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Do I need a science curriculum?


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My daughter is entering 5th grade. We've not been following the WTM rotation with science, but have been doing a lot of exposure along the way. In the early grades, this was mostly biology---biomes, plants/animals, human body, etc as well as lots of Magic School Bus videos. Last year she participated in a FIRST Lego League robotics team and I put together an intro to earth/space and physics (6 months each, as we school year round) to give her some basics in those areas. We also watched a ton of Bill Nye videos :001_smile:. This summer we've done a unit study on prehistory (formation of earth to beginning of modern era) including a focus on hominid evolution. Her test scores for science last spring on the ITBS were very good.


This year we will be:

--participating in a monthly science club that plans to touch on all areas of science over the course of the year with hands-on experiments--mostly late elementary to middle school kids

---participating in a monthly science and community service-based 4H club where the kids do some science experiments in the meetings and take turns doing presentations on projects they do at home (she'd have to do two or three on her own for this over the course of the year). They are also encouraged to do other project books at home on topics of interest.

----potentially participating in a level A (3rd-5th grade) Science Olympiad team (if the timing works out), exploring a variety of science topics twice a month together in addition to working with a partner on their individual event(s). This is not a definite yet and I don't know the areas of focus she would have of the 20 or so possible ones.

---participating in STEM activities with the Girl Scouts as well as working on science-related badges.

---participating in an 8 week class at church on entering puberty.

--we still enjoy Bill Nye and other videos ;)


I had been considering getting Ellen McHenry's The Elements and Carbon Chemistry to work on chemistry (an area I don't feel that we've really explored very much) in prep for doing something like Prentice Hall's Science Explorer series in middle school. This was before the Science Olympiad, 4H and science club opportunities arose, however. Would chemistry be overkill? Will what we are doing already be enough?


FYI, we will also be doing ancient history, language arts (vocabulary, grammar, writing, poetry, spelling---including spelling bee), beginning Spanish, a Battle of the Books team (27 books over the year), Girl Scouts, PE (traditional gym class x5/month and aikido x6/month, skating once a month), geography/modern cultures (lighter approach than we will take toward history), math, keyboarding, maybe a formal art program, as well as possibly a monthly writing group and a monthly book discussion group through the library.

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What you will be doing sounds like a lot! My kids will be doing experiments from Elements of Science (Thames and Kosmos), along with watching Bill Nye videos, exploring scientific points of interest, and doing once-monthly science meetings through 4H. I consider that plenty right now!


I would consider your daughter's science well covered from what you posted, so no, I don't think you need a curriculum.

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