Thursday, September 1, 2011

Saying Good-Bye to The Magic School Bus

When I was planning Jay's Science last year, 1st grade, I thought it would be fun to do Magic School Bus based Science. So, I connected the topics for 1st - 3rd grade Science with Magic School Bus kits, books, and episodes. We, of course, add in plenty of materials that are not related to Magic School Bus but are related to the topic. It has been fun. Magic School Bus has always been a show we liked. Dea liked it, Jay likes it, and I even enjoy it. Connecting his Science to characters that he enjoys has been a fun way to do Science. However, it is coming to an end.

We will finish out the Magic School Bus based Science this year, but not next year. We don't enjoy the Teacher Created Magic School Bus Units. We have enjoyed the kits, but they really aren't challenging for Jay. They have been great for allowing him to do labs/experiments on his own with just supervision or mostly alone with a little help. However, many times he learns nothing from the activity itself, just the experience of working, at least mostly, independently. He did get some out of the kits last year, but got nothing from the Space kit earlier this year.

So, next year, we'll be getting kits for older students, in hopes that he'll actually be challenged to some degree. I really want him to continue enjoying his Science, but also want the activities to be something he learns from. If he doesn't get something out of the activities, he will become bored with them, as he does with all busywork.

Next year, we're getting a kit on volcanoes. We're also getting a Thames & Kosmos kit. It has 100 experiments in it, on a variety of topics. We won't do all the experiments for school, just the ones connected to our topics for the year. We may do some of the others on breaks, just for fun. We'll probably also get one or two kits on crystals. Jay will be studying Geology, Water, Meteorology, and Light & Optics. So, we're thinking the kids can do the crystal kits together, since Dea has requested Geology as her Science next year (she's changed things again, is doing Intro to Psych this year along with Anat & Phys, as originally planned, and is back to wanting to graduate at 16).

I'm sure we'll still watch some Magic School Bus episodes related to his topics, and may still pull out some of the books. I doubt even that will continue after next year, though. He's just getting too old for Magic School Bus. It's so weird. I've been reading the books & watching the show for so many years now, first with Dea then with Jay. It's kind of strange to know that my youngest is outgrowing it. Within just a few years, our collection of Magic School Bus books will be boxed up with the rest of the books the kids have outgrown that I'm holding onto. Luckily, we still have Bill Nye to watch (plus, one or two of his books). He won't outgrow Bill Nye for some years yet.