Review: Natural Science through the Season: 100 Teaching Units
Disclaimer: I rec’d a review copy of this book from the publisher. I rec’d no other compensation and only agreed to post a review. The following review is my honest opinion of this work of non-fiction.
Confession time: science is not my strong suit. Our homeschool suffers from lack of science (unless it’s a great read-aloud or documentary on Netflix!) until the school breaks when dh is home and can do science with the kids.
But this lack of science-talent doesn’t keep me from trying to find wonderful resources and programs for my kids. And this book is a wonderful example of when I find a gem! Natural Science Through the Season: 100 Teaching Units, authored by James A. Partridge, has just been reprinted by the ever-resourceful Hillside Education. Hillside has done a wonderful job updating and refreshing this amazing resource that celebrates the natural world in a way that engages students of different ages and abilities. The original book was published in 1955; this reprint contains all the original information but Hillside has updated the recommended readings with works published more recently. I got the sense of the innocence and purity of natural science in a clean, modern format. The book is not full of glossy pictures and soundbites; instead, this book gives concise descriptions of what a tree looks like in winter (and why) in an easy-to-embrace way so that the learner can really own the information. The activities are interesting and use things that are around the house. I also love the poems and quotes that help illustrate the unit’s content.
The units are organized by calendar, starting in September and working the student’s way through June. Each month, the student learns seasonally appropriate units with activities and suggested resources included. For instance, February covers how to protect trees for the winter, what bulbs do under the ground, creating a winter flower show, doing things with water, how the body uses food during the colder months and how to make our environment healthful. Each month has a calendar of daily activities that supplement the lesson-units’ text. Activities are arranged for primary and intermediate grades so this book spans the multi-ages within most homeschools. This book is definitely a full-year’s worth of science, but the units are also do-able as standalones so a homeschool can pick and choose what will work best in their homeschool and based on their geographic location. We’ll start using this book in November and I’m already getting excited … even if it is science; dh will be so proud!
The organization of this book, with it’s clean illustrations/graphics, and lots of activities make this a real gem for even this science-challenged momma! I highly recommend this one.
[By the way, Hillside’s first run of the book contained a typo on the cover; those copies are otherwise just fine. If you’d like a discounted copy, order directly from Hillside.]