Don’t Be Afraid To Teach Physics

Don’t be afraid to teach physics was one of my favorite plenaries of the Living Education Retreat.  It was one of my most favorite Charlotte Mason friends that I had lost track of in the blogosphere, Richele .  She her little spot of the blogiverse is over at Barefoot Voyage.  I was a little hesitant to go to her physics class as I clearly don’t have a math brain. There is a reason Michael teaches math in our homeschool.  She assured me that I could teach it regardless of my math ability. 

Don't be afraid to teach physics in your homeschool. Elaborate math knowledge is not necessary nor is a dry textbook.

She certainly made it appear doable in her talk.  Physics is simply the exploration of energy in matter.  In Charlotte Mason’s school, she would have started physics in Grade 4.  As was her custom with teaching all things, learning would have taken place slowly then increased as the child got older.  In volume 3 of her 6 volume set,The Original Home Schooling Series , she says on page 160 that children should be introduced to new scientific discoveries with the understanding that they were not always final or conclusive. Considering she was teaching this pre WWII, imagine her excitement at all the discoveries taking place today.  

A great point in her talk was that teaching physics follows the same  pattern as math.  It is not necessarily math heavy.  The most difficult problems are already completed leaving the ones in their level for them to figure out if that.  Mathematics is the servant of physics not the master.  Given that Richele is a math genius, this was revolutionary to me who is math phobic.  You really don’t need a math degree to teach physics.  Now if you happen to be looking for a great way to teach math then check out Richele’s course, Mathematics: An Instrument For Living Teaching.

Don't be afraid to teach physics in your homeschool. Elaborate math knowledge is not necessary nor is a dry textbook.

Science books made into literature are a great place to start .  Not only do they add literary value to your child’s education but they help teach scientific concepts.  Add in some experiments and you don’t even need a textbook to teach science.  Did you hear that?  You can teach advanced scientific concepts without a textbook.  What was most amazing to me was the thought that you can teach any science without a textbook.  It seems a little intimidating to me to think that but really why should that be the case?  If I can teach Florida history without a textbook then I should be able to teach science without one too.  

But you can’t teach physics without experiments .  I thought this would be the end of my physics adventure.  Enter in the American Physics Association. Their website has a plethora of ways to educate children about physics along with experiments . Physics At Home will give you all the experiments you need with materials found right around your house.  Keeping a nature as well as a science notebook coupled with the following books gives you a complete curriculum sans textbook. 

The Time and Space of Uncle Albert

Uncle Albert and the Quantum Quest

Black Holes and Uncle Albert

The Sciences, Illustrated Edition

This Wonderful Universe: A Little Book About Suns and Worlds, Moons and Meteors, Comets, and Nebulæ

The Fairy-Land of Science

Some wonders of matter

The Universe Around Us