Looking for a unique curriculum that teaches various disciplines of science chronologically instead of topically? You have to check out Dr. Jay Wile's Elementary Science Series! Book four of the series entitled Science in the Age of Reason concentrates on scientists of the 18th century, with topics from Astronomy, Botany, Weather, Physics, Magnetism, Human Body and more all from a Biblical Worldview.
What is science? It is an attempt to understand the world around us and how it works. People have been doing science for a long, long time, even though it wasn't always called"science." For the majority of human history, science was known as "natural philosophy." In this course, you will learn about the advances made in natural philosophy during the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century. Most historians say that the Age of Reason is centered on the 18th century, so this course covers the science that was done in the Age of Reason.
You might be surprised by some of the natural philosophers you find in this course. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was a natural philosopher? Most people know him as one of the founding fathers of the United States. While that was most certainly one important role he played in history, it wasn't the only one. He also advanced science in many ways. You might be surprised at how much of a debt science owes to him.
Of course, while you learn a lot about the natural philosophers themselves you will mostly be learning about the contributions they made to our scientific understanding of the world around us. As you work through this course, I hope you come to love studying the world around you, just like the natural philosophers in this course did! -Dr. Jay Wile
Science in the Age of Reason contains 90 lessons split into 6 sections which include "normal" and "challenge" lessons, as well as a hands-on activity with each lesson. At the end of each lesson there's a review and comprehension section that is split according to the age of the student. The youngest students have to answer 2 oral questions, older children a notebook exercise and oldest students a more difficult exercise.
The experiments within this book are easy to manage - but must be done with an adult present! A list of needed common supplies are included as well as a shorter separate list of hard to find items such as moth balls, wintergreen mints, Root Kill, etc
Your student will learn:
Lessons 1-15 Science in the Early 18th Century
- Halley, Fahrenheit, Fairchild, Montagu, de Maupertuis, Celsius, Hales, Fauchard, Bernoulli, Gray, Euler, de Reaumur
Lessons 15-30: Science in the Middle of the 18th Century
- van Musschenbroek, Leclerc, de Buffon, Franklin, Linnaeus, Lind, Black
Lesson 31-45: Science in the Mid-to-Late 18th Century
- Michell, Wilcke, Cavendish, Watt, Bushnell, Priestley, de Lavoisier, Galvani, Volta
Lessons 46-60: Science in the Late 18th Century
- Volta, Ingenhousz, Darwin, Herschel, Spallanzani, de Coulomb, Charles, Prevost, Richter
Lessons 61-75: Science at the End of the 18th Century
- Hutton, Jenner, Proust, Davy, Bichat, Nicholson, Dalton
Lessons 76-90: Science at the Turn of the 19th Century
- Henry, Young, Wollaston, Piazzi, Gauss, de Sasussure, Gay-Lussac, Brugnatelli
Our Experience with Science in the Age of Reason
We thought the best way to show you Science in the Age of Reason is to take you through an actual experiment. Letting my 7th grader choose, she picked a lady scientist, Lady Mary Worley Montagu and her promotion of smallpox inoculation.
The experiment is called "Protection from Cabbage". Required materials are red cabbage, white vinegar, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, glasses, water, a pot, a stove, measuring cups, measuring teaspoon.
First, make your cabbage water. Next, prep glasses in the following order: vinegar, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and water. Next pour 1/2 tsp cabbage water into each glass and swirl.
Compare the colors. Then after a detailed explanation of the results, answer the following questions.
- Fill in the blank: smallpox is a deadly disease that causes _______ on a person's skin.
- What is inoculation?
Write a description of what inoculation is and why Lady Montague played an important part in it becoming popular in England.
Do what the older students are doing, and then imagine yourself as an English parent in this time period. Write about whether or not you would inoculate your children and why.
Obviously, this opened up a great conversation with my 7th grader and even the older kids on this topic!
Final Thoughts about Science in the Age of Reason
Science in the Age of Reason is a hit in our homeschool! There's a feel of familiarity and continuity within this series that is so similar to the upper level texts Dr. Wile has previously written. It's an awesome thing to be able to have my youngest scientist, age 6, study with Dr. Wile all through his homeschooling years!
Take a peek at the text for yourself and see if this curriculum is a fit for your homeschool!