Science in the Ancient World Review
In our homeschool we enjoy studying history, literature, music and art all together in the context of a particular time period. This is a great way to get an overall picture of “life in the past” and aids tremendously in retention.
Unfortunately, science was always left out of this formula.
Though not entirely impossible to implement a chronological study of science, it certainly isn’t easy to put it all together. Until now!
Creation scientist and author Dr. Jay Wile has made this method of study possible with his Elementary Science Series. His newest text, Science in the Ancient World is a wonderful compilation of science from Democritus to da Vinci with a Biblical worldview.
There are 90 lesson split into 6 sections covering the topics of atoms, sound, the body, light, simple machines, optics, magnetism, plants and more. Each section has a total of 15 lessons. 12 of these are “normal” and 3 are “challenge” lessons. The parent has the choice to tackle a lesson every other day in order to incorporate the challenge lessons OR do 2 per week and skip the challenge lessons.
Lessons 1-15 Science Before Christ, Part I
- Pythagoras, Democritus, Hippocrates
Lessons 16-30 Science Before Christ, Part 2
- Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes and more
Lessons 31-45 Science Soon After Christ
- Hero, Ptolemy, Galen and more
Lessons 46-60 Science in the Early Middle Ages
- Philoponus, Bacon, Albert of Saxony and more
Lessons 61-75 Science in the Late Middle Ages
- Oresme, Nicholas of Cusa, Gutenberg and da Vinci
Lessons 76-90 Science in the Early Renaissance
- da Vinci: water to the body plus his “inventions”
Each lesson is about 3 pages in length and written in a conversational tone that rings true with Dr. Wile’s previous texts. This study is easily adaptable for more than one student – perfect for a co-op setting for students K-6th.
As with Science in the Beginning, each lesson ends with review questions that are split up according to the age and ability of the student.
For example the Lesson Review questions for Lesson 17 on Aristotle:
Youngest students: Answer these questions:
1. Did Aristotle agree with Plato about studying the world around us?
2. Name at least two of the elements that Aristotle thought made up everything around you.
Older students: Write down the five elements that Aristotle thought existed in nature and where each belonged. Then explain how Aristotle used this to describe motion. Finally, explain why your experiment shows that this idea is not correct.
Oldest students: Do what the older students are doing. In addition, see if your home has a fire extinguisher. Read the label to see what is in the fire extinguisher. Is it carbon dioxide? What what kinds of fire the extinguisher can be used on, according to the label.
The accompanying lab entitled “A Sinking Gas”
Holding the bottle with the “mystery gas” up to the lit candle….
Hmmm. Why does the flame go out?
Speaking of labs, though they appear to be easy to execute, parental supervision is a MUST. Most of the items needed to complete the labs are commonly found household items. A complete listing broken down by section is also included.
And, a test booklet is available for those who feel the need to test their children.
“As I mention in the introduction to Science in the Ancient World, while I do provide tests in this book, I personally don’t think they are very important for the elementary years. However, I realize that there are many parents who do. In addition, I understand that some students need practice taking tests in science before they are thrust into the more academically challenging science course found in junior high and high school. As a result, I ask that you use your own discretion when it comes to administering the tests. Do so if you think it is the best thing for your children……”
I wish I would have had this series to use with my older children years ago. Looking through the rest of the text, many of these labs looks like so much fun. In fact, my 10th grader has requested participating in the da Vinci Experiments!
One final thought from Dr. Wile:
“Now think about what you have learned in the last four sections of this course. Did you notice that most of the natural philosophers you learned about in those lessons were Christians? There were some who were not, but by and large, most of the natural philosophers who contributed to our understanding of the natural world after Christ was born were Christians. That’s not a coincidence. You see, science is a natural consequence of a Christian worldview. When someone understands that a logical, rational Creator made this world and set laws in motions that would govern how the world works, he realizes that it is possible to use reason and actually understand nature.”
You can take a closer look at this curriculum HERE.