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At what age/grade do I have to start formal science?


mo2
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I have REAL Science Life for my 1st grader. I love it. I think it is a wonderful program. However, she does not. She does not like being told, "Okay, we're doing snails today." It's much more exciting for her if we do snails on the day that we happened to find some outside, not when we go looking for them on purpose. So I'm thinking that for now I will just let science be delight-directed and happen whenever it happens. Will I be missing out on anything by doing this? If I do, at what age should I require a science program?

 

Thanks.

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We are following the LCC suggestion and not doing "formal science" until 7th or 8th. I plan to use Apologia General. Until then we are working through parts of Beautiful Feet History of Science, lapbooks from HOAC that the boys are interested in, scientist biographies, nature hikes, gardening and following their interests.

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We enjoyed books, videos, experiments, kits, field trips, etc. for our science all the way through 6th grade. Then 7th and 8th were semi-formal (still used a lot of the above, but went with Reader's Digest How...Works as spine and related TOPS units for experiments) by beginning to write up lab reports or the occasional science paper. Did not use a science textbook until this year with Apologia Biology with older son (9th grade).

 

Worked great! Both children have a very firm grasp on how things work, are curious, like to experiment/build, and have scored off-the-chart well on the standardized testing in science (IOWA).

 

That doesn't mean we didn't have a plan. Each year we picked one of the general science topics (life, earth, chemistry, physics), and I would list a lot of subtopics of that science (from the table of contents from a few science encyclopedias or books on that science), and use that for buying kits, setting up field trips, and looking for books and videos at the library.

 

Science has ended up being the most fun subject for everyone, and because it has been so enjoyable, we learned a LOT, and went down a lot of bunny trails -- that we are now finding are really enhancing our more formal science study and helping us make connections and seeing the "big picture"!

 

Just our experience! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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So far we have used a lot of kits, done simple experiments, and read a lot of books.

 

For 6th grade she will be using Runkle Geography for Earth Science along with 3 Delta Nutshell kits. I plan to have her do a little more writing as far as the labs go, but still not a "lab report". We probably won't start official lab reports until 7th grade.

 

Karen

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We are following the LCC suggestion and not doing "formal science" until 7th or 8th. I plan to use Apologia General. Until then we are working through parts of Beautiful Feet History of Science,

 

Do you do BF on your history days? Are you doing it all in one year, or stretching it out and doing it as it corresponds with your otherwise-plotted history?

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We are stretching out according to our history. We just started it a couple of weeks ago and will only get through the first 9 lessons that correspond to ancient science. We are currently reading through Archimedes and the Door of Science. We will read Galen and the Gateway to Medicine next though it is not part of the BF program. We also are currently reading a biography of Aristotle and Joy Hakim's The Story of Science Aristotle Leads the Way. Next year we will use the medieval and Renaissance Science portion of the BF Guide along with some of the suggested additional reading. As I said, our "science is a real hodge podge of things. We do have a day that we call our science day that is separate from our history day.

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We're doing similar as Lori, this year I jumped ship on the WTM way of science and adopted a more nature study, living book (Charlotte Mason approach) and it's been great. In 7th and 8th we'll do biology, physical science and chemistry, either with age/grade appropriate kits or whatever we want at that time. I hope (it's a LONG way down the road) to have the kids dual enroll at a community college to accomplish math & science during the high school years, who knows though. As soon as the kids turn 9, they will be in 4-H.

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