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.