One of Charlotte Mason's educational objectives was to foster a life-long love of learning in each of her students. Ever emphasizing the importance of God in education, she exposed children to living ideas found in excellent literature, real-life, and hands-on examination in order to accomplish her goal. Firmly rooted in Charlotte Mason's educational philosophies, fellow homeschooling mother Sonya Shafer has made her own lesson plans for a foundational year of science available in 106 Days of Creation Studies
Shafer's work is not a stand-alone program, but provides 106 daily lesson plans to guide families through the scientific concepts introduced in the seven days of creation as found in the book of Genesis. A short primer for parents new to Charlotte Mason includes short descriptions of the major methods used throughout the course such as narration, nature study, living books etc.
As God created the entire world in seven days, Shafer is able to provide an introductory level of knowledge across a wide range of scientific fields. Earth science, botany, astronomy, entomology (the study of insects), zoology, anatomy and more are all presented for personal discovery. 106 Days of Creation Studies
provides just the right degree of familiarity with each topic to spark the flame of wonder, appreciation, and desire for further knowledge of God's creation.
After an overview of the basis for accepting the earth as God's creation, the daily lessons begin. During day one, children will explore light, shadows, reflections, refractions, and color. Day two explores the atmosphere, wind, clouds, air pressure, the water cycle, and weather. Each chapter pulls its scope and sequence directly from the pages of scripture.
Written to facilitate the teaching of multiple students in grades one through six, each lesson includes a short lesson for the entire family along with additional work for older students (approximately grades three and up at your discretion). Each daily lesson begins with a supply checklist, followed by the lesson plan for the entire family. The family lesson plan for each day consists of combinations of scripture readings observational experiments, field trips, family read-alouds, narration, nature study, constructive oral examinations, and the assembly of a creation notebook. The main spines for the family lessons are the Bible and 101 Great Science Experiments
by Neil Ardley. Many of the science experiments drawn from this text can easily be performed from the descriptions in the lesson plan, but it may be beneficial to have the photographs of the experiments available for your own reference.
The additional activities for older students are drawn mainly from Considering God's Creation
(see related review
) and the addition of research projects including scientists of note, maintaining a timeline in a Book of Centuries and some light apologetics. General suggestions for narrating with a group of multiple aged students are scattered throughout the text as well as tips for working together in a harmonious family unit.
Some of the days of creation are focused more upon hands-on experiential discovery and experimentation, whereas others rely upon family read-alouds and supplementary videos for most of the lesson plans. The bulk of the lessons are found in Creation Day Five and Six with the introduction of life sciences such as entomology, zoology, and human anatomy making up more than half of the study.
Of primary importance is the fact that the framework Shafer has provided will save many hours of lesson planning and dramatically reduce the seemingly endless search for just the right books, experiments, audios, and so on. Shafer makes pulling the study together easy through a simple layout and clear organization.
A full list of the materials and literature used throughout the course of the study is provided for busy mothers who love to round up all the necessary tools in advance. This materials list is included in a free downloadable sample file, which will help families decide if the complete study fits within their budget once the additional resources are purchased.
Largely non-consumable and reproducible within one family or classroom, 106 Days
is an economically priced teaching guide. Of the recommended resources, many are available in affordable editions, though there are a few which are costly, or even out of print. Generally, the recommended resources are widely available through homeschooling and Christian retailers online, though they may be difficult to find in a public library. Shafer is quick to point out that the books, videos and other supplementary resources she recommends are guidelines only, and that families should substitute or prune to meet their needs.
106 Days of Creation Studies
is particularly well suited to families embarking upon a foundational year of formal science instruction. Can there be a sweeter way to begin science than exploring a breadth of subject matter pulled directly from the very creation of the world?
A free sample download is available at the Simply Charlotte Mason website. I strongly encourage parents seeking an easy to use and ready to go, introductory creation science lesson plan to give the preview a try.