Jay Wile Workshops

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This past weekend I went to some workshops done by Jay Wile, the author of the Apologia Science books for 7th-12th grades.  These workshops were awesome!  Even though Jay Wile is a nuclear chemist and a self-proclaimed "nerd", he was a great speaker and easy to understand.

I went to the following workshops....
Teaching Critical Thinking
Why Homeschool through High School and How to teach High School at Home
Homeschooling: The Solution to our Education Problem
Teaching Science at Home

If you would like access to the handouts for these workshops, click here.

One thing that Dr. Wile did for me was to affirm what I have been doing all along.  If you go to the handouts you will see that he has a plethora of statistics that show how homeschoolers do in comparison to public school kids. The numbers are amazing!  So definitely check out the handouts on Homeschooling: The Solution to our Education Problem and Why Homeschool through High School.  Another thing is that I learned that I have been doing science right all along!!  Dr. Wile gave us these two quotes to emphasize his point about math and science (and to add a little humor to the workshop!).

“Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments”

-Alexander the Great

“Science without math is like music without instruments”
-Jay Wile the Not-So-Great

Dr. Wile says that in the early elementary years, you need to do science only once or twice a week, but you must do math EVERY day!  The math is crucial because science is math-driven.  Well, this is exactly what we did in the elementary years!  The Five in a Row curriculum only has you do science once a week, so that is what we did.  We did math everyday with Math-U-See (which is one of the curriculums that Dr. Wile recommends).  But as you move into Jr. High, you need to step it up a bit.  I haven't really done that with Zach (he is in 7th grade this year).  We are working two days a week with an in-depth study of zoology.  But next year I am moving to Apologia, and he is going to do General Science.  After that, he should be ready for high school Biology.

Another aspect of teaching science that I was unaware of is the approach you take.  You can either go with a spiral or an immersion approach.  The immersion approach works better because there is more depth because a student is taught one subject in science for awhile.  In the spiral approach, the student touches on lots of different approaches over the year and then goes back to them again in another year.  Most of our science has been the immersion approach without me realizing that this was beneficial to my kids.  This year in science has really been "immersion".  All we have focused on is zoology, and we have gained so much understanding and knowledge that we didn't have before!

So if you ever get a chance to listen to Dr. Wile, please go!  You will be blessed!  Some of his workshops are on CD, go here to check them out.

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