Thursday, March 28, 2019

The International Wildlife Encyclopedia - A Surprise Hit for Middle and High School Science

We finished up the science books we've been working through this year, early. Instead of rushing out in search of something new, I gave the younger children (ages 12-16) a volume of Marshall Cavendish's "International Wildlife Encyclopedias", and ask them each to try reading about one animal a day, as part of our new "use what's already on our shelves" initiative.

I can't remember when we got the set, or where it came from - some library sale, the grandparents, or a spring cleaning neighbor, maybe.  It's been on our bookshelves for a long time.  We've used a volume, once or twice, for refence (like the time we had a vole in our window well)…

… but I never would have thought to hand them out as reading material if we hadn't been trying to deliberately use books from our own bookshelves.  And, what a loss that would have been.  It turns out the set is huge hit.

I was thinking it might make a good filler until summer break, and sort of keep science going in a vague way.  But, the volumes are packed with information, and a good dose of history, anthropology and geography on top of basic biology.  And, they're  written right at the perfect middle school/high school level to really engage all three of the kids.  They've turned out to be so much more interesting to the children than the science books they dutifully (and willingly) read, but then quickly forgot, already this year.

Not only have they happily been reading about a new animal each day, they're sharing with each other what they've read, in an enthusiastic, "hey, look at this!" kind of way.

I could only dream that our other science texts would spur the kinds of discussion and additional research that these plain, old (literally old, they were published in 1969) encyclopedias have done.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Cristy said...

Wow! That is awesome! I have been trying to read through some of our books too, since you suggested it. We have found a set of history books we simply love- right in our own collection! Great stuff.

Dawn said...

What a wonderful discovery right on your shelves!
Blessings, Dawn

Ticia said...

How cool! I need to go through our shelves again.