Saturday, January 10, 2015

Logically Speaking: Math, Science, and Logic for 7th Grade

Welcome to the second week of the 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts and Minds and Laura @ Day By Day In Our World  This week the topic is Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science.   These are some of the favorite subjects in our house, but also it seems that they can be difficult topics to find the right curriculum fit. 

Unexpected Homeschool: Logically Speaking: Math, Science, and Logic for 7th Grade

Math has always been a no brainier for us as Amber has used Saxon math since her very first years in parochial school and we continue to use it at home. I know it's not for everyone, but Amber has a mathematically wired brain and she does exceptionally well with Saxon. This 7th grade year she is in Algebra 1 and earning high school credit for it too.  However, we are a little off a standard school year schedule with math because Amber's dysautonomia causes severe brain fog and exhaustion some days.

At her current level if we did a book a year she would finish Saxon calculus at the end of 10th grade (maybe 11th grade if we spend 2 years on Advanced Math as recommended by Art Reed).  This means we still have at least a whole extra year and can spend slightly more than one school year per Saxon book. We are using the 3rd edition of Saxon math which still has integrated analytical geometry in Algebra 2 and Advanced Math, unlike the newer 4th edition which requires the inclusion of a separate Geometry book. Using the 3rd edition also helps us find the breathing room Amber needs. 

Lately, science has been a struggle for Amber, which is unexpected for this science minded family. Amber could not trudge through our previous curriculum even though it was covering her favorite science topics and she previously did well with curriculum by the same author. The style simply no longer suited Amber's physical abilities or learning style. There was too much reading and writing with too little hands on work to compensate. 

Unexpected Homeschool: Logically Speaking: Math, Science, and Logic for 7th Grade
Bed School Math, Working on her Weather Log, and reading her weather book.   
Our new Science curriculum.


We were scheduled to have finished the current science topic by October so we could move on to the Chemistry book in the same series and then start Physics by August of 8th grade.  That didn't happen by a long shot. In late October we did a curriculum search and selected Real Science 4 Kids Focus on Middle School:  Astronomy and Geology sets. Then for good measure I bought the Apologia Physical Science that we decided to use next year, just in case we prefer to start early. 

We then spent the remainder of first semester on a mom-planned weather unit, complete with field trip to a NWS office, since Amber is currently interested in becoming a meteorologist.  It was a good way to decompress and get Amber interested in science as a school subject again. I knew something was terribly wrong when she dreaded science and the topic was astronomy! It goes to show how having a curriculum meet your child's specific learning style is so important. Unfortunately for me my child's learning style is changing as her condition progresses. 

In previous years we've successfully used a logic curriculum from The Critical Thinking Company called Building Thinking Skills and we do somewhat miss it. I did purchase the next level, Critical Thinking, and intended for Amber to start it last January.  We never got past the first lesson.  There is just no time in Amber's schedule for sleep, doctors, food, absolutely necessary subjects, flute, 1/2 day of co-op enrichment classes, and formal logic. I've still got the logic books and we'll pull them out when the time feels right.  For now our logic consists of the chess strategy class Amber took at co-op last semester, logic games, and the occasional brain teaser.  This past week while still on a school break Amber has been working her way through the Professor Layton 3DS games and she loves it. It's a relaxing way to keep her brain active and engaged without the stress or formality of book work.

Unexpected Homeschool: Logically Speaking: Math, Science, and Logic for 7th Grade
Logic Games
This is how math, science and logic work in our school this 7th grade year. We are always adjusting and changing to meet the needs and current learning style of our girl.  If you are interested in a more detailed explanation you can view my 7th Grade Curricula page.

Come back next week to see how we have completely reworked our history lessons this year to still be literature based, but include more project and media learning. 


Other Weeks from the 2015 Curriculum Fair
Unexpected Homeschool: A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts Unexpected Homeschool: A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts Unexpected Homeschool: And All the Extras

Please check out how the other members of the 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair are Discovering Patterns with their children.


If you'd like to join the fair this week, use the linky below.

Some graphics created using elements from StoryRock

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