Tagged science

Humans + Animal Behavior: Offensive or Not?

The Internet seems to have lost its collective brain cells again, this time thanks to boxing superstar and pride of the Philippines Manny Pacquiao’s statement on same sex “marriage”, saying,

Common sense lang. Makakita ka ba ng any animals na lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae? Mas mabuti pa iyong hayop, [chuckle] marunong kumikilala kung lalaki lalaki, babae kung babae. O di ba?  Ngayon kung lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae, e mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao.

Celebrities, politicians, and other netizens took to social media to express their disgust and disapproval…. and this is where it gets funny. People are so offended that Manny Pacquiao compared homosexual behavior to animal behavior, AND YET, they use ANIMAL BEHAVIOR to defend homosexuality! In fact, animal behavior was the number one argument they used.

Screenshot (130)
 

So let’s get this straight. When it’s Manny Pacquiao comparing them to animals, it’s offensive, because RELIGION… but when they compare themselves to animals, it’s not offensive, because SCIENCE?

Thus it is NOT that Manny Pacquiao compared them to animals that’s offensive here, oh no, it is that Manny Pacquiao DARED to point out THE TRUTH as consonant with his religious beliefs.

Let’s have a moment of honesty here, shall we, folks?

Following animal behavior defenders’ logic, Manny Pacquiao’s views on homosexuality would be ACCEPTABLE if only he didn’t express them from his point of view as a person of faith. If Manny Pacquiao were an atheist saying homosexual behavior is animal behavior, he would be embraced by the LGBT community for proclaiming exactly THE TRUTH that they use to defend themselves!

You know, there used to be a time when being compared to an animal was considered an insult. Parents taught their children civilized behavior. Table manners, learning to take turns and share, treating others as one would like to be treated… inside and outside the home we expect people to act exactly like they’re supposed to: like human beings.

We took pride in being CIVILIZED, EDUCATED, even WELL-BRED. Many of those behaviors that we call MORAL were/are part of the whole Judeo-Christian set of beliefs, though we rarely thought of them that way. But now we find it offensive when we are reminded to act like human beings. What have we become?

Besides the obvious cognitive dissonance, one can’t help but question the animosity displayed towards Manny Pacquiao. Everyone is proud of him, proud of him representing the Philippines at the boxing ring, but please oh please keep your religious beliefs to yourself because you then become a national embarrassment? Who’s discriminating now? Tolerance for all, but not for Manny or anyone else unless they (we) all buy into something that goes against their (our) faith?

For the record, Manny Pacquiao has apologized for his words. Indeed, it is not charitable, Christian behavior to compare people to animals, no matter how they act, precisely because we were created to be higher than animals.

God created mankind in His image; in the image of God He created them; male and female — He created them. God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth. God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food, and to all the wild animals, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the earth, I give all the green plants for food. And so it happened. – Genesis 1:27-30

This is why we think, we reason, we love, we exercise self-control. We have intelligence far above animals, and we can put our instincts, our emotions, our thoughts, our desires, under the control of our will. We can make decisions on wrong and right behavior. We understand concepts like “common good”. We know that all our actions have consequences, and can therefore choose, time and again, to behave in a manner that neither hurts another person or ourselves, and that includes, whether we like it or not, sexual behavior.

Homeschooling First Grade Science (A Sample Curriculum)

IMG_7709

Posting this for my friend Madora who asked for a bit of guidance on how to homeschool Science with a first grader without the use of a textbook.

Prior to fifth grade and often even beyond, I rarely use a textbook. I find that living books very much fit our homeschooling lifestyle and personalities, so I will almost always reach for one whether I’m reading aloud to the kids or letting them read themselves.

This list of living books (plus other materials) isn’t meant to be comprehensive or match a specific state’s rubrics. At 6 years old, my first grader is still very much a sponge (thank God), so there isn’t much that he does NOT want to learn about, and I simply take cues from his interests, which I observe just from day-to-day interaction. Almost anything can trigger questions, so I do my best to pay attention to those and encourage further questioning and exploration.

In no particular order, these are my 6-year-old’s current favorites:

Microscope and slides
Seeds, any kind but bean seeds are great because they’re easy to grow, and grow quickly (almost instant gratification)
Paper, water, food coloring for random experimentation
Playdough – always nice to have colorful ones, but not necessary; whenever I make bread I give him a piece and it occupies him for at least a couple of hours if not more.
Recently he came home with some flubber from Trail Life.
Paper Airplanes
KidsGardening: A Kids’ Guide to Messing Around in the Dirt
Star Wars Yoda Chronicles (I don’t know that Star Wars = science, but hey, it counts as science around here)
Books by Gallimard Jeunesse, especially Dinosaurs and Airplanes
Mission to the Moon: (Book and DVD)
Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection
Boys Life Magazines (you can usually find this at your local library)
Dinosaur!
Universe (DK Eyewitness Books)
The New Way Things Work
National Geographic Readers: Volcanoes!
Dk Eyewitness Hurricane & Tornado
Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia Of Everything Nasty

At this age, he’s very curious about body processes and functions, so jumping up and down on the couch or on the floor, or down from the tree, using the bathroom, turning cartwheels, are all opportunities for me to engage and answer questions or point things out about anatomy and the way our bodies work.

When it gets a wee bit warmer we’ll head out to the fossil park not far from here. There’s a good list of fossil park locations on Wikipedia, but anywhere where kids can hold a small trowel and do some digging is great.

It goes without saying that play outside is essential. If you live near the beach, a nature park, a zoo, a botanical garden, a space museum — take advantage of these resources. But even if you don’t live near any of those, just get outside and observe trees, leaves, bugs, grass, the sky, birds, the sun and stars, etc. The list is endless, because God’s creation is endless.

A couple of sentences I love to use when interacting with my child:

“I don’t know that one, should we look it up?” Usually the answer is an excited YES, and usually there’s already some book in the house that provides basic information to satisfy his curiosity. If not, we ask dad, or a sibling, or one of mom’s online friends. There’s always Google though caution needs to be exercised when you do a search with a little one beside you.

“Why don’t you try it and see what happens/tell me what you find out?” with some brief guidance on where and when to conduct the experimentation — the tub, outside in the yard, at the sink. If you forget to provide that guidance, don’t lose your head later if it happens on your couch or bed.

Every once in a while, we go on the Pinterest board that I put together for him, and check out some new things we haven’t tried.

There really are not enough hours in the day to answer all his questions, so I don’t worry at all that he might not be learning enough. If he ever stopped asking them, THEN I’ll worry.

I hope this gives you a good starting point so you can put together your own first grade science curriculum. Or, if you would rather have something already put together for you, a favorite of homeschoolers is Noeo Science, which we tried one year and liked.

And in case you need it, I’ve got more science ideas in my previous post, How I Didn’t Teach Science. There are also ideas in the comments section from friendly folks.

How I Didn’t Teach Science

A close friend and fairly new homeschooling mom recently asked, “How do you teach science?”

I told her the truth. “I don’t.”

There was a time, years ago, when I would have been embarrassed to say that, because I would have interpreted my own answer as an admittance of deficiency: “I’m not the homeschooling mom I’m supposed to be.” Those words were petrifying to me then. The future was still a big question mark, and I was afraid that the reply that would be staring me in the face would be F-A-I-L-U-R-E.

I still fear failure, but I’ve also gained gobs of trust — in my kids’ natural thirst for learning, in the experience of moms who were there before me, and yes, even in myself as a mom and teacher. It goes without saying, I trust in God’s plans. And so far His plans have worked out for us!

Science is not my strong suit at all. I can explain basic stuff like water boiling or the sun rising or caterpillars turning into butterflies, but please do not ask me to balance equations or explain or demonstrate physics principles. Forget it. Regardless, our 23-year-old still graduated cum laude in Culinology, so she knows her chemistry, and another child is going into engineering. So it’s probably safe to say now that I didn’t damage them all that much. It is now a trust thing. 😀

How does this TRUST translate into the practical — the day-to-day? What did I actually DO?

1. I bought them books. A science encyclopedia, and then lots of picture books. We read and read and read. When the kids got older, I relied a lot on my friend MacBeth’s recommendations.

2. I did try a few experiments, but since they were mostly failures, I gave up. I didn’t stop them from experimenting though, even the silliest things that they made up. They did kinda like and tried some of Janice Van Cleave’s experiments. There’s this funny video we recorded 8 years ago, where I had the boys experimenting with some soda bottles plus I don’t remember what else. It was supposed to work a certain way, but it didn’t. It was a complete flop. I’d post it here just to prove that I’m a science klutz, but no idea where it is now. Suffice to say, whatever science prowess they have did not come from their mother.

3. I bought them toys: Lego, wooden unit blocks, K’nex, Erector sets, to keep their hands and minds busy. Some had lesson plans and even DVDs included, but uhm, I never used them though I promised myself I would. (Lazy, lazy, lazy.)

4. I let them watch videos: Magic School Bus even though I couldn’t stand that show, National Geographic, Kratt’s Creatures (now Wild Kratts), Discovery Channel, etc.

5. I took them outside, sometimes with field guides. We looked at birds and flowers and bugs and rocks and trees. We dug for fossils a couple of times. Every once in a while I took them to the science center or aquarium to assuage guilt. I encouraged nature journaling but it didn’t take, probably because I personally wasn’t enthused about it, though I still want to be!! Maybe when I’m old and gray and they’re homeschooling my grand kids, I can be a better example.

6. I taught them to cook. Kitchen science is the only science I know by heart. Cleaning squid was one of our most memorable lessons, and that student is now a chef and got As in her chemistry classes, so something must have worked, somehow.

7. I let them hang out a lot with Dad, since Dad’s an engineer. I figured they would learn stuff, because GENES. Maybe at least one kid did, since he will be studying how to become an electromechanical engineer in the fall.

8. I took them to the zoo. I suppose they learned stuff there too, though mostly they wanted to ride the train. :/

9. I bought a microscope and slides, science kits, binoculars, magnifying glasses, tools with which to observe.

10. I hung out with science people online, like MacBeth, and Kris; and others who loved to talk about science. I figured I could learn to be a better science teacher by just associating with them. Every now and then they’d post something sciencey on FB or at the forum, and I’d send the link to my kids. 😀

Sorry. I wish I could offer more profound/valuable advice, but like I warned my friend, I’m not a science person!! 😀 And THIS (so far) worked for us. So I hope this helps her, and you.

What the 6-year-old is Reading Now

ninobooks

A friend with little ones asked me about reading recommendations for her 6-7 year olds, so I thought I’d give her a list of what our 6.5-year-old is reading right now. Hope this helps, J!

Life of Fred Decimals and Percents – his big sister’s book, but he’s reading it for fun.

Get Into Gear, Stilton!

Clare and Francis
Catholic Children’s Treasure Box, Books 4, 3, 9, and 2

Viking Raiders (Usborne Time Traveler) – a long-time favorite, I think he rereads this every few weeks

The Mysterious Benedict Society – something that escaped me. I didn’t mean to let him read it at this age, but one of the older kids left it lying around….

Alexander Graham Bell: An Inventive Life

The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor

Thomas Edison: Young Inventor (Childhood of Famous Americans)

DK Readers: Secrets of the Mummies

Reader’s Digest ~ How Science Works

Abner Doubleday: Boy Baseball Pioneer (Young Patriots series)

The Tale of Despereaux

Where Do Sharks Cross Mountain Peaks?

Cam Jansen and the Ghostly Mystery – probably should not have bought this (bought this at a resale shop and I thought, eh, a quick read for him for when he’s bored) — now he’s asking me about ghosts. ack.

The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys – one of his birthday gifts; he rereads this every couple of weeks or so.

Great Illustrated Classics: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – a bit twaddly version of the original, but it will do for now

A Weekend with Wendell

The Story of a Bad Boy – recommended by big sis because she loved it. I haven’t had time to read it aloud to him as we still have several read alouds we’re working on, but he’s slowly making his way through it and said I could read it aloud to him, if/when I catch up.

The Story of the Spar-Spangled Banner

The Lady of Guadalupe – a Tomie de Paola classic

A 2nd Grade Curriculum

"look mommy i made a Lego weapon. it's called the SICKENER. it makes people throw up and gives them a headache"
“look mommy i made a Lego weapon. it’s called the SICKENER. it makes people throw up and gives them a headache”

Posting the 2nd Grade Curriculum I’m planning for our youngest at the request of homeschooling friends.

(And as always, this is subject to change at any time for any reason.)

Religion:

Faith and Life 2
Baltimore Catechism First Communion
A Life of Our Lord for Children (we’re already reading this but have to finish up)
Vision Saint Books (haven’t finalized choices, his initial picks are St. Benedict, St. Anthony (since that’s his name), St. Therese and King David — the saint books will count for Religion, History and Geography, as well as Literature depending on what we decide to do with them

Languages/Reading/Literature:

Prima Latina and/or Lingua Angelica (will be playing this one by ear, might go slow/fast accdg to interest)

All-of-a-kind Family
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Farmer Boy
Five Children and It
The Enchanted Castle
Emil and the Detectives
Misty of Chincoteague
Peter Pan
Kensuke’s Kingdom

[He had a few other choices from the book A Landscape with Dragons, but I can’t find it right now — will edit when I do!]
[And he said he wants to learn Japanese, and I haven’t explored that at all, so who knows. I may add it when I’ve done the research. Though I remember my cousin learning it when we were both in college and she lived at home, and it wasn’t bad at all and I had a great time learning alongside her. Marking this one a “maybe”.]

Math:

G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book
Singapore Math
– finish this up and move on to the next

Handwriting/Copywork/Memorization:

Selections from The Harp and Laurel Wreath

History/Geography (the Ancients):

We’re starting a wall timeline this year which we did with the other kids and was lots of fun.

Boy of the Pyramids
Peeps at Many Lands: Ancient Egypt
Rereading The Gilgamesh Trilogy

Fun things to do:
Pharaoh Headdress
Hieroglyphic Typewriter
Egyptian Lotto
Moses’ Story — this is a link to lesson plans etc. which we’ll probably modify to suit our needs
Make a pyramid using mini-marshmallows and toothpicks

We’re going to be cooking from Nile Style

And because “the moms” are just so awesome with book recommendations, we may supplement with several from the list Mary compiled here. Those with girls may like Suzanne’s list even more.

The plan right now is to do Ancient Egypt for the first semester, then Ancient Greece for second. But we’ll have to play that one by ear. If we decide to do Ancient Greece, I’ll update this post with Ancient Greek resources.

We’ll also be reading these:
Day of Ahmed’s Secret
One Green Apple
The Butter Man
Sitti’s Secrets

Science:

Plant Secrets
The Burgess Bird Book for Children
The Tarantula Scientist
Birds (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)
Insects (National Audubon Society’s First Field Guides)
How a Seed Grows
If You Plant a Seed
From Seed to Plant
The Reasons for Seasons

Nature Journaling

He also requested these:
Kids First Chemistry Set
Programmable Rover
SomeBody Game
Motors and Generators Experiment Kit
Sunprint Kit
I haven’t said yes to this: Cubelets, but we’ll see.

Music:
Piano Lessons
Continued exposure to classical music

Art
Child Size Masterpieces
Artistic Pursuits Book 1
Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning (TM))
A Child’s Introduction to Art: The World’s Greatest Paintings and Sculptures
The Art Book for Children

Homeschooling First Grade Science (A Sample Curriculum)

IMG_7709

Posting this for my friend Madora who asked for a bit of guidance on how to homeschool Science with a first grader without the use of a textbook.

Prior to fifth grade and often even beyond, I rarely use a textbook. I find that living books very much fit our homeschooling lifestyle and personalities, so I will almost always reach for one whether I’m reading aloud to the kids or letting them read themselves.

This list of living books (plus other materials) isn’t meant to be comprehensive or match a specific state’s rubrics. At 6 years old, my first grader is still very much a sponge (thank God), so there isn’t much that he does NOT want to learn about, and I simply take cues from his interests, which I observe just from day-to-day interaction. Almost anything can trigger questions, so I do my best to pay attention to those and encourage further questioning and exploration.

In no particular order, these are my 6-year-old’s current favorites:

Microscope and slides
Seeds, any kind but bean seeds are great because they’re easy to grow, and grow quickly (almost instant gratification)
Paper, water, food coloring for random experimentation
Playdough – always nice to have colorful ones, but not necessary; whenever I make bread I give him a piece and it occupies him for at least a couple of hours if not more.
Recently he came home with some flubber from Trail Life.
Paper Airplanes
KidsGardening: A Kids’ Guide to Messing Around in the Dirt
Star Wars Yoda Chronicles (I don’t know that Star Wars = science, but hey, it counts as science around here)
Books by Gallimard Jeunesse, especially Dinosaurs and Airplanes
Mission to the Moon: (Book and DVD)
Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection
Boys Life Magazines (you can usually find this at your local library)
Dinosaur!
Universe (DK Eyewitness Books)
The New Way Things Work
National Geographic Readers: Volcanoes!
Dk Eyewitness Hurricane & Tornado
Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia Of Everything Nasty

At this age, he’s very curious about body processes and functions, so jumping up and down on the couch or on the floor, or down from the tree, using the bathroom, turning cartwheels, are all opportunities for me to engage and answer questions or point things out about anatomy and the way our bodies work.

When it gets a wee bit warmer we’ll head out to the fossil park not far from here. There’s a good list of fossil park locations on Wikipedia, but anywhere where kids can hold a small trowel and do some digging is great.

It goes without saying that play outside is essential. If you live near the beach, a nature park, a zoo, a botanical garden, a space museum — take advantage of these resources. But even if you don’t live near any of those, just get outside and observe trees, leaves, bugs, grass, the sky, birds, the sun and stars, etc. The list is endless, because God’s creation is endless.

A couple of sentences I love to use when interacting with my child:

“I don’t know that one, should we look it up?” Usually the answer is an excited YES, and usually there’s already some book in the house that provides basic information to satisfy his curiosity. If not, we ask dad, or a sibling, or one of mom’s online friends. There’s always Google though caution needs to be exercised when you do a search with a little one beside you.

“Why don’t you try it and see what happens/tell me what you find out?” with some brief guidance on where and when to conduct the experimentation — the tub, outside in the yard, at the sink. If you forget to provide that guidance, don’t lose your head later if it happens on your couch or bed.

Every once in a while, we go on the Pinterest board that I put together for him, and check out some new things we haven’t tried.

There really are not enough hours in the day to answer all his questions, so I don’t worry at all that he might not be learning enough. If he ever stopped asking them, THEN I’ll worry.

I hope this gives you a good starting point so you can put together your own first grade science curriculum. Or, if you would rather have something already put together for you, a favorite of homeschoolers is Noeo Science, which we tried one year and liked.

And in case you need it, I’ve got more science ideas in my previous post, How I Didn’t Teach Science. There are also ideas in the comments section from friendly folks.

How I Didn’t Teach Science

A close friend and fairly new homeschooling mom recently asked, “How do you teach science?”

I told her the truth. “I don’t.”

There was a time, years ago, when I would have been embarrassed to say that, because I would have interpreted my own answer as an admittance of deficiency: “I’m not the homeschooling mom I’m supposed to be.” Those words were petrifying to me then. The future was still a big question mark, and I was afraid that the reply that would be staring me in the face would be F-A-I-L-U-R-E.

I still fear failure, but I’ve also gained gobs of trust — in my kids’ natural thirst for learning, in the experience of moms who were there before me, and yes, even in myself as a mom and teacher. It goes without saying, I trust in God’s plans. And so far His plans have worked out for us!

Science is not my strong suit at all. I can explain basic stuff like water boiling or the sun rising or caterpillars turning into butterflies, but please do not ask me to balance equations or explain or demonstrate physics principles. Forget it. Regardless, our 23-year-old still graduated cum laude in Culinology, so she knows her chemistry, and another child is going into engineering. So it’s probably safe to say now that I didn’t damage them all that much. It is now a trust thing. 😀

How does this TRUST translate into the practical — the day-to-day? What did I actually DO?

1. I bought them books. A science encyclopedia, and then lots of picture books. We read and read and read. When the kids got older, I relied a lot on my friend MacBeth’s recommendations.

2. I did try a few experiments, but since they were mostly failures, I gave up. I didn’t stop them from experimenting though, even the silliest things that they made up. They did kinda like and tried some of Janice Van Cleave’s experiments. There’s this funny video we recorded 8 years ago, where I had the boys experimenting with some soda bottles plus I don’t remember what else. It was supposed to work a certain way, but it didn’t. It was a complete flop. I’d post it here just to prove that I’m a science klutz, but no idea where it is now. Suffice to say, whatever science prowess they have did not come from their mother.

3. I bought them toys: Lego, wooden unit blocks, K’nex, Erector sets, to keep their hands and minds busy. Some had lesson plans and even DVDs included, but uhm, I never used them though I promised myself I would. (Lazy, lazy, lazy.)

4. I let them watch videos: Magic School Bus even though I couldn’t stand that show, National Geographic, Kratt’s Creatures (now Wild Kratts), Discovery Channel, etc.

5. I took them outside, sometimes with field guides. We looked at birds and flowers and bugs and rocks and trees. We dug for fossils a couple of times. Every once in a while I took them to the science center or aquarium to assuage guilt. I encouraged nature journaling but it didn’t take, probably because I personally wasn’t enthused about it, though I still want to be!! Maybe when I’m old and gray and they’re homeschooling my grand kids, I can be a better example.

6. I taught them to cook. Kitchen science is the only science I know by heart. Cleaning squid was one of our most memorable lessons, and that student is now a chef and got As in her chemistry classes, so something must have worked, somehow.

7. I let them hang out a lot with Dad, since Dad’s an engineer. I figured they would learn stuff, because GENES. Maybe at least one kid did, since he will be studying how to become an electromechanical engineer in the fall.

8. I took them to the zoo. I suppose they learned stuff there too, though mostly they wanted to ride the train. :/

9. I bought a microscope and slides, science kits, binoculars, magnifying glasses, tools with which to observe.

10. I hung out with science people online, like MacBeth, and Kris; and others who loved to talk about science. I figured I could learn to be a better science teacher by just associating with them. Every now and then they’d post something sciencey on FB or at the forum, and I’d send the link to my kids. 😀

Sorry. I wish I could offer more profound/valuable advice, but like I warned my friend, I’m not a science person!! 😀 And THIS (so far) worked for us. So I hope this helps her, and you.