Synergy

I love synergy.

The American Heritage dictionary defines synergy as, “the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.”

Charlotte Mason had another term for synergy. She called it The Science of Relations.

She wrote, “Education is the ‘Science of Relations’; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books…” As the child begins to see how one thing relates to another, he makes connections in his thinking which increases his knowledge of a subject exponentially.

To me, it is always ideal when the things we are studying in school work together to reinforce other things we are studying. I have tried to plan for more cross-curricular reinforcement this year, and the result has been well worth the effort.

Let me share with you about what we did today, by way of example. We are studying the first few chapters of Genesis this week during our Bible reading: the creation, the Fall, Cain and Abel and the flood.

Our hymn for the week fits perfectly with our Bible studies. This week we are working on memorizing I Sing the Mighty Power of God, which praises God for how His power and majesty are reflected in creation.

Some days after Bible reading we take time to go through portions of the children’s catechism. The children’s catechism is a great way for our littlest ones (ages 3 and 6) to learn basic Bible truths in a format that will stick with them for the rest of their lives, and this week is the perfect time to choose portions that relate to creation, Adam and the Fall.

The parent asks the question and the child answers.
For example, here is one that our three year old knows the answer to:
Question 17: Q: How did God make our first parents? A: God made Adam’s body out of the ground, and Eve’s body out of a rib from Adam.

And here is one that our six year old is working on:
Question 35: Q: Did Adam act for himself alone in the covenant of life? A: No–he represented the whole human race.

I have a copy of the Children’s Catechism in the sidebar of this blog, if you want to check out other questions! You can also buy a paperback copy of it for $1.25 at Great Commission Publications.

Our history, science and geography also relate to what we are studying. We are using two books for Geography in addition to our normal Tapestry of Grace Map Aids. I am switching back and forth between volumes I and II of A Child’s Geography, both by Ann Voskamp. Book I covers lots of geography topics. Today, to go along with our study of creation and Noah’s ark, we learned about what the earth is made of inside, Pangea, plate tectonics, and the names and location of all the continents.

Volume 2 covers several middle eastern countries. We used it for our study of Egypt for the past 3 weeks (when we were reading the book of Exodus), and over the course of the next 6 weeks we will use it to study Turkey and Israel.

For science we are reading some introductory books about dinosaurs and how fossils form (from a young earth perspective), using some materials from Answers in Genesis. Later this year, we will cover dinosaurs in more depth in our Land Animals science book. I thought about doing the chapters in that book out of order, just as we are doing for geography, but it didn’t seem very scientific. I decided to wait for further study of dinosaurs, knowing that reinforcement can also be useful after a span of time has passed.

I think our school days have been very stimulating this week, with everything fitting together so nicely!!

Comments

  1. Isn’t it fantastic when it all falls together like that?

    Nice post!

  2. Sometimes things happen without our planning. It’s amazing. Sprite was reading Brighty of the Grand Canyon which mentioned a man mining for copper ore. That led to a discussion about ore. Then in chemistry, we studied about ores and smelting. Then the next day I “happened” on a verse about how God tests us as gold in the refiner’s fire. Bingo! We then took off on that tangent, tying it all together. Love that.

    The best learning is cross curricular.

  3. It is amazing how all the studies fall together like that and paint a whole picture

  4. Thanks for this post. Isn’t it great when those things come together? And I’m looking at doing A Child’s Geography next year, so glad to hear you like it. ♥

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