My son loves his Challenge A Science Research strand this semester!
This coursework is designed specifically to teach students how to research. Each week, my son is assigned a topic. Throughout the week, he is expected to research that topic, using at least two sources, and write a multi-paragraph report. Included with each report is a labeled drawing of the topic and a bibliography citing his sources. On the following seminar day, he presents his research to his Challenge A classmates.
Again, I will state that my son loves this strand. He has owned his work, even more than I assumed he would. He takes incredible care of his notebook, and each week he expects his drawing to be better than the previous one. Independently, he practices his presentations at home so that he is prepared on class day. My son is a typical 13-year-old boy, so all of this is somewhat out of character for him. However, I have enjoyed witnessing his newly discovered ownership. More than once, he has mentioned how proud he is of the work that he has been producing.
Because of our past experience with Classical Conversations, we have been fully prepared for this research strand for two distinct reasons. First, my son has a ridiculous number of science facts memorized from his past years in Foundations. Researching any one of these topics has been a joy for him because he is already familiar with the vocabulary of that topic. Second, he previously learned how to write a non-fiction report from multiple sources thanks to the Essentials class utilizing materials from IEW. With ease we have transitioned into this strand, and as a result, we've greatly enjoyed our learning.