscle) and sketch bones with connecting tissue. Identify the skeletal anatomy of the chicken.
        For astronomy, take a field trip to a planetarium or telescope observatory. Download the app of the night sky and find different constellations (depending on how much light pollution in your area). Look at the moon with binoculars. Chart the shape of the moon for a month. Record the moonrise and moonset (may need help from the newspaper or almanac).
        You will probably think of other ideas as you go. The goal is to bring some of the topics to life. Do what you can with the resources you have.

        FWIW Medicine is my favorite Timer book. You can have wonderful, insightful conversations just by talking about the pictures and what you see in them.
        Cindy Davis
        Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
        ds-26 college graduate: independent young adult
        ds-24 college graduate: 3rd year med school
        dd-22 college graduate: working as a registered nurse