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Rigorous science in the early years


lovinmomma
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I'm looking for a rigorous science for the early years (1st grade and up) that is still fun, and has lots of hands on. It would be icing on the cake if it also included nature study, but I can add that in myself. Thank you in advance for any help. P.S. I did try looking abck at old threads, but most of them were all subjects not just science.

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I know my friend who is a chemist felt that R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey (used to be called just R.E.A.L. Science) put out by Pandia Press was rigorous. R.E.A.L. Science is primarily for 1st-4th grades and follows a classical format (1st grade bio, 2nd grade earth and space, 3rd grade chemistry, 4th grade physics). The first three levels are out, and you can download an extensive sample of any of their programs to "try before you buy."

http://www.pandiapress.com/real_science.htm

 

I have decided we are going to go with Ellen McHenry's "The Elements" chemistry as we go into 5th grade (I haven't been following the classical format in science), which looks pretty rigorous to me, but that would be a good bit down the road for you. It's for grades 4-8. http://www.ellenjmchenry.com/id98.html

 

Note: these are secular, if that will be a problem for you.

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I know my friend who is a chemist felt that R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey (used to be called just R.E.A.L. Science) put out by Pandia Press was rigorous. R.E.A.L. Science is primarily for 1st-4th grades and follows a classical format (1st grade bio, 2nd grade earth and space, 3rd grade chemistry, 4th grade physics). The first three levels are out, and you can download an extensive sample of any of their programs to "try before you buy."

http://www.pandiapress.com/real_science.htm

 

This is our choice as well. Wonderful, experiment based science. They do include some tips for nature study type questions in the introduction, and of course some Life Science stuff could be considered nature study. We did Life and are currently doing earth/space and chemistry concurrently this year.

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There was a program for the grammar stage - I believe for k-3 by a man, who will soon be releasing a 3-5 program. Of course, I forget, as I have a logic stage kid.

 

Maybe someone can help me out? I know a lot of people loved this program. Off to look at old posts. This is going to bug me! :lol:

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There was a program for the grammar stage - I believe for k-3 by a man, who will soon be releasing a 3-5 program. Of course, I forget, as I have a logic stage kid.

 

Maybe someone can help me out? I know a lot of people loved this program. Off to look at old posts. This is going to bug me! :lol:

 

 

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Bernard Nebel?

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We've been using REAL Science Odyssey and I would describe it as comprehensive but not deep. It is up to the parent to go in depth, using the book and website suggestions (which are not scheduled in but are listed in the front of the program). We use Magic School Bus books and science encyclopedias for depth but will not be continuing the series as I want something with the "meat" built in (and frankly I am getting burned out by all the hands-on stuff). For a kid who learns best by doing RSO is a great program though.

 

We are doing My Pals are Here science after we finish Earth & Space. I'm looking forward to the illustrated text and multiple ways to reinforce the learning (activities, homework, higher order thinking skills). For grades 1 & 2 they have Earlybird Startup Science which is only $15 for the 2 years' worth.

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Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Bernard Nebel?

 

Yup! We are using this. I've added extra activities to each lesson that I've found in various books and online. It has been going well and we are having lots of fun. This is with a K, pre-K, and toddler. We also do nature study based on the season on Fridays.

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We've been using REAL Science Odyssey and I would describe it as comprehensive but not deep.

 

:iagree:

 

We used Life and Earth & Space, but since I am not good about collecting all the necessary items and so forth, I grew frustrated. I wanted experiments and breadth, yes, but I felt like I had to supplement every. single. topic. which got exhausting. We used Ellen McHenry's The Elements for chemistry (which I had to add to, but I felt like the initial "stuff" was meaty) and had we not run out of time in the year we would have continued with Carbon Chemistry.

 

This year (4th) we're doing a combination of kits - TOPS, Thames & Kosmos, Science in a Nutshell - and pulling books from other sources. It's a lot of work but it's the only way to get the rigor I'm seeking!

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We used Ellen McHenry's The Elements for chemistry (which I had to add to, but I felt like the initial "stuff" was meaty) and had we not run out of time in the year we would have continued with Carbon Chemistry.

 

Since we will likely be starting this after the first of the year (with a 9.5 yo 4th grader), would you be willing to share how you supplemented The Elements/what you felt was lacking? I was looking at my Edmund Scientifics catalog yesterday and thinking that the refrigerator magnet periodic table set looked like it might be a fun addition http://scientificsonline.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_3053191

 

I'm trying to cover some basics that we haven't really done much in an organized fashion with yet before we get to middle school. The plan is to do some grounding in earth science, chemistry and physics over 4th and 5th grade (we go year round). We're finishing up an earth/space course that I pulled together from resources we already had, will move on to The Elements once that's done, then I was looking at Winterpromise's Jiggle, Jostle and Jolt for physics. http://www.winterpromise.com/jiggle_jostle_jolt.html Have you seen the program? Unlike some of their materials, this looks doable secularly. Do you have experience with the Thames and Kosmos kits yet?

 

Also, for folks who are interested, Spigot is a nice free online kids' science ezine. I just wish they sold hardcopy versions as I dislike a lot of reading on the computer in that sort of format. http://www.spigotsciencemag.com/

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:iagree:

 

We used Life and Earth & Space, but since I am not good about collecting all the necessary items and so forth, I grew frustrated. I wanted experiments and breadth, yes, but I felt like I had to supplement every. single. topic. which got exhausting. ....

 

Shucks. That's exactly what I was trying to avoid in a science curriculum, so I won't look into that one.

 

I just got MPH, and we're supplementing with the tons of science books we have around. I just love the thinking activities.

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Wow, rigorous isn't a word I would have associated with elementary, lol. What exactly are you wanting? Meaty enough that you don't have to add? Well that depends on the interest level of the kid. Covering a broad variety of topics so you don't have to? Well you're going to sacrifice something to get that. Writing or other skills integrated? Those can get dry.

 

Kids are all so different in what they want. You just have to fiddle around with it and try some things, find an approach that you can live with for teaching. Personally, I think the absolute easiest thing, while still being meaty, is to get a spine book like something from Usborne, read the two-page spread, and do the activity. There are lots and lots of books set up like that on a lot of topics. I also think the God's Design for Science stuff would be fun and relatively thorough, done as a whole. We did the BJU science, and the further I go, the less interest I have in repeating those lower levels. It tries too hard to be rigorous (meaning time-consuming) without ever really satisfying the itch of the science curious. So really, the answer just depends on your dc, kwim?

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You just have to fiddle around with it and try some things, find an approach that you can live with for teaching. Personally, I think the absolute easiest thing, while still being meaty, is to get a spine book like something from Usborne, read the two-page spread, and do the activity. There are lots and lots of books set up like that on a lot of topics.

:iagree:

 

After searching for a few weeks now and not finding anything that set a fire in my belly we are going down this track. I will get a spine, an experiment book and some independent reads on the subject and we will read, narrate, experiment & notebook our way through. First stop is Weather then the Human Body.

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Wow, rigorous isn't a word I would have associated with elementary, lol. What exactly are you wanting? Meaty enough that you don't have to add? Well that depends on the interest level of the kid. Covering a broad variety of topics so you don't have to? Well you're going to sacrifice something to get that. Writing or other skills integrated? Those can get dry.

 

 

 

I knew that someone was bound to ask this question. Meaty is probably the easiest answer. We REALLY enjoy science. My children are very young, but still always asking for more. For this upcoming year (we start in Jan) I wrote my won curriculum. However, I can tell that it is just not going to be enough. It's like we can never seem to go "deep" enough. I'm sure that doesn't make sense, but I'm doing my best to explain what we are looking for. I don't want my children to get burned out. They show no signs of such a thing, but that is my reason for making sure it has more than enough hands-on. Sonlight may be something we could do, but I'm not sure it has enough cotent for us. I think we would end up going throu multiple science packages each year.

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I'm a science major by education and I have a science loving dd, so I can empathize with your dilemma! I've always felt that the plans laid out in TWTM were enough for science instruction, you can see what we use to accomplish that in my siggy below. That said, we read lots of books about science outside of what we study. I also keep a big book of experiments around for rainy days and when we lived in the States we used Barb's blog for our nature study time. For us, thinking science is a way of life, we often stop to "smell the roses" and label their parts, take a sample for dissection and so on...

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We use God's Design. It comes from a young earth philosophy and pushes it often, which is the main reason I picked it. It does have experiments every lesson, but can be pretty technical, which I like because I have a degree in biology. It probably isn't as fun as other curriculum, but very thorough. The redo of the curriculum this year has made it much better.

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I'm a science major by education and I have a science loving dd, so I can empathize with your dilemma! I've always felt that the plans laid out in TWTM were enough for science instruction, you can see what we use to accomplish that in my siggy below. That said, we read lots of books about science outside of what we study. I also keep a big book of experiments around for rainy days and when we lived in the States we used Barb's blog for our nature study time. For us, thinking science is a way of life, we often stop to "smell the roses" and label their parts, take a sample for dissection and so on...

 

Just wanted to mention that I really enjoyed looking through your curriculum. Good job!

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We're EXTREMELY sciencey. Both my husband and I have degrees in Biological Sciences. Animal Planet runs continuously in our household. :tongue_smilie:

 

We're going through Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. It's bugs, bees, bats, birds and pteranodons - anything with wings... There are several experiments and hands-on nature things in the book. I like it because you can just go outside and "find ants" and identify their body parts or pick up a grasshopper (with gloves) and watch it's vomit defense mechanism (aren't we disgusting). My kids are absolutely crazy about this book. The content is sometimes over their heads (it's probably more like middle school level, especially the bird section), but they get the gist of it and love the pictures and experiments.

 

We're going to move into Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day in a few weeks, so I guess I'll be wading through countless creeks looking for swimming creatures... :D

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I really like Living Learning books. There are a few spine books and then there are book lists with lots of books to check out at the library so you can delve deeper and there are lots of experiments. Also Something I'm going to try out this year is Hands-on science: Particles in motion. It is supposed to have an experiment for everyday of the yr. My ds wants experiements and hates coloring pgs and worksheets. He says those are not science. He love LLB1 when we did it and I'm going to try LLB2 this yr. It was a little over his head last yr. You can get them all at RR.

 

http://www.castleheightspress.com/product.sc?productId=29&categoryId=3

 

http://rainbowresource.com/prodlist.php?sid=1255992091-913970&subject=11&category=2753

 

http://rainbowresource.com/product/Hands+On+Science+Volume+1+-+Particles+in+Motion%3A+Thermodynamics%2C+Weather%2C+Aerodynamics%2C+and+Astronomy/004908/1255992091-913970

 

Oh an we tried Sonlight science, but they had experiments on fridays. The other days were worksheets and my ds would have none of it.

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