Classically Catholic Memory (CCM) Year Alpha Science focused on taxonomy and ordering the world around us. My children loved grouping and classifying the natural world. Not to mention, it is a great lesson in how much thought God put into his creation which is always comforting. CCM Beta focuses on earth science and astronomy. For those not familiar with CCM, Classically Catholic Memory is a program that offers 18 weeks of content to explore and memorize in religion, history, math, science, great words (poetry, speeches, etc.), geography, Latin, and a timeline. I talked about how I utilize and organize CCM in our home and how I plan out our daily intensive which is a focused time during our morning liturgy routine where we focus on one subject from CCM in order to make connections to other subjects or areas of life. You can print a morning liturgy guide here. Basically, this focused time allows our family to integrate our lives with our studies.
Term One: Earth and its Attributes
I was surprised by how excited my chickadees were when we started exploring the attributes of the Earth like the layers, the types of mountains, and volcanoes. Even the geological memory prompts were met with zeal. My husband was kind enough to help build 3-D models out of Styrofoam and clay of the earth with a cross-section missing one Saturday morning. I had several old college textbooks laying around that I set out for Leo and Bella with lots of diagrams and pictures of rock formations. Many a morning we spent inside the pages reading random facts and looking at pictures. We also took several trips to the natural history museum to see exhibits centering around the fault lines here in California. Our favorite resources:
- The Magic School Bus Growing Crazy Crystals Science Kit
- Planet Earth: What planet are you on?
- The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth
- Rocks & Minerals: A Gem of a Book
- National Geographic Kids Everything Rocks and Minerals
- Earth Rock Science Kit
Term Two: Oceans, Weather, and Orientation
In the Saxon 2 meeting book, Bella was charting the weather conditions daily leading up to creating a temperature chart. So, I decided to add this daily observation to our morning time since CCM Beta is covering earth science. Not everyone had a Saxon meeting book which made me think of using the phenology wheels I had seen in a nature journaling group on Facebook. In their nature journals, I drew several sets of wheels: a yearly wheel, a monthly wheel, and a lunar wheel. The variety was fun and allowed for us to try several different methods of keeping. Some of us liked to have a daily space and some of us preferred a once a month approach with more room for daily observations and bird counts. For a fun outside activity, I bought compasses for everyone. We would take them on our “daily” (more like twice a week walks since this was during my third trimester…) and note the directions we walked to get to and from home. Sometimes, they just played with them in the front. Since we live in San Diego, the beach was a constant companion during this term. We drove to different ones; some were just bay areas and some had seals. Our favorite resources:
- CC Long’s Home Geography
- Basher Basics: Weather: Whipping up a storm!
- Basher Science: Oceans: Making Waves!
- The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
- The Magic School Bus Inside A Hurricane
Term Three: Space and Stars
The local science museum offers free observation nights on Wednesdays once a month all year which was a great treat for our family to attend. They occasionally had food trucks there, so we could eat dinner and look at the stars. Plus, everyone got to stay up once a month. The horizon maps were a big hit as well. Leo was especially intrigued with the stories behind the constellations spending many hours reading about different cultural backgrounds of the constellations and creating constellations (out of toothpicks and marshmallows). Our favorite resources: