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Why discount Nancy Larson science?


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#1 Amysue277

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:59 AM

From everything I've read about NL science, it seems wonderful a pnd what every homeschooler wants....fairly scripted, complete, and all inclusive, The only negative Ive ever heard is price. Yes, ouch!

But-are there any other reasons why you would not use it? There are so many threads discussing science programs, and I'm just curious if anyone has tries NL and then switched to something else, or if there is something about NL that turned you off?

We are starting 1st grade and K. Ext year. Although we use a "boxed" curriculum, NL seems like my dream science curriculum and I'm trying to figure out a way to use it unless there is a good reason NOT to. thoughts?

#2 bethben

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:38 AM

I bought it because it looked easy to do and was something that would give my kids a solid science foundation. I found a gem I didn't know it had. I like my kids to memorize science concepts. Last year, I created a bunch of definitions to memorize from their Apologia book. I looked into my kit and wonder of wonders, not only are they giving me the definitions to memorize, but they have it all formatted into cards to flip through. It is completely done for me! Not only that, but for my learning to write dd, they have instructions for printing up labels for her definition list. Just that alone made me happy I took the plunge.

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#3 joliet

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:14 AM

I had been using BFSU, but it just wasn't getting done as often as it should. I heard NL was being released, was sure it was exactly what I was looking for, and bought it as soon as it was released. I didn't love it. It's not a bad program. If you are looking for something easy to implement, you won't find anything easier. Everything you need is there in the box. The lessons are scripted (very, very scripted) so you know exactly what to say. It just wasn't a fit for me. We only had level 1, but, IMO, it relied too much on picture cards and plastic bugs. My kids and I prefer getting outside to see the real thing. Overall, I just didn't think it was very meaty. I think it just depends on what you want. If you want easy and all-inclusive you might love it. If you want a more natural exploration of science, it might not be for you. I went back to BFSU in the end.

#4 BatmansWife

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:55 PM

From everything I've read about NL science, it seems wonderful a pnd what every homeschooler wants....fairly scripted, complete, and all inclusive, The only negative Ive ever heard is price. Yes, ouch!

But-are there any other reasons why you would not use it? There are so many threads discussing science programs, and I'm just curious if anyone has tries NL and then switched to something else, or if there is something about NL that turned you off?

We are starting 1st grade and K. Ext year. Although we use a "boxed" curriculum, NL seems like my dream science curriculum and I'm trying to figure out a way to use it unless there is a good reason NOT to. thoughts?


Well, it's not "fairly scripted"...it's completely scripted (horribly so, in my opinion). So, I just read through the lessons myself first and taught it my own way. I couldn't stand every.single.little.thing to be scripted ("pick up your pencil..." etc). If your kids will be in 1st & K then level 1 will probably be fine...but look over the scope and sequence and see if you may have already covered that stuff. It's very, very simple.....as in "circle the picture of the infant", "which one shows the picture of the adolescent?" I was assured at NL that my 2nd grader would do fine in level 1 because she hadn't had a lot of science prior to that. She was bored out of her mind and begged to quit it. We didn't quit it but just zoomed through it until we got done. So, I'm just saying that placement is important. I don't know if she would have done better with a different level, but I just couldn't take another chance on it. I wish I could rave about it.

#5 NittanyJen

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:16 PM

Why discount Nancy Larson Science . . .

It is scripted to the last word you ever need to say to your child. And down the last word your child needs to say back to you. Science is about inquiry, and the scriptedness of it shuts down that inquiry, in my mind.

It is pegged to a far, far, far lower level than advertised. My son had a severe reading deficit, and diagnosed reading difficulties, and he was insulted by the low writing level in the level 1 materials. I would have comfortably used the level 1 materials in my toddler room when I was teaching in a daycare center, possibly in the pre-K room. Seriously, it provides a stack of photo cards, with labeled photos of "deer" "squirrel" and "tree" along with "baby" and "elderly person." I know it is sold as a curriculum for people who have never done science, but if you really need a labeled picture to identify a tree, then this is probably an excellent program for you and your child. First graders are capable of far more than this, and more creativity than this. Yes, it gets into a few more vocabulary words such as some bones and things, but so does pretty much every other science program-- check out NOEO, RSO, Lab of Mr Q, . . . all of these provide a nice schedule, some have parent manuals, nice clear text, fun labs laid out for you, etc.

It has really cool toys, certainly, but you can buy these much more inexpensively elsewhere. The x-ray skeleton, bug house, butterfly pavilion, tree cookie . . . these are all readily available, and they come with directions and activities included.

***None of this means it's a bad program -for you-. *I* should never have purchased this program; it is the biggest waste of money I have ever laid out in homeschooling *for us.* The program clearly says it is science for people who have never done science, and I am a former scientist! It was NOT written with me in mind! However, I kept reading reviews about how cool it was, how great retention was, etc etc, and I went with that instead. In its favor, i will say that it is extremely organized and logical. You will lack for nothing. You will never be wondering what to say, because every.single.word has been planned for you, right down to when to turn a page, lift a pencil, what color pencil to use to circle a word on a page. You have no discretion or need to even think, and if science makes you nervous, this program will hold your hand and make sure "science gets done."

You did ask, though, why not Nancy Larson? For us, those were a few of the reasons why. It was boring, under-powered, over-scripted, repetitive, non-inquisitive other than a few activities available elsewhere cheaper, and the content was not exactly challenging ("This is an infant") for a first grader, in parts of the program. The worksheets were kind of insulting and added nothing to the program; if anything they made my son laugh at how stupid they were (circle which of these individuals is elderly-- uhhh gee, Mom, should I circle the baby?? har har har).

I was glad we were only experimenting with it as a supplement; we were able to drop it about 3/4 of the way through and just forget about it with no harm done, and just stick with NOEO chemistry at that point-- a much meatier program, more appropriate *for us,* not for everyone.
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#6 BatmansWife

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:35 PM

Why discount Nancy Larson Science . . .

It is scripted to the last word you ever need to say to your child. And down the last word your child needs to say back to you. Science is about inquiry, and the scriptedness of it shuts down that inquiry, in my mind.

It is pegged to a far, far, far lower level than advertised.
My son had a severe reading deficit, and diagnosed reading difficulties, and he was insulted by the low writing level in the level 1 materials. I would have comfortably used the level 1 materials in my toddler room when I was teaching in a daycare center, possibly in the pre-K room. Seriously, it provides a stack of photo cards, with labeled photos of "deer" "squirrel" and "tree" along with "baby" and "elderly person." I know it is sold as a curriculum for people who have never done science, but if you really need a labeled picture to identify a tree, then this is probably an excellent program for you and your child. First graders are capable of far more than this, and more creativity than this. Yes, it gets into a few more vocabulary words such as some bones and things, but so does pretty much every other science program-- check out NOEO, RSO, Lab of Mr Q, . . . all of these provide a nice schedule, some have parent manuals, nice clear text, fun labs laid out for you, etc.

It has really cool toys, certainly, but you can buy these much more inexpensively elsewhere. The x-ray skeleton, bug house, butterfly pavilion, tree cookie . . . these are all readily available, and they come with directions and activities included.


***None of this means it's a bad program -for you-. *I* should never have purchased this program; it is the biggest waste of money I have ever laid out in homeschooling *for us.* The program clearly says it is science for people who have never done science, and I am a former scientist! It was NOT written with me in mind! However, I kept reading reviews about how cool it was, how great retention was, etc etc, and I went with that instead. In its favor, i will say that it is extremely organized and logical. You will lack for nothing. You will never be wondering what to say, because every.single.word has been planned for you, right down to when to turn a page, lift a pencil, what color pencil to use to circle a word on a page. You have no discretion or need to even think, and if science makes you nervous, this program will hold your hand and make sure "science gets done."

You did ask, though, why not Nancy Larson? For us, those were a few of the reasons why. It was boring, under-powered, over-scripted, repetitive, non-inquisitive other than a few activities available elsewhere cheaper, and the content was not exactly challenging ("This is an infant") for a first grader, in parts of the program. The worksheets were kind of insulting and added nothing to the program; if anything they made my son laugh at how stupid they were (circle which of these individuals is elderly-- uhhh gee, Mom, should I circle the baby?? har har har).

I was glad we were only experimenting with it as a supplement; we were able to drop it about 3/4 of the way through and just forget about it with no harm done, and just stick with NOEO chemistry at that point-- a much meatier program, more appropriate *for us,* not for everyone.


I kept nodding my head in total agreement to this post. I agree with everything in the bold. And the stuff not in bold I believe too. When you said you could use it in a preK room....I thought...wow, that is sooo true! Great post! I don't "like" many posts but this one I'm gonna like.
:001_smile:

#7 joliet

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:39 PM

Why discount Nancy Larson Science . . .

It is scripted to the last word you ever need to say to your child. And down the last word your child needs to say back to you. Science is about inquiry, and the scriptedness of it shuts down that inquiry, in my mind.

It is pegged to a far, far, far lower level than advertised. My son had a severe reading deficit, and diagnosed reading difficulties, and he was insulted by the low writing level in the level 1 materials. I would have comfortably used the level 1 materials in my toddler room when I was teaching in a daycare center, possibly in the pre-K room. Seriously, it provides a stack of photo cards, with labeled photos of "deer" "squirrel" and "tree" along with "baby" and "elderly person." I know it is sold as a curriculum for people who have never done science, but if you really need a labeled picture to identify a tree, then this is probably an excellent program for you and your child. First graders are capable of far more than this, and more creativity than this. Yes, it gets into a few more vocabulary words such as some bones and things, but so does pretty much every other science program-- check out NOEO, RSO, Lab of Mr Q, . . . all of these provide a nice schedule, some have parent manuals, nice clear text, fun labs laid out for you, etc.

It has really cool toys, certainly, but you can buy these much more inexpensively elsewhere. The x-ray skeleton, bug house, butterfly pavilion, tree cookie . . . these are all readily available, and they come with directions and activities included.

***None of this means it's a bad program -for you-. *I* should never have purchased this program; it is the biggest waste of money I have ever laid out in homeschooling *for us.* The program clearly says it is science for people who have never done science, and I am a former scientist! It was NOT written with me in mind! However, I kept reading reviews about how cool it was, how great retention was, etc etc, and I went with that instead. In its favor, i will say that it is extremely organized and logical. You will lack for nothing. You will never be wondering what to say, because every.single.word has been planned for you, right down to when to turn a page, lift a pencil, what color pencil to use to circle a word on a page. You have no discretion or need to even think, and if science makes you nervous, this program will hold your hand and make sure "science gets done."

You did ask, though, why not Nancy Larson? For us, those were a few of the reasons why. It was boring, under-powered, over-scripted, repetitive, non-inquisitive other than a few activities available elsewhere cheaper, and the content was not exactly challenging ("This is an infant") for a first grader, in parts of the program. The worksheets were kind of insulting and added nothing to the program; if anything they made my son laugh at how stupid they were (circle which of these individuals is elderly-- uhhh gee, Mom, should I circle the baby?? har har har).

I was glad we were only experimenting with it as a supplement; we were able to drop it about 3/4 of the way through and just forget about it with no harm done, and just stick with NOEO chemistry at that point-- a much meatier program, more appropriate *for us,* not for everyone.


Very well said. I agree with everything you said. These are the reasons I didn't like it either, but you explained far better than I did.

#8 Sunshine72

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:59 PM

I used NL 3 with my third grader this past year. I thought the level of difficulty was appropriate. I liked that if was scripted as this was our first year homeschooling and science was my weakest subject. It was easy to follow yet not impossible to break away for discussion. Science was my sons favorite subject this past year and that was never the case when he was in school.

#9 Amysue277

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 09:37 PM

This is *exactly* the information I wanted! Thank you for the detailed explanation with examples. I'll be considering it all as I go about the very overwhelming task of choosing curriculum.

#10 Down_the_Rabbit_Hole

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:24 AM

I looked at NL but have not bought it. Reasons: too expensive and they did not offer anything I could not get from a cheaper program.