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TOPS Science ?


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My son is using TOPS electricity w/ a group. It is a little above his head, and we're doing it mostly for the social aspect of getting together w/ others. I like TOPS though. I'd like to do more with him at home. I think he would be getting more out of the electricity if it was just us, but that is not a huge concern of mine. Are the other TOPS as interesting? What do you like/not like?

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One thing that I like about the TOPS programs is that they always work. At least that is my experience. So often a 'science' experiment just doesn't have the promised payoff. TOPS work.


I have heard very good things about the corn project. I will be using the radish project in the spring as part of a botany unit.


You can order directly from TOPS science. THere might be more info about specific experiments on their website. I know they have the entire table of contents and materials needed listed with each experiment. I bet they would be happy to answer questions as well.


I personally tend to think most of their stuff works best with middle age and above. But I have used primary lentil science to great effect with grammar age kids.

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We have also enjoyed all the TOPS programs we have done- Get A Grip, Electricity, Magnets, the camaflouge/animal one.


We are planning on doing both the Radishes and the Corn ones this year. While we aren't doing the whole Sonlight 3 Science, I did end up with a copy of thier Discover and Do DVD, where they go through the steps of the Radish and Corn TOPS, so I think the kids will even be able to do it them selves (but they are much older 9 and 11).


I'd also really like the Lentil Science ones....


There is lots of good stuff on thier website, I think even a free experiment from many of the books.

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I liked them; dd did not. The activities are quite repetitive in some of the units that become more math- and measurement-oriented, as you have to do something over and over and over varying one element by increments. Some very organized and tidy kids might really love this, but dd hated it, I think because the units we happened to pick up were very prescriptive rather than more open-ended.


She did, however, enjoy the unit on graphing. And I think it was from TOPS that we got the idea to build a cubic meter; we ended up also doing a cubic yard, cubic foot, and a cubic inch (we used a wooden block for this last -- the rest were built from rolled newspaper taped together. And I've heard so many people saying they loved the radishes project, I wish we had done that one.

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If you want a closer look, three of the TOPS units were created together with NASA, and are available for free download (I'm guessing since taxpayers' $$ went into the project) at the NASA website (scroll down).



Thanks so much for the links! DH is a math teacher and those were the books I was wanting to get him! Good to see my university mentioned too.:D Go SSU!

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We've only used the middle school/high school level TOPS units. Some we've liked, others not. Some units have a majority of experiments which work, other units have a number of experiments that did not work, or we could not figure out what the experiment was supposed to be proving. A pro: TOPS work great as an experiment supplement. A con: TOPS units have very LITTLE explanation, so you have to figure out the connection with the science often on your own. Below are units we've used. BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.




- Rocks & Minerals

- Analysis

- Solutions

- Heat

- Motion

- Cohesion & Adhesion

- Oxidation



- focus pocus

- kinetic model


don't recommend:

- light

- sound

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I follow topics like a child develops. First they want to know about themselves and their immediate world (my hand, my dog, my garden). It's all life science. So for children 4-7, I used Nancy Larson Science 1 which is a full year of life science, and helps them pull it all together. My DC make the generalizations between the circulatory system in them, the dog, and trees.

Later, they want to know how things work; light switches and door knobs. That's Nancy Larson Science 2.

Nancy Larson Science 3 gets into earth and space science.

My DC, and most DC, are always ready to jump to the next thing. But I decided I was the parent and make the decisions. So we don't jump around and change the program everytime they have a whim.

The result is: they really understand, "get", and can explain what they learn. So we have less frightened and lost looks from these little deer/dears.

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