Early in my homeschool journey, I purchased a science textbook from a Christian publisher. But I found myself disappointed as the book skipped from one subject to the next at a pace that didn’t allow for real learning and lasting comprehension. My children were learning about the water one week, plants the next, and space the week after that. In the end, they didn’t really learn very much about any of the subjects we covered. The book had merely skimmed the surface, going an inch deep and a mile wide. Consequently, this was what the Third International Math and Science Study found was wrong with American education. When children don’t learn science deeply enough, not only do they not retain it, they don’t even like it. And they especially don’t feel confident in their understanding of science.
Charlotte Mason advocates a whole book approach, drinking deeply of the wellspring of knowledge found in each subject.
I wanted my children to love learning, enjoy the pursuit of knowledge and find satisfaction and confidence in their understanding of science. I didn’t want them to simply know the order of the planets and a few random facts about space; I wanted them to know the beauty of God’s majestic universe on a deeper level and to develop a truly abiding comprehension of astronomy. Therefore, my idea of a perfect curriculum would be one that immersed students in the subject. They would come to know astronomy well, building confidence in their mastery of the subject before moving on to another field of science.