One of the “big two”. Talked about in animated circles, we lean in. Our eyes studying facial expressions to determine how the other curriculum really is working out. We research, agonize, shake our hands to the sky…
Naturally I can relate. My teen is hitting tenth and we finally finished Biology with a lab. Whew. Now on to Physics or Chemistry. Whoa, slow down a bit. Aside from the fact that she has no desire for these classes at this point, to pursue them this year would take time away from a science lab that truly would captivate her.
I use humor to describe the shocked reactions, friends hesitant on my behalf to break off the surely accepted path, and still willing to peer down the trail we are deciding to follow. Friends! Those are not the only two choices! I have researched this heavily (read- obsessed for two years) and there are choices! What to say of continuing to find classes that suit your child’s learning style (they might not be strong enough in math to tackle Physics quite yet), their interests (Chemistry makes them yawn but studying Botany might just lead to a future career that they dream of). Barb Shelton has a book about this topic that was very eye opening to me. Check her out if you’d like more ideas.
Colleges appreciate diversity. All this fear of something that steals our time and joy. We want to have our children best prepared for life, perhaps college. Perhaps not. Think large picture here. Labs can be achieved in countless scientific pursuits. Study up on what a Lab IS, and what the purposes are. You might be surprised at how simplistic the main idea is. Yep, we are breaking tradition this year. Going to trust God in his leading, to continue on the path just right for this child. For this year. She will only be stronger for it next year. Take courage and pursue alternate science for a year if your child so desires. I want her to leave thinking science is fantastic, not dreary. It is a wonderful world into which we glimpse God’s handiwork. I can only wish I had been taught that as a youth.
This year we are studying Classical Astronomy. Modern Astronomy studies skies using high-tech equipment. Classical uses techniques as old as time, to tell seasons and so much more. This too will count among her labs, which we are choosing to have an excess of. Hands on experience helps cement ideas. She is thrilled to begin this new study, and I admit after reading the book intro, for the first time I am too.