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Science Curriculum recommendations for 1st grade?


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#1 JKeller

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:00 PM

I have everything ready to go for this year's courses, except in science. We've been studying a large range of science prior to this year (the human body, what each organ does, planets, moons, growing plants - all over the place!) but this year I want an official curriculum. 

 

What are your favorites?



#2 Vintage81

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:07 PM

https://mysteryscience.com/

#3 fourisenough

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:07 PM

Yep, Mystery Science!

#4 SusanC

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:10 PM

I used BFSU which is great, but requires a fair amount of your time setting up and keeping going, so I can't recommend it unreservedly. However, I didn't have to make the "What are we doing for science?" decision again until 7th grade. So they have had 6 years of low-key, steadily building, interwoven science. I believe they are ready for anything - as soon as they have a foothold in algebra we will start high school level classes.
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#5 regentrude

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:40 PM

None. I have not seen a "curriculum" I like. My preference before high school is having the kids read library books and do lost of nature walks, science centers, field trips to state parks, nature centers etc. Let them collect rocks and leaves and be curious.


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#6 JKeller

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:01 PM

 

Thanks, I'll look into that!

 

I used BFSU which is great, but requires a fair amount of your time setting up and keeping going, so I can't recommend it unreservedly. However, I didn't have to make the "What are we doing for science?" decision again until 7th grade. So they have had 6 years of low-key, steadily building, interwoven science. I believe they are ready for anything - as soon as they have a foothold in algebra we will start high school level classes.

Yeah, the heavy set up time is difficult with a 3 year old and a 6 year old, which is why I've been flip flopping around curriculums.

 

None. I have not seen a "curriculum" I like. My preference before high school is having the kids read library books and do lost of nature walks, science centers, field trips to state parks, nature centers etc. Let them collect rocks and leaves and be curious.

This is how I've approached Science so far. We love to do nature walks, we get all kinds of nature/animal/planet/plant books from the library, they have their own garden, we do little experiments, etc. Then when they have an interest in something, we get a book, watch a documentary, etc. I didn't know if that was enough for 1st grade or not. I would love to continue doing those things as I think it's been making their enjoyment for science really blossom as it's about discovery and exploration.


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#7 TeaCookiesBears

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:11 PM

Another for mystery science.

#8 3 ladybugs

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:47 PM

I like Elemental Science.


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#9 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 05:09 PM

This is how I've approached Science so far. We love to do nature walks, we get all kinds of nature/animal/planet/plant books from the library, they have their own garden, we do little experiments, etc. Then when they have an interest in something, we get a book, watch a documentary, etc. I didn't know if that was enough for 1st grade or not. I would love to continue doing those things as I think it's been making their enjoyment for science really blossom as it's about discovery and exploration.


I do it that way all they way through to high school level science. I have raised a chemE and a physics/math major. (He is a sr and will be applying to grad school this fall.) it is certainly not an approach that hampered them in any way.
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#10 ScoutTN

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 08:25 PM

Stick with the library books, field trips, outdoor time and hands-on things! 

 


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#11 nixpix5

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 09:05 PM

I do it that way all they way through to high school level science. I have raised a chemE and a physics/math major. (He is a sr and will be applying to grad school this fall.) it is certainly not an approach that hampered them in any way.


This is really encouraging to hear :)

#12 desertflower

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 09:21 PM

A vote for mystery science, books, nature, and museums. :)

It can depend on the kid. My oldest loves mixing things. We would be at a restaurant and he'll love to stir the water. Pour it from one glass to another, etc. So, I had (and still have) this infant tub where they can "do" their own experiments. Mix baking soda, vinegar, flour, sugar, color tablets, alka seltzer, shaving cream, etc. They have a lot of fun. Messy, but fun. :)

Good luck and have fun. :)

#13 goldenecho

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 10:19 PM

Vintage81, fourisenough, TeaCookiesBears, and  desertflower :  Why do you like Mystery Science?   And, do you think it would work for slightly older kids too (like around 3rd/4th grade level?) or do you think it's just mainly for younger kids.

 

  



#14 ExcitedMama

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:48 AM

Science in the Beginning. I have tried a lot of science curriculum because my DS loves science but SIB is both our favorites. It's super easy to use, just open read a short lesson from a couple of paragraphs to a page and then do the experiment/ demonstration. That's followed by another short reading explaining the concept further by what was done. It's the first science that is written well. It actually makes sense AND the experiment is for a reason, not just thrown in. It's very well done. It is based on the seven days of creation but if for some reason that is a concern it's easy to ignore the very few Christian references and just treat it as unit studies with the first being light, then water, etc.
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#15 KrissiK

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:10 AM

None. I have not seen a "curriculum" I like. My preference before high school is having the kids read library books and do lost of nature walks, science centers, field trips to state parks, nature centers etc. Let them collect rocks and leaves and be curious.

I agree mostly with this. Science was a real bugaboo until my kids hit 3-4th grade. I could find nothing I liked. Then we started doing Apologia and they really like that a lot.

I know you probably don't want to hear this, but my suggestion would be to do library books, maybe find some of those Janice van Cleave books for simple experiments and do nature studies. If you want it to look more formal, more like a curriculum, have them start a notebook and compare and contrast leaves, or rocks, press flowers and put those in there, etc. Make a little weather station in your backyard with a thermometer and a rain gauge and record the weather for a school year. CLE actually has a fun little workbook for that kind of thing. Have the kids make bird feeders out of milk jugs and do bird watching (my kids loved that when we did Apologia's Flying Things book).

Edited by KrissiK, 12 July 2017 - 09:14 AM.


#16 Renai

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:25 AM

 

This is how I've approached Science so far. We love to do nature walks, we get all kinds of nature/animal/planet/plant books from the library, they have their own garden, we do little experiments, etc. Then when they have an interest in something, we get a book, watch a documentary, etc. I didn't know if that was enough for 1st grade or not. I would love to continue doing those things as I think it's been making their enjoyment for science really blossom as it's about discovery and exploration.

 

Yeah, it's enough. My upcoming 1st grader has three main science interests, and I plan to touch those three with library books, videos, and nature experiences. I also did this with my upcoming senior when she was this age. She loved science.

 

 

A vote for mystery science, books, nature, and museums.  :)

It can depend on the kid. My oldest loves mixing things. We would be at a restaurant and he'll love to stir the water. Pour it from one glass to another, etc. So, I had (and still have) this infant tub where they can "do" their own experiments. Mix baking soda, vinegar, flour, sugar, color tablets, alka seltzer, shaving cream, etc. They have a lot of fun. Messy, but fun.  :)

Good luck and have fun.  :)

 

And this. Gymnast loves mixing stuff, so I let her. Sometimes, I'll give her something like the baking soda and vinegar and she'll expand on that experimenting with baking soda and water, hydrogen peroxide, or other things. Hands-on hypothesis and experimentation. She's always making "potions." She loves it!



#17 rjand4more

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:15 AM

We are using this:Patterns in Nature with my 1st grader.  It will be his only.  He will sit in on the older kids and their sciences.

 

I love the look of The Good and the Beautiful Science .  I have Solar System and Arthropods.  I plan on trying them this year.

 

I agree with just giving consistent exposure to kids.  I do like having a curriculum to fall back on though.  We read lots of books and watch videos(thank you Youtube for short clips!!!).



#18 mommyoffive

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:37 AM

I do it that way all they way through to high school level science. I have raised a chemE and a physics/math major. (He is a sr and will be applying to grad school this fall.) it is certainly not an approach that hampered them in any way.

 

 

 

So neat to hear this thought.   Thank you.  So you did that and then in High School they jumped right into high school science courses? 



#19 Vintage81

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 01:07 PM

Vintage81, fourisenough, TeaCookiesBears, and  desertflower :  Why do you like Mystery Science?   And, do you think it would work for slightly older kids too (like around 3rd/4th grade level?) or do you think it's just mainly for younger kids.


The main reason I love it is because my girls love it so much...they ask all the time to do Science. My goal right now is for Science to be fun, exciting, and intriguing and I feel like Mystery Science is all of that.

Additionally, I like that I don't really have to do any planning (so many other subjects we do are teacher intensive). The lessons are open and go and the materials for the experiments are found mostly around the house. (There were a few plant lessons where additional supplies were required, but nothing too hard to find at the store.)

Each lesson starts out with a mystery to solve, so right off the bat it piques their interest. Doug, the guy who narrates, is really engaging so it keeps their attention throughout the lesson. They watch the video, go through the experiment/activity, and then at the end "extras" are offered. The extras are additional videos, reading materials, and ideas for other experiments.

The lessons are for grades K-5th, and each unit has a recommended grade level, so you can choose based on that. I would say that the grade levels are just suggestions. The lessons can be used for an even wider range of ages. My DDs are going into 2nd and 4th, and they go through the mysteries together.

With all of the additional extras, you can make it as much or as little as you want. If you want to add in additional library books or writing assignments, you can tailor those things to the applicable grade level. It's really flexible.

#20 WahM

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 01:29 PM

We love BFSU. I don't find the set up all that difficult at all. For the first volume I didn't do any prep. The only prep I did was write on a sticky the order we would study each lesson. Other than that I would open it up to what lesson we were on glance at it and ask the questions from the book, paraphrase any explanations as I would reading them. Most of the demonstrations were stuff we had on hand so that wasn't a big prep either. It's helpful to order books that go along with the topics if you don't have a wide range of books at home. This coming school year we are moving on to volume two. Not sure yet if it will require more prep work as I haven't started any planning yet.

#21 Jackie

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 02:35 PM

I agree with WahM that the first level of BFSU doesn't take much prep time at all. I grouped the lessons into unit studies, then would spend a bit of time reading through all the lessons for a unit study one evening shortly before starting so I could get the bigger picture in my head, and add anything to the shopping list that I didn't have and wanted. Then I'd glance over the particular lesson right before teaching it. Here's how I broke it into unit studies, in case it is helpful: http://everchangingc...ientific_9.html

Volume two has been a different story for me, and I resorted more to covering topics with science kits or other unit studies. Still, I'll be finishing up topics in volume two and using volume three as my spine this next year.

#22 TeaCookiesBears

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 02:48 PM

Vintage81, fourisenough, TeaCookiesBears, and desertflower : Why do you like Mystery Science? And, do you think it would work for slightly older kids too (like around 3rd/4th grade level?) or do you think it's just mainly for younger kids.


Vintage81 responded better I could I used it with my 5th grader last year along with outside resources when she wanted more information on a particular topic.

Edited by TeaCookiesBears, 12 July 2017 - 02:49 PM.


#23 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 04:59 PM

triple post ??? 

 


Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 12 July 2017 - 05:00 PM.


#24 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 04:59 PM

.. 

 


Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 12 July 2017 - 05:00 PM.


#25 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 04:59 PM

So neat to hear this thought.   Thank you.  So you did that and then in High School they jumped right into high school science courses? 

 

They jump right into high school or college level courses, though they may be younger than high school.  Some of my kids have taken high school sciences in middle school.  None of them have had any problems jumping into a standard type course.  


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#26 regentrude

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 05:51 PM

This is how I've approached Science so far. We love to do nature walks, we get all kinds of nature/animal/planet/plant books from the library, they have their own garden, we do little experiments, etc. Then when they have an interest in something, we get a book, watch a documentary, etc. I didn't know if that was enough for 1st grade or not. I would love to continue doing those things as I think it's been making their enjoyment for science really blossom as it's about discovery and exploration.

 

It was enough for my kids until high school. Good enough to have one child be a physics major, and the other a prospective physics minor/possibly major.


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#27 regentrude

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 05:53 PM

So neat to hear this thought.   Thank you.  So you did that and then in High School they jumped right into high school science courses? 

 

High school bio and College Physics as first formal science classes for mine.

 

High school science requires literacy and math. Whether you did a scripted science curriculum before is completely irrelevant.


Edited by regentrude, 12 July 2017 - 05:53 PM.

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#28 Bluegoat

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 01:33 PM

I also don't think there is a need for a grade 1 science curriculum, nor have I seen any I like.  BFSU was the closest, but it was not easy to use, and in hindsight I think not really right for kids that age. 

 

I did try Mystery Science last year, since it was free.  I did't like it either.

 

We read books, watch movies, and do nature study.  When I'm feeling uninspired I will often look for ideas at the Outdoor Hour Challenge.  We take advantage of the planetarium, university telescope, and natural history museum.

 

There are lots of practical things that can involve science in the concrete too.  I garden which encompasses a lot of plant knowledge the kids can be involved with.  Dh is a radio operator which has lots of science related aspects.


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#29 fralala

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 05:29 AM

High school bio and College Physics as first formal science classes for mine.

 

High school science requires literacy and math. Whether you did a scripted science curriculum before is completely irrelevant.

 

Absolutely, although I also think that if a family/parent isn't comfortable about their own level of scientific literacy and ability to include scientific vocabulary and thinking in their homeschool, it's completely fine to say "I want a structured curriculum for this." First grade is indeed young for this: structured first grade curricula that I've seen really don't go, information-wise or vocabulary-wise, beyond what you would get from library books and life experience, but as long as you approach them in the respect of I want somebody else to make sure this happens in our home vs. This is a superior scientific experience, I think there's nothing wrong with doing "formal" science unless it replaces experiential learning or playing (at this age). But formal science curricula definitely will repeat the grade 1 concepts over and over with increasing complexity, and that's why many of us wonder whether it's really necessary for 6 year olds to spend time filling out "living vs. nonliving" worksheets!

 

If you (OP) want something scripted and free that contains good book lists-- and if you enjoy school-y kind of stuff-- you could consider looking at the free science-related domains from Core Knowledge. They're basically just unit studies of (at this level) The Human Body, Astronomy, and so forth, with a focus on developing literacy.



#30 sarahrb

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:30 AM

My son just finished first grade and we did the Quark Chronicles from Barefoot Ragamuffin's curricula.  This year we read through all of Botany and most of Zoology and it was great fun.  We didn't do very many experiments and we didn't do all of the notebooking -- most of the learning came from the reading aloud and a few of the recommended supplemental books (DK Plant, First Animal Encyclopedia [may not be by DK]).  FWIW, next year we are going to continue with Botany and Zoology and go further into Human Anatomy with two curricula -- the Anatomy book from the Quark Chronicles and REAL Science Odyssey's Life curriculum (their young biology book).  I'm adding the REAL book looks like a good gap-filler to me - it looks well organized and includes some experiments / demonstrations that I think we can actually do.



#31 Classically Minded

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:26 AM

I have a free "curriculum" outline on my blog that shows what we did each week for a study of the human body; it is a 6-week study:

http://www.cambridge...dy-outline.html

 

I also did one for 2nd grade Earth Science, which is an 8-week study:

http://www.cambridge...nce-topics.html

 

Some links may not be active as I haven't updated it but do plan on doing so in the near future.  This could give you some ideas on how to make your own curriculum study on any of the science topics.  I hope you or others find it useful!



#32 peaceful isle

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:32 AM

Mcruffy science is fun. We used it for k last year.

#33 blue daisy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:03 AM

Mystery Science is fun and requires little prep. You can pick and choose which topics you want to study. I think they are still offering a free first year membership to new members.

#34 Targhee

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:00 PM

No curriculum. Get out into the natural world and experience it. Watch the stars and make observations, look at a flower and ask questions, play with water and make hypotheses then test them out. Go to a museum, a nature center, a zoo, a garden, a construction site, a pond, your back steps. No output from them, unless they are keen to, while you might write their ideas down for them. If you can't get out its ok to use some videos - documentaries to Magic School Bus. And always read, read, read. Have beautiful encyclopedias or other topic books with lots of photos and illustrations for them to look at. There are many series (Lets Read and Find Out, Rookie Science, etc) and there are wonderful magazines (Spider, Ranger Rick, etc) that you can strew or read to them.

If you feel you need a curriculum to support your science for early elementary I suggest BFSU. You'll have to spend some time in the book before ever starting because it is laid out differently and he's on the wordy side, but it is excellent.

Edited by Targhee, 16 July 2017 - 12:02 PM.


#35 Targhee

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:30 PM

Absolutely, although I also think that if a family/parent isn't comfortable about their own level of scientific literacy and ability to include scientific vocabulary and thinking in their homeschool, it's completely fine to say "I want a structured curriculum for this." First grade is indeed young for this: structured first grade curricula that I've seen really don't go, information-wise or vocabulary-wise, beyond what you would get from library books and life experience, but as long as you approach them in the respect of I want somebody else to make sure this happens in our home vs. This is a superior scientific experience, I think there's nothing wrong with doing "formal" science unless it replaces experiential learning or playing (at this age). But formal science curricula definitely will repeat the grade 1 concepts over and over with increasing complexity, and that's why many of us wonder whether it's really necessary for 6 year olds to spend time filling out "living vs. nonliving" worksheets!

If you (OP) want something scripted and free that contains good book lists-- and if you enjoy school-y kind of stuff-- you could consider looking at the free science-related domains from Core Knowledge. They're basically just unit studies of (at this level) The Human Body, Astronomy, and so forth, with a focus on developing literacy.

I do. Science is NOT simply a body of knowledge to be learned in order to be sufficiently literate in society. Science is a process, a way of seeking truth, a skill set, much more akin to logic or philosophy than to vocabulary or factual memorization (eg layers of the earth, stages of the water cycle, parts of a plant, transport proteins in photosynthesis). Children are of themselves natural scientist in that they explore, notice, question, test, apply the results to other contexts. We need to cultivate (at a minimum not squelch) this way of thinking more than we need to train them early in facts and phenomena. Facts and phenomena are easily acquired (actually, teaching them how to find accurate information is more important than teaching them the information). Science and society need more thinkers.

I absolutely agree that there needs to be a baseline of science content for a literate society, and of course as a place from which further scientific discovery and understanding can build. But the damage I see done is that we stop the little scientists thinking so we can fill their heads with information (perhaps with a hint here and there of inquiry, depending on the curriculum) and feel satisfied that they are scientifically literate, when it was that innate thought process, which we let whither, that is useful, essential, to discovery and the pursuit of truth. We teach them that science is something they learn from a book, instead of something that is done. We teach them it is authoritarian instead of imperical and even imaginative. We teach them to consumer instead of critique, analyse and create. We don't need an army of Major General Stanleys in the world - we need more thinkers.

Edited by Targhee, 16 July 2017 - 12:35 PM.

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#36 SamanthaCarter

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:05 PM

I really enjoyed Behold and See with my 2nd grader last year. So did she. It's Catholic, and it does come up, but it wasn't more than this Protestant could work with.


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#37 Elizabeth86

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:43 PM

I havent used it, but plan to use easy classical earth science for 1st. Its basically a schedule of books to read, an experiment each week and a nature journal idea. I wanted to just read books for first, but needed the scedule done for me. So, we may or may not do experiments every week
. They have life, earth, chemistry and physics, but ds wanted earth science. I also got the evan moor daily science because I was iterested in covering the topics he wpuld be learning in public school as well.