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The 12 Types of CWS Lessons

Now we are ready to discuss some of the the “why’s” and “how to’s” behind the 12 types of CWS lessons. Each has its own unique flavor and blessing for your family.

1. Core Videos

The eight Core Videos for each Global Topic are meant to be fun, interesting and informative.  Through all of them, we attempt to gain significant ground in “Deep Science” in the Global Topic.  This lays a powerful foundation for understanding more of the power, intelligence, beauty and love of God.  More will also be added to every Core Video when it is visited again in coming years.

Nearly everything taught in Core Videos is eventually meant for close to 100% long-term retention. If a child studies Science with CWS from elementary school through High School, all Global Topics will be run through a minimum of 3 times with testing becoming increasingly detailed, yet enjoyable at the same time. We will reveal and implement our ways of doing this which will powerfully merge the computer and Science.

2. CWS Experiments

Don’t Over Glorify Experiments

We don’t want to over-glorify experiments, but instead try to use them wisely in light of all of education. There are many times when powerful, well-woven concept teaching or various types of “hands-on” experiences can take a student much further than doing a few mediocre experiments.

What About Other Experiences

Also, as far as other “hands-on experiences”, what about field trips with the family to museums, National Parks, etc? What about in-depth conversations with engineers and scientists?

These are priceless memories and experiences setting the stage for the rest of life. Experiments and demos have a place, but we don’t want to overstate it. There are plenty of exceedingly smart students in the world today who spend much of their experiment time watching experiments on youtube rather than doing many.

But at the same time we love good experiments. They can be productive and fun. They often make for a great group time, too.

Come Back!

We feel students need to come back to specific groups of experiments many times as they are growing older. For instance, there may be Sound experiments that child learns about at 7 and not do them until 13 or 17. Kids can learn about experiments and grow years older before they are ready to tackle them.

Students come back to all Global Topics and their experiments are increasingly mastered as students get older. With the addition of new knowledge, the students also have productive experiences of turning past experiment failures into successes.  Coming back and finally making experiments and innovations work is very rewarding!.  This is how Faraday, Einstein, Edison and all the rest succeeded! 

This is why we have “Global Topic Experiment Clusters” (the “boxes” you see in each experiment lesson). Students are brought back to each Global Topic’s experiments to master the most important ones as they grow in knowledge and wisdom.

3. General Links​

Unique and Fascinating

The lessons with General Links are especially fun and fascinating.  These are videos covering unique and fascinating topics–ones way out of the box! 

Students are intentionally led to explore a vast array of topics that take them out of the Global Topic being studied purely for the delight of learning! These are a vital part of what builds the very important mini-topics in “The Field” (the small circles in “Year 1 Program” in the Home Page menu bar). We believe it’s a tremendous thing to dive out of the theme being studied and have a great time learning about new areas of Science. 

General Links are not meant to be tested at this point–rather just enjoyed.  We try to never minimize the tremendous effect of what is “caught” when enjoying rich resources.  Materials do not have to all be tested to achieve maximum impact! 

We’ve found that a tremendous amount of extremely valuable Sci-Concepts can be acquired by quality, enjoyable discovery learning that is off-topic.  We come back eventually to everything that we consider very valuable for laying a foundation that is both glorifying to God and which covers important “deep science”.  But for now, General Links are meant to be pure delight. 

Take a Delight Tour

In the first five minutes of a lesson,  you may be watching an incredible-around-the-world video on radiation pockets and visit the Curies’ lab, Chernobyl’s hospital basement and the deserts of  Nevada where the first nuclear tests took place.  Next, you may be behind a barn in Georgia leaning the amazing physics of cat flipping. Clicking again,  you may be in Costa Rica on an expedition into the Rainforest watching the sophisticated mechanics of parrot flight.  This can be followed by a NASA astronaut’s on-site explanation of the docking of visiting spacecraft.

Sooo fascinating. A sci-geeks heaven!  And so great for building a broad background in powerful Science.

Tapping the Uniqueness for the Glory of God!

We live at a unique time.  There is a weaving of video production and serious and incredibly fun science such as has never been seen in the history of the world.  There is a vast arsenal of beautifully presented science available to all.

We at CWS are completely into harnessing this for the glory of the Lord.

Avoid the Ineffective!

Each Global Topic has enough General Links to take four or more days to run through…and this is just viewing the selections one time.

It is true that time in ineffective viewing of poor material is a waste of time.  But if the Links are well chosen and well presented and Links are eventually come back to, time with Links can be very enjoyable and a very painless happy academic powerhouse.  Doing potpourri Links for the Sci-lesson at least once every ten days adds the beauty of new topics and unexpected wonders–and helps beyond-belief in creating a very effective science mind.  

Web Protection

Protection from the devastating evil on the web is important to us, too. For this reason, we encourage all parents to get secure web protection. If you use the Parental Controls on your device or on external web protection software like Covenant Eyes to white list CrossWired Science but not whitelist Youtube on your child’s user, all will be fine. (You have to do this on any website if you want to be secure.)

Then if you have another user on your device such as your own user or another which is password protected that has access to Youtube, then your child can go into Crossword Science on that user and view the Links when you allow it.

We put all our directly accessible Links behind the protection of the “Parent Resources.”  If you desire a “Click and be there experience”,  you’ll find it protected by the parental-teacher password. Otherwise, students can copy and paste the URL for each video. (The student Link lessons have the web address with a cover shot of the Link.) 

But again, this does not protect your child from directly accessing Youtube. Because Youtube has “broken” all private platforming of Youtube videos, the only way to have protection on any device is the “white list system.”  

Future Quizzing of Links

Our future lessons always involve review and computer-aided quizzing for some of the previously assigned great Links.

4. Unit Links

Like General Links, “Unit Links” are divided into three levels L-1,  L-2 and L-3. 

These “Unit Links” broaden and deepen all CWS concepts introduced in the Core Videos, the Digging Deepers and Gold Digs assigned for each Global Topic. 

CWS is very selective in the Links choosen.  We want to remain a secure foundation for making all of Science glorifying to God.  

Web Protection

Protection from the devastating evil on the web is important to us, too. For this reason, we encourage all parents to get secure web protection. If you use the Parental Controls on your device or on external web protection software like Covenant Eyes to white list CrossWired Science but not whitelist Youtube on your child’s user, all will be fine. (You have to do this on any website if you want to be secure.)

Then if you have another user on your device such as your own user or another which is password protected that has access to Youtube, then your child can go into Crossword Science on that user and view the Links when you allow it.

We put all our directly accessible Links behind the protection of the “Parent Resources.”  If you desire a “Click and be there experience”,  you’ll find it protected by the parental-teacher password. Otherwise, students can copy and paste the URL for each video. (The student Link lessons have the web address with a cover shot of the Link.)

But again, this does not protect your child from directly accessing Youtube. Because Youtube has “broken” all private platforming of Youtube videos, the only way to have protection on any device is the “white list system.”

Future Quizzing of Links

Our future lessons always involve review and computer-aided quizzing for some of the previously assigned great Links.

5. U-Choose

A Revolution Using Many People’s Materials!

We love to do many types of activities and use many wonderful materials which are available.  U-Choose is another part of each Global Topic which works toward this.

The U-choose lesson has many suggestions of great materials others have made as well as a great variety of activities.

Remember, U-Choose does not need to be connected to the Global Topic.

Specific suggestions are listed In other lessons such as “Reading”  or “Reinforcement”.  

6. Field Trips

Field Trips can be so outrageously FUN and meaningful…some of the greatest treasures of your life from the Lord to you.

Check out the suggestions in the Field Trips lesson.

We are working on developing an intensive suggestions list with amazing secrets for all fifty states. We’re connecting with a ministry to do this internationally as well.

We’d encourage you to make a 2-year plan.  You can change, sure, but looking ahead two years will help you to capture many extraordinary opportunities that you might otherwise miss.

Field Trips Can Be Defining for Life

We can’t encourage you enough to be bold here. 

You have no idea what the Lord may be doing in the long run with your field trips.

We’ve seen the Lord minister to thousands from things that have developed from our field trips.

As parents, you have one chance while your children are pre-adults! 

Really go for it here.   Don’t miss the exciting options.

Schools?

It is easier, of course, for families to go on field trips than it is for teachers to get an entire class out for one. But, our hope is that CWS will encourage two things in schools: 

 1. To provide more field trips for students and for students with their families.   And, 

 2. That schools would encourage their families to do more family field trips and even boldly do what they never thought they could.

It is our conviction that one of the greatest resources that schools have for their students is their own families. We at CWS want to be as much of a part as the Lord would graciously give us in helping schools to empower their families to be all they can be.

Catapulting Away!

Our hope is that our suggestions for Field Trips will catapult you into some of the greatest adventures you’ll ever have as a family–or grab some friends and make it a group adventure!  May you be powerfully used by the Lord in helping your beloved family build a rich, God-filled “Common Heritage” shared by all!

7. Reinforcement

Why a Reinforcement Activity?

The main purpose of this project lesson is to put a spark of fun in creating something that the student enjoys and provides some reinforcement of the Global Topic.   Students will learn many things from this lesson, but the main “push” is to change gears and have fun and also, for some, develop new or better presentation skills.  Many of the projects can be done in teams.

Ideas

For one child, the Reinforcement project might be a coloring sheet done well.  For another it might be drawing something challenging while listening to a great science CD like Johnathan Parks or a fascinating Christian scientist.  (ICR has old radio broadcasts on line.  AIG and Creation.com have many free recordings and the both have on-going great video reporting on Creation topics. )

For another it might be making a “science art project” that’s pretty hefty in science.

For someone who likes delight-based learning, it might be doing some research– lightweight or scaling the heightsdepending on your student.  It can be making a poster or a multimedia presentation about the research.  We’d love it to be in an area that is fascinating to the student.

Students can be divided into teams and perform Sci-dramas” or make “Sci-games” for their class or friends to try. There is great variety in the types of projects that can be undertaken!  Check the lesson for more ideas.

The Future!

As you proceed through the CWS program in the years to come,  your students will come back to each Global topic for greater mastery and more material.   There will be opportunities to try many different reinforcement projects for each Global Topic.

8. Research

The main purpose of this project is to build comfort in tackling one’s own research as a budding scientist. We hope to build discernment with what is interesting, important and what’s correct and what’s not.  It’s important also to build the ability to discern the trustworthiness of various sources.

With an unprecedented amount of information being added to the “the world’s database” every year, the ability to glean the precious from the worthless is a greatly needed skill.  It can help in a family’s future, future employment, and the future training and teaching of their own children.

The vital life skill here revolves around the verse, “…If you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman.”  –Jeremiah 15:19 

9. Reading

Books or Magazines

We strongly encourage reading a book for one day of sci-instruction each week.  It does not have to do with the Global Topic.  It can be any book you desire.

A CWS mantra about this wonderful area is:  “Every kid needs a “read-a-book-every-week-in-a-hammock-in-the-sunshine-or-curled-up-by-a-fire-in-the-fireplace-sipping-hot-chocolate time.”  YES!

Most families have a number of great science books around the house that they have been meaning to read, but never had the time.  Some biographies we suggest can be especially fun.  You can even read them together as a family.  Here’s a great opportunity to do all this!

We also give you an extensive list of Reading Options and Plans.  You may very inexpensively purchase one or more of the books or magazines that we recommend or other fine ones you learn about.

We suggest for the first year for all grades the 4 Benge Science biographies and we offer these at $10 under Amazon prices to make it very affordable for you. These are incredible for family Read alouds. And there are over 60 including incredible missionary stories.

We highly recommend the Benge Biographies and offer them to you about $10 cheaper than Amazon.

10. Gold Digs

Whew. Bone GD!

If you go to the “Gold Digs” in Fluid Dynamics, you’ll see that the five Gold Digs go very deep into “Bones”.  We believe young people are ready for this!

The reason we go so deep is because what it shows about many facets of Science and about the Lord is very significant. And, as we said before, going deep in a subject helps going deeper in other subjects.

Why Not Smaller Pieces?

Some ask why we didn’t break each Gold Dig into smaller bite-sized pieces.  Our answer is, “We did.  Each one has 25 or more pieces.”  A better question would be, “Why did we opt to put so many pieces together?”

One reason is that we love to build bridges to beautiful and fascinating things.  We love the ISS and we love Clydesdale horses, so we leap at the opportunity to take a visit when we have the opportunity.  We also have found that fascinating topics can keep the “interest-top” spinning in the minds of kids which is critical for deep learning. 

A Practical Help with GD’s.

All questions in one lesson that are meant to be graded by the website must be filled out in one session. For a Gold Dig – that’s about 50 questions.

This is a pretty taxing effort when the Gold Digs are as long as they are.  To help, CWS provides a printable set of questions that exactly correspond with the web-questions to help with this and to increase learning significantly.

To work the GD’s at a comfy pace, print the 50-question worksheet.  Each can be completed at a relaxed pace as desired over as many days as wanted.  Then, when ready, your students can launch the test and knock out all 50 questions quite easily in one sitting because they have the worksheet as a guide and are already very familiar with the material.

This “double task” in the Gold Digs and the Digging Deepers is a tremendous way to both increase understanding and retention.

Why So LONG????

There is an important educational reason the GD’s and Digging Deepers are so long.

After 40 years of teaching students,  we’ve come to realize that it’s better to teach things as a group.  If subjects are diced into small pieces, it’s both hard to remember them and keep track of them  It’s also hard to see how they all fit together.

On the flip side,  if you can quickly scroll down 25 pages to any place as you can in both the Gold Digs and the Digging Deepers, a student’s brain will all the time be connecting concepts in deeper ways if they are connected together. This solidifies wild-out-of-the-box cross-wiring from, for example, hummingbirds to the ISS, and it greatly increases retention of both after just a couple reviews.  Why?  Because it is interesting! We remember unique things far better than drab things.

ALL CWS  Core Videos, Digging Deepers and Gold Digs are meant to be mastered over the years to a point of very high retention.  The “Integrated Concept Chunks” such as in GD and DD tremendously help with long-term retention.  This aspect of teaching can nearly double lifetime retention of a “science-mind” by 18 years-old if part of the program involves reviewing past material and going deeper with it!

Pictorial Written Materials

Again, each Global-Topic has extensive “pictorial written materials”.  Sound has five Digging Deepers in the subject area of Sound.  Fluid Dynamics has what we call a “guest subject”.  It has a very extensive 5-part “Gold Dig” where students will learn the most about Bones possibly ever attempted to teach students who are not yet in college. This section powerfully shows the incredible gift God has given us creating our bones and the bones of His marvelous animals.

11. Digging Deepers

All that is true of Gold Digs is true of Digging Deepers.  The fundamental difference is that Digging Deepers are Global Topic Specific.  If it’s the Global Topic of Sound, the Digging Deepers will be directly Sound-related.

Gold Digs are different.  They are a “Guest Topic”.  They can be distinct from the Global Topic.  We like Gold Digs because they keep the learning fresh and exciting.  They are like a breath of fresh air!

Pictures Galore!

The Digging Deepers and the Gold Digs are heavily illustrated with fun, beauty and quite stunning “concept pictures”.  The pictures are the same for the two curriculums.  But the text and the questions are on two different levels.  In other words, if you go into the first “essay” on Bones, in both the “First Timers” and “Second Timers” curriculums, you will see a difference. The pictures are exactly the same but the text and the questions are different levels of difficulty.

The beauty of teaching “deep science” this way is that it allows for extremely effective and rich repetition of concepts which is critical for children as their minds develop.  This is an aspect of an absolutely essential element for creating a revolution in “Integrated Cross-concept Science Education” that the Lord can powerfully use for His glory.  

12. Devotions

There are devotionals of all sizes all through CWS.  Many are found throughout the written portions like Gold Digs and Digging Deepers and in the printables.

We love the Word and love to tie it to lessons we learn from how God built our universe.

The “Official Devotion Lessons” have gradable questions and some fill-in questions that help interaction with the material.

At the end of each Digging Deeper and Gold Dig, there is a fill-in box where teachers and parents can ask for personal applications of the devotional material found in the written material.  

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