Any CM graduates (or parents/family members) on this board who majored in science/technology/engineering/medicine or who entered science-related careers?
Would love to hear your experiences of your (or of your kids’) high school science preparation and moving on to university studies in those areas.
My oldest has done one year as a physics major, although he has been in Europe for the last year and a half and I don’t know what he will be ready to study when he gets back. My second son is in the social sciences.
My oldest is finishing up his mechanical engineering degree at TN Tech (which is encased in ice right now.). He started out as a physics major but changed it because he would actually get to do the things he loves as a mechanical engineering major. He has done very well, not only in his math/science classes which are his strength, but his “language arts” type classes, especially in writing. I believe this is attributed to his CM education. Honestly, for high school science, he went through Apologia, all the way through advanced physics. That was his choice. During his junior year, he took an Apologia Physics class taught to homeschoolers by an astrophysics professor/homeschool dad which gave him some real-life rigor (the guy was tough!)
Wanted to add…in case you don’t know, I operate a homeschool lending library of over 17,000 living books. Many moms come into my library concerned about “ditching” living books for science during the high school years, believing that they are somehow being disloyal to Charlotte Mason by putting their child in Apologia or the like. To help these moms, I have picked my son’s brain about this quite a bit over the past couple of years. His response was that, sure, a student could do serious high school science with living books (although, he said, the term living books is relative. He enjoyed Apologia and said it was living to him. He said,”I was driven to do it and you couldn’t have kept me out of it.) However…that student and parent would have to be VERY diligent to seek out books that would cover the necessary material in the chosen field of study. His other concern was the math, which he said, is very important in context. His point was well taken that, if a student has been taught with living ideas, that student can even find them in dead books if they want them bad enough. Give them what they need to do what they love.
BTW, my son doesn’t have much time during school to do much real reading, but as soon as he’s off for a break he reaches for a book. Usually when he comes home, that’s what he has in his hand. 🙂 It’ll be alright.
Thank you very much for your input!
RobinP – yes, those are exactly my concerns. I don’t really have a problem with being ‘disloyal’ to CM – I do see value in CM methods, but my major concern is the present availability of suitable, college-prep materials for those aiming for math and science fields.
I assist a homeschool group who is looking for curricula in a variety of age groups. Many of the homeschool families have a parent in business or technology and want the kids to be ready, if they choose this path, for math and science related majors and fields as well. And they share similar concerns about living books for high school/college prep.
Your son’s advice is really especially helpful here. I do think it’s important – because they will need to do it in university anyway (most universities don’t use living books!) – to find ‘living ideas’ in regular books.
Both my graduated sons used Apologia, also through Advanced Physics, although I must caution you there are issues with Adv. Physics if you are not pretty advanced yourself. An online class could be a help here. Anyway, we also supplemented with video and living books, but Apologia has the meat. It is a solid college prep course. I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that it would seem to me a good idea for possible biology majors to supplement with a simple book on evolution. OK, before everyone screams. Just hear me out. Apologia does a good job explaining objections to evolution. It does a less than adequate job actually describing evolutionary theory. The old adage that you might not want to listen ONLY to the critics of someone applies here. If your kids are really going to be thrown into the midst of a biology major at a college, I really do believe they need a more sophisticated treatment. They will be better prepared for what they will encounter. My two cents.
Very good point, Bookworm. We did quite a bit of prep work in the evolution department. Unfortunately, even at Christian universities, they will be seriously challenged in this department.
Thank you very much for that insight. Yes I do feel that it’s needed or at least very helpful to address creation/evolution with any curriculum (religious/creationist – you’d need to explain evolution well, so that at least they understand it for university purposes; secular – you’d need to explain the religious/creationist viewpoint). Even if the curriculum teaches both views, usually the curriculum will slant one way or another, and it is important that the student properly understands both views even if the student/family understands that he/she/they only agree(s) with one.
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