Monday, June 5, 2017

Memoria Press ~ A Review

Memoria Press provides Classical Education curriculum for all ages. Nature's Beautiful Order, a curriculum that is geared for grades 6-9, is a great 18 lesson introductory course about the animal kingdom and natural order. Through the eyes of classical naturalists such as Dr. St-George Mivart, Aristotle, Georges Cuvier, and John James Audubon your student will experience nature's beautiful order. 

Included in this set is the student text, student guide, and teacher key. 

Your student will study:
  1. What Is an Animal
  2. The Lobster
  3. The Cuttlefish
  4. The Sea Urchin
  5. The Bee
  6. The Trout
  7. The Frog
  8. The Turtle
  9. The Canada Goose
  10. The Miracle of Flight
  11. Day's Herald Bird
  12. Birds at Home
  13. The Groundhog
  14. The White-Tailed Deer
  15. The Carnivora
  16. Farm Friends
  17. Man the Upright Animal
  18. Man the Steward
St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Hence, whereas the other animals take delight in the objects of the senses only as order to food and reproduction, man alone takes pleasure in the beauty of sensible objects for its own sake." 

The foundational question that needs to be answered is, "What is a living thing?" 

My incoming 6th grader who loves anything having to do with animals worked through Nature's Beautiful Order. While she loved reading about all of the creatures in this book she did have a bit of a hard time comprehending some of the more technical vocabulary. My daughter is an avid reader so going into this I thought she would do just fine. I think that this study would have suited her better in about a year or two. With that said, with my help we worked through several of the chapters together. She definitely learned ALOT of new interesting facts about the cuttlefish, frog, sea urchin, turtle, groundhog, and birds. 

An example of some of the more advanced vocabulary from the text, "His conjecture introduces the subjection of evolution. You will have by now noted that we have not treated the question of the emergence of new kinds of living things over time." 

Do you know why birds sing and do not speak?

Well, birds beaks are hard and therefore are not suited to change sounds emitted by the voice. Also, birds tongues are quite hard and bony and so most birds are incapable of modifying their vocal sounds and they come through the mouth. You may be asking, wait, parrots can talk. Yes, they can and that is because they have larger, fleshier tongues. 

While my daughter know a great deal of information on a wide range of insects, birds, and animals this study definitely got into more detail. She learned so much. I actually learned a lot too. God's brilliant hand in creation never ceases to amaze me. 

While learning about the sea urchin Aristotle made a very fascinating observation. He said, "The lower we look upon the chain of being, the less intelligible are the things that we are considering. We should expect them to be hard to understand and, therefore, we should expect the classification of them to be tentative rather than assured. The we climb the ladder of the chain of being, however, the distinctions become easier to make and our knowledge of the different kinds of animals more secure." 

These words are so very true. Though creatures such as the sea urchin are further down on the chain it by no means, means that they are any less intriguing. They have a bit of a mystery to them since they are so different from other animals further up on the chain. 

The Student Guide consists of short answer, comprehension questions that the student is to answer. The guide is broken down into chapters. The Teacher Key provides answers for the questions asked in the Student Guide. This course does not provide quizzes or tests. 

Again, because my daughter is on the younger side for this study some of the questions in the Student Guide were confusing or somewhat challenging for her. Not all of the questions were hard. 

An example of an easy questions:

"Why is the cate valued as a domestic animal?"

Then a more challenging question:

"What does it mean to say that an organism is a 'complex whole in which all the parts are reciprocally ends and means'?" 

My daughter said, "I love learning about all of God's creation, especially animals. I learned a lot of new and interesting information." 

The last chapter entitled, Man the Steward, is such a fitting ending to this study. Pointing back to the wonderful gift of creation one cannot help but see it as a very special gift. I hope to instill in my children the importance of the splendor of creation and its beauty. We are to be good stewards of the natural world because it is not ours, it is Gods! In the beginning God gave man the unique responsibility to govern over all creation. It is our responsibility to make sure that future generations are able to partake in its splendor. 

We have used a lot of curriculum from Memoria Press and have always be very pleased with the it. I would highly recommend Nature's Beautiful Order to others. I would suggest that it be used for the higher grades in the recommended range suggested by Memoria Press. Definitely check out all of the great curricula that Memoria Press has to offer. 

To read more reviews click here.

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