May 7, 2010

Homeschool-Science Class-Jonathan Park

When I was in school, I thought science and history were the most boring subjects I had to endure.  And then I graduated high school and discovered that science and history are some of my favorite things to study... aside from the Bible, health and child training, of course.  (Laughing out loud to myself here... because all these things really get me excited and I wish there were more hours in the day to delve into to each.)

The problem was that we were "taught" history and science by reading dry textbooks and then sitting at our desks listening to a teacher drone on repeating the same thing, almost verbatim, that we had just suffered through. 

When it came to home school and teaching these subjects, I wanted to instill in my children an interest in these topics more than I wanted to bury them in their outstanding knowledge of the facts or their ability to recite back to me all the key dates and figures of history and science.  I wanted them to love these things enough, that they would have a life time of joy learning about the history that shaped us and our society and the wonderful creation that God gave us. 

Except, I was at a loss how to do it.  Which ended up working in my favour.  I started with the logical approach and got a text book.  That was fun.  For about ten minutes.  Then I did what was natural.  We went to the library and got some books on a topic that was the current interest. 

I touched on this a bit when I was talking about kindergarten and I will go into more detail about it when I address history and science in home school.  For today, though, I want to talk about Jonathan Park.  As much as my children love these CD's, I can not imagine how it slipped my mind when I briefly introduced science during my kindergarten discussion. 

It turns out, that is a good thing, because this topic could occupy a lot of space!  For those of you who don't already know Jonathan Park or aren't familiar with Vision Forum ministries, both are wonderful resources for home schoolers and families alike.  You can get their beautiful and extensive catalog or visit their online store here.

Jonathan Park is a radio show featuring the Park and Brennan families, creation scientists, who happen into all kinds of fast paced, far fetched adventures that catch the children's attention and hold it for as long as the CD plays.  In fact, the boys like to listen to them at rest time and when they go to bed at night.  I have to put a one episode limit on at bedtime because they will not go to sleep as long as Jonathan Park is playing. 

Each episode is chock full of information about our Creator and His wonderful creations.  They teach the ins and outs of evolution and how to refute the heresy that is destroying the faith of this generation.  Even though Allen and I have sat through many classes and lectures on this topic, not to mention our personal study and reading, we still find we are learning from Jonathan Park.    

It just so happens, that no radio station in our area airs Jonathan Park so we invested in the CD albums.  I waited for one of the special deals from Vision Forum where you could buy all the available sets and a very nice study guide to accompany each album for a special price.  Then I tucked them away and gave them to the boys over time at Christmas and birthdays.  This made it more affordable and helped with that impossible question of what to give the children for holidays. 

These are also available in MP3 format if you prefer.  Vision Forum also has a special deal with iPod where you can buy an iPod preloaded with all the Jonathan Park episodes for  special price.  If you go to Jonathan you can listen to the current episode that will air this week. 

I will warn you that each episode moves very fast.  This was no big deal for my little boys, whose minds move very fast, too.  For me, it took a number of episodes to get into the swing of things and get my brain moving in Jonathan Park speed.  I had to keep stopping the CD and asking the kids what happened.  Of course, it could be just me.  I am a very visual learner and have a hard time listening anyway.  (This is one reason I avoid talking on the phone at all costs... I find my mind wandering and wondering what the speaker said to me!)

My girls enjoy listening to these just as much as the boys.  In fact, not long ago, I caught my big girls sewing and listening to Jonathan Park one night long after all the boys were sound asleep.  When I have errands to run, the children will often come along and ask to sit in the car while I do what needs to be done, so they can listen to Jonathan Park. 

For those of you who came here expecting an in depth discussion on how to teach science in your home school, I will get back to this topic in more depth at a later date.  Hopefully, this will give you a place to get started.  The quick bottom line is that for those of you who don't know how to teach science or find it unpleasant and boring, stretch your minds!  Put away those text books and go to the library, get some videos, wander around a farm or in the woods.  Lift a rock, see what is under it and then get some books to learn about the critters who have made their home there.  Don't let the ideas that public school have ingrained on our brains about what is the "right" way to teach take the joy out of what should be an exciting ride on your home school journey.   

Since Samuel, is Jonathan's biggest fan, I thought it would be fun for you to hear what he has to say about it.  I asked him a few questions and you can read all about it below.

Sam Says

Why do you like Jonathan Park?  "It is science class.  It's adventures and I like adventures."

What have you learned from Jonathan Park?  "I learn about creation.  Like dinosaurs."

Who is your favorite character?  "What do you mean?"  Who is your favorite person in Jonathan Park?  "Jonathan Park."

Which is your favorite story?  "Season 2... The Blazing Star... because it is not scary."

Why should other people get Jonathan Park for their boys?  "Because it is good."  Why is it good?  "Because science class is good."   


1 comment :

  1. Great idea about interviewing Sammy. I love talking to the little guys about things they love such as...well...Johnathan Park.