Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Books We're Using for Botany, Parent Version

First, let me relate the traumatic news that I can't find my copy of Salisbury and Ross's Plant Physiology. I know it was around for years and years because it was my favorite college textbook. But, alas, I can't find it now. (I did find some really surprising books and magazines while looking for it, though, but that's another story.) I remember throwing out my notes for Hort 217 when we moved from Ohio to here, figuring I hadn't used them for about 20 years, and was unlikely to develop a sudden urgent need for them. Maybe I tossed other plant/college related material at the same time.

Anyway, I keep finding more and more plant-related things on our shelves. For example, the other day I realized that we have a copy of Donna Simmons Botany Unit Study. I really enjoy Donna Simmon's books. She explains Waldorf concepts in a way that I can grasp. The Botany Main Lesson is typically taught in 5th grade in Waldorf curriculum, and neither of our kids are actually in fifth, but I'm still finding this a useful booklet. I like her ideas for lessons, although I'll adapt them mightily for our own uses. And I LOVE her bibliography (possibly because I already own the majority of the books, ahem ... great minds think alike and all of that). It's a small unit study -- only 32 pages -- and seems sort of expensive for the size, but I can use much of the information in it to organize my thoughts.

Since Thalia has decided to study Botany also, I got a copy of Kym Wright's Botany Adventure. This is such a different product than the Donna Simmons unit study. Where Donna gently nudges you in a direction (although you can just pick it up and go practically seat-of-the-pants, she expects you to make it your own), Kym Wright gives you a fairly precise map of how to teach a middle school/high school level unit on botany. Wowza. We're talking microscope slides of onion tips (sheesh, I remember those from the ancient days of studying this stuff myself), we're talking vocabulary like "stomata", "guard cells", and "mesophyll". Not a lot of writing assignments that I've noticed so far, but oodles of lab activities. Also, lots of little boxes to check off as you complete each days work, which is something Thalia really, really likes. It will be interesting to see how we feel about this as we move through it. We will not be using the suggested ABeka biology text, by the way. I wonder if it would be helpful to keep track of what books we liked using with it and what books we didn't, for the sake of other homeschoolers contemplating using this unit study.


kitten said...

I can't find my college English book. I have my little brother's, but my book was better, plus I had everything marked! So, I can feel your pain. But atleast you have something to replace it with. I love the Lab parts of science!

km said...

M & I studied the same thing in college. So we're lucky enough to have a double set of our textbooks. We should have gotten engaged sooner and just bought one book to share.