Jump to content


Could someone tell me about Rainbow Science?


Recommended Posts

I guess I'm living under a rock (again). This week is the first week that I have heard about Rainbow science. Actually I heard about Spectrum Chemistry over on the high school board which took me to the publisher which had Rainbow Science listed.


Anyway, I'm interested in using this next year for 7th. Could someone tell me about it?


Is it fun?

Is it survey (like an Abeka or BJU) or unit study style (like NOEO)?

Is it expensive?

Is it "rigorous"

Anything other info would be appreciated too!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh ha ha! I thought after the line "Could someone tell me about it?" you were done. I dismissed the questions underneath as your signature. I didn't even read it.



Is it fun? We like science at our house and it doesn't get done enough. So fun is relative. We think it's fun, but we aren't very far into it.


Is it survey (like an Abeka or BJU) or unit study style (like NOEO)? Not quite sure of the difference. I'd say more unit study. It covers physics first then into chemistry.


Is it expensive? Unfortunately, yes! It covers 2 years though. Over $200 for the books and lab supplies.


Is it "rigorous"? It's rigorous enough, but pretty relaxed and laid back. I think it teaches what needs to be taught, but it doesn't feel as textbooky or intense as Apologia.


What does a typical day look like? The program is designed to read a chapter section one day. One chapter section the next day, and then do an experiment. The sections are not very long, so you could read both and do the experiment the next day. Or read both and do the experiment. I would think doing all three would take around an hour. However, in later chapters that might not be the case. We aren't very far.


How often are the labs? Every third lesson.


Is it mostly lab driven or text driven? Both. I think it's pretty even. From the looks of it, the labs are simple at first but get more involved later on.


Is it a 5 day/week program? 3 days a week if you break it up like they suggest.


Tests? Hmmm. There are questions at the end of the chapters. I'm not at home to look at the books, so not sure about tests.


Review and reinforcement? We aren't far enough in to say.



Hope that helps a little.




Edited by scrapbabe
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as tests - There are quizzes that you can download from their website. They are given after every second lab. In the lab book, there are, I think, two tests, one for physics and one for chemistry.


Retention has been discussed on these forums as being somewhat of a problem. I wonder if it's just that up to this point many of us have not taught our children how to study for a test. Even after I tell my son that he needs to MEMORIZE certain laws, formulas, and vocabulary words - he still does not adequately review. I'm trying to use this as training for test taking/studying skills! (Hmm - he just took his second quiz - I should go grade it and see how he did.)


Because Rainbow science can pretty much be done independently it can be very tempting for me to forget to discuss it with my child. I'd suggest following up on his work and discussing the main ideas/concepts on a regular basis. My child still needs this kind of input from me. Otherwise - he will do the bare minimum and not take the time to really get a thorough understanding of the material.


The teacher's guide that comes with the program does a good job of explaining what the child should be learning and includes all the answers to the lesson review questions and labs.


BTW - we've only gotten to the 4th lab and none of them yet has been written up using the scientific method. I haven't looked ahead to see if this will change. I'm a little disappointed in that, however the labs do a good job of illustrating the lesson content.


Have you done a search of these boards for Rainbow Science? You will find more info here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it fun?





Is it survey (like an Abeka or BJU) or unit study style (like NOEO)?\


It's more of a survey, I guess. You do Physics and Chemistry in one year and then Biology and applications the next. I actually love that progression. I think it's the right "order" for doing science.


It's supposedly "intuitive." I think that at times, their explanations are not detailed and exacting. I am not an "intuitive" person. I want the facts, I want them laid out in an orderly way, I want precise definitions, and I want my next question anticipated. I find that I am doing A LOT of outside reading and research to teach the Chemistry, and I typically am not like that. When you read on this board that someone is using a certain curriculum but "supplementing" with 45 other resources, that is usually not me. I am way more likely to call a curriculum "good enough" or to assume that finishing an 'okay' curriculum is better than starting and dropping ten.


But with Rainbow, I am finding that while I really do like it in many ways, I am googling things daily. For example, the chemistry section is teaching chemical reactions, but trying not to have to address how electrons in the valence shell are responsible for those reactions. I just taught it myself. I think some kids just really want to know, and actually, the youngest child who might be considered most "unready" for the advanced concepts actually most needed them. Like me, he was not content to not understand why those atoms are bonding.


I had a pretty good chemistry teaching in high school, but my gaps in knowledge are massive, and this course has taken a lot of my time.



Is it expensive?




Is it "rigorous"


In a way, it is. It does not reinforce knowledge with worksheets and quizzes. You need to master the information yourself and then talk about it with the children. You need to understand the labs and talk about them with your children. I can't imagine most kids really mastering this material by just reading the text and doing the labs. Last year, we were not as diligent with the physics as we should have been. In retrospect, I think that is because I was not adequately prepared. I actually think this course (and perhaps any science course) requires the attention of a teacher who is capable of answering the many interesting questions that come up. I was struggling to understand they physics alongside my children, and that didn't work. Chemistry is going much better because I am staying a few steps ahead of the children.


It does cover a good bit of information. If you complete the course, even as written, I think your children would have an excellent middle school science education.



Anything other info would be appreciated too!!


The labs are good and everything you need for them really is included in the kit. The text is contains lovely illustrations and pictures. The teachers manual is relatively helpful. The kids' lab books contain a lot of actual information. It needs to be read carefully.


Overall, I really like the curriculum. While it might sound like a negative thing to say that I have had to teach myself a lot of chemistry in order to teach the class, it's also possible that the information is presented in a way that has stimulated my own curiosity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...