Handbook of Nature Study / Anna Comstock

Handbook of Nature Study / Anna Comstock

# 014298

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Item #: 014298
ISBN: 9780801493843
Grades: PK-8

Category Description for Intro to Science (Gr. K-1):

There are two Elementary Science programs for younger learners: Intro to Science for K-1 and Exploring Science for PK-K or K4/K5. These are structured similarly to the grammar stage programs, but simplified for younger learners. At this level, the program emphasizes observation, hands-on activities, nature studies, read-alouds from resource and library books - and lots of coloring (although I have already noted some concerns about the graphics with the upper levels, you may want to locate alternative coloring pages especially at this level, as young students may not be particularly eager to color some of these rough sketches). These are also 36-week courses, with weekly assignments provided in a bullet-point-like format and two scheduling options (2- and 5-day) provided. In Intro to Science, you'll spend six weeks each on chemistry, physics, geology, meteorology, botany and zoology. Exploring Science spends four weeks each on "the world around me," water, air, weather, plants, Earth, chemistry, sound, and motion. Recommended library books are listed for each week, and there are just a few primary resources you'll use all year long. For Intro to Science, these are More Mudpies to Magnets, Handbook of Nature Study, and Usborne First Encyclopedia of Science. Exploring Science uses only Science Play as a basis for experiments (reading selections are found in other resources). Student pages at this level provide very simple experiment record forms, coloring pages and blank pages to paste results from activities.




Category Description for Elemental Science:

If you prefer your science "outside the textbook" then you'll want to look at Elemental Science. Designed as a Classical science program "loosely based on the ideas for classical science education that are laid out in The Well-Trained Mind," this one may also appeal to Charlotte Mason home educators. The program itself provides a framework of science study while your science "text" and experiments are found in a selection of quality resource books including DK, Usborne, Kingfisher and Janice VanCleave titles. Your child will explore science through excellent reading material, experiments and hands-on projects, notebooking, and memorization. Written to be religiously neutral, the origins of life and earth are not studied in depth, although several reading selections from secular resource books will contain phrases such as “millions of years ago,” or references to the Big Bang Theory. Currently Preschool, Kindergarten, Grammar Stage, Logic Stage and High School or Rhetoric Stage.

Grammar Stage programs have been updated with expanded Teacher Guides, and an improved page layout. Updated versions feature more teaching information with each weekly lesson plan, expanded (optional) topical book lists, a shift from science “experiments” to teacher-led “demonstrations,” more detailed explanations of narration (notebooking) assignments, and optional lapbooking assignments (will require purchase of the lapbooking e-book from Elemental Science). Quizzes are no longer included in the updated Teacher Guides, but are available as ebooks from the publisher.

Each level of the program is made up of two books: a Teacher’s Guide and a Student Workbook. The Teacher’s Guide holds everything you need to know to teach the course including lesson plans, materials lists, suggested book lists, forms, quizzes and quiz answers. The Student Workbook provides all of the worksheet pages the student will fill in through the course, including narration/summary/journal pages, experiment pages, ongoing projects, and pictures for narration. Every course is divided up into 36 weeks of study. In many of the courses, you will spend a “chunk” of weeks focusing on one topic, then the next several weeks studying another. In Biology for the Grammar Stage, students spend 20 weeks on animals, ten on the human body, and six weeks on plants.

If you appreciate organization with built-in flexibility, you will love how the Teacher’s Guide is laid out. Each guide opens with an explanation of the components, the activities that the student will be completing, and recommendations for including an older student. In Biology for the Logic Stage, this introductory teaching material is more extensive and includes suggestions for including a younger student. After the teaching information, you’ll find the list of text resources and experiment books you’ll need for the program, and a topical index broken down by week. At this point, the Teacher’s Guide is segmented by topic, each one beginning with an overview of what will be studied, a comprehensive list of supplies needed by week, and memory work. Now we arrive at the “meat” of the Teacher’s Guide – the lesson plans. For each week, you’ll find not one but two complete lesson plans. One plan presents a 5-day science schedule while the other plan is a 2-day schedule. Depending on how the rest of your subjects are scheduled, one of these options will probably work better for you. Each suggested schedule is provided in grid form, with a list of assignments for each day. The 5-day schedule incorporates a mix into every day, while the 2-day schedule breaks it down into readings, activities, and other assignments. The rest of the information provided on these pages is virtually identical between the 5- and 2-day schedules and includes a supply list for the week, vocabulary with definitions, short summaries of the experiments to be completed and additional project/activity information. Updated versions actually combine the teaching information, then feature both schedules on one page. After the lesson plans, you’ll find a short appendix with additional teacher helps and templates for several of the forms given in the student book.

The Student Workbook holds the workbook pages for each type of activity. All of the forms for ongoing projects (especially observation) are found at the beginning of the book, followed by narration pages, experiment pages and pictures for the narrations. The pages are clean and form-like, with crisp printing and lines for writing. In Biology and Earth Science/Astronomy for the Grammar Stage, students will do frequent narration. The Student Workbook includes all the pages needed for the unit projects, narrations, lab reports, and a glossary. (In Biology, blackline pictures are provided in the back of the Student Workbook, which students paste into the box on the page, then write several lines about what they learned. Or, as an alternative, students can draw their own pictures.) The pictures are really my only quibble with the workbooks; they are all illustrated by the author and scanned, so they are very simple, somewhat fuzzy and off-black. In Chemistry for the Grammar Stage, narration pages are replaced by Definition and Summary pages. Definition pages are formatted like Narration pages with an empty box and several lines for writing. Students create their own dictionary of chemical terms by pasting the picture of the item in the box and write a definition. Summary pages are very much like narration pages, where the student writes what they have learned about the topic. At the Physics for the Grammar Stage level, narration pages are called Journal pages, and these feature more space for the student to write more extensively on the topic they learned about, and define new terms at the bottom of the page. At all grammar stage levels, students write about experiments completed, including materials, procedure, results and observations.

I’ve spent the bulk of the description talking about the grammar stage programs, but as mentioned previously, there are two programs for younger learners: Intro to Science for K-1 and Exploring Science for PK-K or K4/K5. These are structured similarly to the grammar stage programs, but simplified for younger learners. At this level, the program emphasizes observation, hands-on activities, nature studies, read-alouds from resource and library books – and lots of coloring (although I have already noted some concerns about the graphics with the upper levels, you may want to locate alternative coloring pages especially at this level, as young students may not be particularly eager to color some of these rough sketches). These are also 36-week courses, with weekly assignments provided in a bullet-point-like format and two scheduling options (2- and 5-day) provided. In Intro to Science, you’ll spend six weeks each on chemistry, physics, geology, meteorology, botany and zoology. Exploring Science spends four weeks each on “the world around me,” water, air, weather, plants, Earth, chemistry, sound, and motion. Recommended library books are listed for each week, and there are just a few primary resources you’ll use all year long. For Intro to Science, these are More Mudpies to Magnets, Handbook of Nature Study, and Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia. Exploring Science uses only Science Play as a basis for experiments (reading selections are found in other resources). Student pages at this level provide very simple experiment record forms, coloring pages and blank pages to paste results from activities.

At the logic stage, you still have the two different scheduling options, but the student’s work is somewhat more intense. Each week focuses on one topic and typically includes an experiment, vocabulary and memory work, a sketching assignment, a writing assignment, and important dates to enter on a date sheet. Several different writing options are suggested in the Teacher’s Guide, including having the student write an outline based on the spine text, writing a narrative summary based on the spine text or writing both. At this level, the student is given all of their assignments in their Student Guide, and these are duplicated in the Teacher’s Guide as well. The Teacher’s Guide also holds the suggested schedules, notes on the experiment and expected results, comprehension questions to ask the student (with answers), examples of finished sketches with labels, and additional activity suggestions. Like the lower levels, an appendix is also included for the teacher with examples of student work (including sample outlines and narrative summaries), copies of forms that the student will use, and more. Unit tests and answers are also included in the Teacher’s Guide. The Student Guide will also feel familiar if you have used a grammar stage level. All “Ongoing Project” forms are found in the front, followed by the group of forms and worksheets the student will use that week (including the main assignment list for the week). Ongoing Projects at this level include keeping track of important dates on four date sheets (Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern Times) and working on a science fair project for the year. The author highly recommends completing a science fair project for the year, and a series of project worksheets help guide the student through the process.

If your young student already loves to pore over science books, I would anticipate that they would enjoy this program. The supporting resources are quality books, and there is a nice balance of activities and reading. Because the student generates so much of the content in the Student Workbook, these really become a complete, personalized record of student work. Some other “pluses” to this program are the ease of use (the lesson plans are already laid out for you!) and the price, which is reasonable. The cost will vary depending on which resources you already own and which you decide to purchase, but on the whole I would expect it to be comparable or lower than many other programs in this section. I also appreciate that the topics are leveled by stage, which makes it easy to know where to jump in, and also that you’ll be covering life science, astronomy, chemistry and physics at each stage, following the classical cycle. Because the program is religiously neutral, you will not find much “editing” necessary either way and may choose to supplement with your own resources to explain origins if you and your child want to study that further. Although the content is straightforward, the author is available to provide support via email, and there is a Yahoo group as well.




Category Description for COMPREHENSIVE SCIENCE PROGRAMS:

Items listed in this section tend to be complete science programs with a teacher and student component, requiring few supplements besides science supplies.


Primary Subject
Science
Grade Start
PK
Grade End
8
ISBN
9780801493843
Binding
Trade Paper
Pages
912
Edition
Revised, Illustrated
Language
English
Series Title
A Comstock Bk.
Audience
General Adult
Contributor
Verne N. Rockcastle (Introduction by)
Author
Anna Comstock
Format
Softcover Book
Brand Name
Cornell University Press
Weight
2.9 (lbs.)
Dimensions
9.0" x 6.0" x 2.0"
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Why did you choose this?
Rainbow Resource Center Store
Home school option
CHRISTIANNA W on Jul 21, 2020
Purchased a companion nature study pdf
Danielle M on Jul 7, 2020
Home school option
CHRISTIANNA W on Jul 21, 2020
We have loved reading this book with our Ambleside Online curriculum. We've been reading it online but now we can hold the book!
Elizabeth D on Jul 17, 2020
Purchased a companion nature study pdf
Danielle M on Jul 7, 2020
Recommended by Ambleside Online. Checked it out from the library and liked it. It's a good price, so purchased.
Annie D on Jun 29, 2020
HOMESCHOOL-CHARLOTTE MASON CURRICULUM
Angie C on May 13, 2020
highly recommended reference book for nature study
Charmel-Julia A on Apr 23, 2020
This will be one of our spines for nature study / science.
Mark D on Apr 10, 2020
This has been on my Charlotte Mason wishlist for a few years.
Brooke B on Mar 21, 2020
Recommended by the Ambleside curriculum.
User on Feb 12, 2020
reference
Audria S on Oct 3, 2019
This should be a great resource for our "Nature Time".
Patricia J on Jul 1, 2019
We want to learn about nature. Since people don’t spend enough time outside we thought this book would help us get outside more.
April L on Jun 16, 2019
Wonderful book!
marina c on Mar 25, 2019
Needed for CM science course.
Cindy S on Feb 13, 2019
A part of our Charlotte Mason style homeschool. Using Ambleside Online Curriculum
Angelica A on Jan 17, 2019
Good Charlotte Mason option
Melinda G on Sep 19, 2018
This book is also an Excellent resource for co-op groups. Its a must have Resource!
lorinda c on Aug 30, 2018
We are starting nature journaling and need a strong reference guide.
Jared L on Apr 17, 2018
I've heard good reviews from other homeschoolers.
Katharine Y on Apr 14, 2018
Buying based on other reviews. We love nature. Looking forward to this as addition to our home library.
Shali W on Apr 9, 2018
basic kindergarten science
Phyllis H on Apr 2, 2018
Nature Study must have.
Amy S on Oct 24, 2017
This book is suggested by the Charlotte Mason learning style - AND it was less money at Rainbow resource than on Amazon!
Sheila B on Oct 16, 2017
nature study
Emily M on Oct 3, 2017
This guides our nature studies on Friday. Almost everything is included in the book, and it has become our centerpiece for nature study.
Angela G on Sep 2, 2017
Not only does this book appear to be a great reference for young and old alike, it also suits the Kindergarten science curriculum offered by Elemental Science, which we adore.
Traci on Aug 12, 2017
AmblesideOnline recommendation for Nature Study, following a Charlotte Mason approach
Katie on May 10, 2017
I am using this for a Charlotte Mason-type nature study.
Elsa E on Apr 23, 2017
For our nature studies
Crystal M on Apr 20, 2017
This was recommended for Nature Study by Simply Charlotte Mason
Karyn K on Oct 2, 2016
Everyone says this is the best handbook for nature study. I am going to be implementing nature studies into our curriculum this year and I am not very knowledgeable in this subject, so I am hoping that this will help me and the children along in our backyard studies.
Melanie J on May 31, 2016
Good read to learn more about plants & animals.
Brenda Y on Jan 7, 2016
It's through, comprehensive, and just what we need for our studies.
Olivia S on Oct 1, 2015
We have loved reading this book with our Ambleside Online curriculum. We've been reading it online but now we can hold the book!
Elizabeth D on Jul 17, 2020
Recommended by Ambleside Online. Checked it out from the library and liked it. It's a good price, so purchased.
Annie D on Jun 29, 2020
5.0 / 5.0
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Great book! Would recommend to any nature lover
July 14, 2018
Purchased
over 2 years ago
Oldie but a goodie
At first glance, this may not seem very impressive. It may even be intimidating. It's an old book with black and white pictures, and it is HUGE. It is amazingly informative, a one-volume nature encyclopedia. You can download this for free online, but the electronic version is very unhandy, and mine does not include the photos or illustrations. The graphics and index make it well worth the money. I will be doing most of my homeschooling overseas, so I hesitated to purchase this, knowing it is for the US. But much of the information can be applied to nature anywhere. For example, we do not have the same kinds of earthworm or beetle species in the tropics, but we do have earthworms and beetles, so we can learn much from Comstock's book. Great resource!
March 13, 2017
Purchased
over 3 years ago
Anna Botsford Comstock's book "Handbook of Nature Study" has been heralded by the public schools and home education parents as "the Bible of natural history" I fondly remember as a freshman our biology teacher using Ms Comstock's book as the spine for our biology course The Handbook of Nature is a hefty 887 page volume on the topic of nature study Ms Comstock devotes the first section of the book to the topic of "teaching nature study" This section is a "how to guide" which guides the educator in how to approach the topic and present it to their students From there the book is divided into three sections on "animals plants and earth and sky" Educators can use this book as their spine for teaching the topic of science or as a supplement to a pre-planned curriculum
January 7, 2010
Nature study is not just for crunchy granola back to nature tree hugger types You don�t need to strap a two hundred pound backpack onto your aching spine and head off into some Blair Witch project area just to teach your younglings about trees and wildlife Color field guides are extremely helpful but you certainly don�t need an advanced degree in botany to teach your child the difference between a morning glory and a daisy And almost one hundred years ago Ms Comstock recognized that and set about showing others the joy of introducing a child to the natural world with her book Handbook of Nature StudyThe first section covers the how-tos of her method This method encompasses all the core subject areas and is covered in further detail in the methodology section Subsequent sections cover the entire spectrum of the natural world There is an area devoted to animals which includes subsections on mammals fish birds and other branches of the animal family tree Another area is devoted to plants and covers trees wildflowers crops and even weeds But this is not just a biology and botany manual The third main area is devoted to the earth and sky and includes astronomy climatology and geologyLessons include an information section for the parent/teacher to read followed by observational questions to be asked of the student Easily utilized in a zoo botanical garden or local park even those in the most urban of areas will find incorporating this book into their lives relatively simple Best used with the 12 and under set the Handbook of Nature Study should have a place on every homeschooler�s bookshelves
June 2, 2007


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