The Story of Science Review
The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way
Aristotle Leads the Way was the main science text I found to pair with Beautiful Feet Books Ancient History (Intermediate) curriculum for my past year of homeschooling. My kids were in grades 6 and 8 this past year, and we often do Socials and Science together for ease. Aristotle Leads the Way was a perfect fit for middle school. I wanted an open-and-go resource that we would be able to keep up with our interwoven subjects. I was so pleased with this choice! It created a rich and fertile ground for seeping ourselves into history I’d forgotten from my youth but was eager to press into.*
Teach Science through History
Finding Aristotle Leads the Way was like finding a needle in a haystack. I was able to marry two sciences that my children enjoy learning about–Physics and Astronomy–with the historical era of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. If your child has never been introduced to either of these subjects, it doesn’t matter. This is an excellent place to start because Hakim gives us the chronological order of the ideas and observations that birthed these two subjects. If your students have had experience they’ll find new information and rediscover the why and how behind these disciplines from great thinkers of ancient times.
As far as textbooks go, this is a smaller one, but at just under 300 pages, it’s flush with ancient maps, geographical photographs to provide context, works of art throughout antiquity, diagrams of inventions, and little excerpts that give the student practice with the concepts, whether that’s prime numbers or how Hero calculated the area of a triangle. Don’t know who Hero was? You’ll want to look him up; he was one of my students’ favorite thinkers and tinkerers from this text. If Hero’s ideas would have caught on quicker we’d likely be in flying cars by now! He invented hydraulics and a steam-powered device while living in Alexandria. The steam-engine powered train was up and running only 18 centuries later. Hero was a tad ahead of his time.
I learned a lot this past year alongside my kids, and Hakim was a fantastic tour guide. She has a witty sense of humor, and the book is written to be read as a story. She spins the known world and highlights the masters of antiquity in philosophy, astronomy, physics, engineering, and mathematics, and how all of these disciplines were entwined together in the beginnings of scientific thought, experimentation, and record.
We had such a good experience with Aristotle Leads the Way that we’ll be finishing the series over the next two years, adding Newton at the Center and Einstein Adds a Dimension, to our curriculum choices for science. I don’t recall ever hearing a peer saying to another, “Wow, that was really good!” about a textbook but that happened in my classroom!
*So many puns, so little time.
My name is Sarah Mast and I homeschool my two kids in Ft. Langley, BC. One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling is the community gained, and I volunteer with a local support group to help foster that and connect others. My family loves the outdoors and traveling, and our weekends include skiing, swimming, hiking, or biking depending on the season. I found Classical Education Books at a conference and noticed their well-curated selection of children’s books. I kept tabs on their collection of the classics and hard-to-find books and reached out. Now I get to help customers hone their collections, and work on the ever-growing inventory here at CEB!