One of our favorite subjects this year was science. We began the year studying geology, a field that fascinates both of the twins. In March, we took a break from rocks to review an online science curriculum which showcases God’s design in the intricacies of the natural world. It’s been an amazing journey! Are you ready for a tour of our year?
We enjoyed Patrick Nurre’s online videos so much that we began using his online geology course at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
I was thrilled to find Patrick’s Geology course at the SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership site. It made planning this year’s science simple. We used ready-made lesson plans to guide us through each week’s work.
On Monday, the girls usually watched a short video and completed the accompanying worksheets. For the rest of the week, they defined vocabulary terms and completed enrichment activities outlined in the lesson plans.
After completing the 17-week semester, the twins took a comprehensive exam to show what they had learned. Since they completed all of the assignments in the lesson plan, their work is eligible for high school credit.
The girls were not interested in completing the second half of this course, which covers the geology of our national parks. Reluctantly, I started searching for an alternative.
Because the twins were still hooked on geology, I emailed Patrick Nurre of Northwest Treasures to ask for advice. Glad to hear that we enjoyed his class, he suggested two options—the Rocks and Minerals, Stuff of the Earth course or the Rock Identification Made Easy kit, which comes with rock samples and a field guide. We opted for the former. The semester-long course came with a textbook and a rock kit.
The requirements were clear. Each week, the girls covered a chapter of the book. After reading the lesson, they used the rock kit to complete hands-on activities listed at the end of the chapter.
Although some of the course reviewed what they had learned in the fall, there was plenty of new material to challenge them. They had to study hard to score well on the chapter quizzes.
One of the coveted gifts at Christmas was a rock tumbler. When my gem fanatic opened the gift, she was thrilled!
After a month of tumbling, she had some beautifully polished gems.
Halfway through our second semester of geology, we were chosen to review CrossWired Science. The emerging website had been on my radar for a couple of months, and I knew the girls would appreciate the online content.
Although I had anticipated returning to geology after writing our Crew Review, we didn’t. Instead, we spent the rest of the year exploring sound through engaging videos, experiments, and online lessons on CWS.
Just when I thought we were finished with the Sound unit, we discovered the Digging Deeper readings, which carried us through the final month of our school year. We love how the CWS’s fresh approach delves deep into multiple scientific disciplines.
Much like a trip to the Holy Land affects how you read and understand the Bible, a unit of CrossWired Science changes your perspective of the natural world. I have an entirely new appreciation for “simple things” I previously took for granted—like bird songs, bat echolocation, and the design of human vocal cords. Studying science alongside the girls this year, I’m sure I learned as much as they did!
The twins did an amazing job with their first high school level science course. I was impressed with their ability to hold their own while researching and writing about topics in geology. Based on completion of all of the assignments and their performance on the final exam, both girls earned an A in Geology, achieving half of a high school science credit.
For the spring semester, they also earned A’s in General Science for completing half of their Geology textbook and all of the Sound Unit from CWS.
Since we enjoy learning with CrossWired Science, we plan to begin our fall semester with the Fluid Dynamics Unit. We can’t wait to try out new science units as CWS releases them.
Our fall will be full of online videos, experiments, deep science reading, and plenty of enrichment material. I can’t wait!
Would you like to join us on CrossWired Science? An annual membership to CWS is $27 for the first student and $10 for each additional child. Use my affiliate code, ptl4, for $5 off.