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So I was at a convention this weekend and listened to Shirley Solis of Lifetime Books and Gifts (academic CMer). She is just a treasure!


Anyway, I shared with her how I just dislike Science and she said she just uses Living books like Biogrpahies, or things like the Nature Readers, or Story of Inventions...and she uses the Handbook of Nature Study as a spine..but all in a relaxed way. Her oldest son started high school using Apilogia Amd he is doing great- and all they ever did was living books.


I'm not a super driven academic WTMer...I'm kinda relaxed about it. So I'm

Not concerned with being as academic "as possible" in this area.


But I'd like to hear from those who have tried this, if it was stressful for you to always be on the lookout for more books...I'm already on the lookout for books for two kids, myself, and history...lol


(I don't like Sonlight's books in this area..I really would prefer mostly bios and story books related to Science.)

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I would love a booklist that broke down living science books by topic. I hope someone has some ideas to share.


We plan to do Apologia Astronomy in the fall with lots of library trips!!! You can never have too many books!

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When my oldest was in first grade we did the Let's Read and Find Out Science books (these would probably be fine for your youngest, although not your oldest.) My library had the whole series and we lined them up according to the WTM (animals, then human body, then plants). I think you can do this, but it would take planning so there wouldn't be gaps...

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I love The Story of Science Series by Joy Hakim. What is really nice is that it is chronological so that I can pick the individuals that I think I would like to know more about. And she does list original sources for many of the scientists. Her style was engaging for me. I stayed up well past midnight just to finish Newton in the Center because I couldn't put it down. The one thing about Hakim that I didn't like is that it was not as focused on the natural science of things, more about chemistry, physics, etc.



I do agree about plenty of nature study for biology. I particularly liked the CM philosophy of studying the surrounding area and recording the plants, animals etc in that particular region. But I do wish there was more dissection, more experiments handy. Oh, well. More for me to research.

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My kids are only 8 and 5 but we read A LOT of living science books (plus a lot of living history and living math books). I don't find it stressful to search for books because I love researching stuff and so I enjoy it, but for someone who wasn't that interested in the work, I can see where it would be trickier.


I seek out books in all kinds of ways (here, Mothering.com, homeschool blogs, barefoot books site, etc.) I usually read reviews on amazon, then if it sounds good, I order it from the library. Then I look at the "if you liked this book, you might like these also" area of amazon and end up adding another 30 books - going down dozens of rabbit holes that way. Same with if I like a book a lot, I'll look it up on amazon and see if the author has other books, or order others in a series, similar books, etc.


It works so well for us!


Oh, I just thought of some other places I get book ideas (and more rabbit holes), and I'm sure there are more also.


- http://www.besthomeschooling.org

- HEM Magazine

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There is a thread on the Accelerated Board with more suggestions for science/nature living books.


The Living Year by Richard Headstrom (changes through the seasons)

The Year of the Turtle by David M. Carroll

Wild Season by Allan W. Eckert (narrative food chain--highly recommended but warning, bunnies get eaten!)

The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson (marine ecology--rocky shore)

Discovering Amphibians by John Himmelman

Discovering Moths by John Himmelman


The Our Living World of Nature series by McGraw-Hill: e.g. The Life of the Forest (Jack McCormick); The Life of the Pond; The Life of the Desert etc. (Good for in-depth biome/habitat study)

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I believe there is a yahoo group for living science. It's late here now (should be heading to bed) but I can check it tomorrow.


Also, off the top of my head:


Archimedes and the Door of Science


Galen and the Gateway to Medicine


Starry Messenger and Tree of Life both by Peter Sis

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I once contacted Peace Hill Press about recommendations for science/medicine literature to add to my ever growing bucket list of books to read and they put me on to search Great Books lists. There are a number of them, but I don't know how many would be suitable for kids. Adaptations can be hard to find.

I have enjoyed both The Librarian who Measured the Earth and Sea Clocks, which are reasonable reading for short attention spans. Sea Clocks is a really remarkable story. I also loved Starry Messenger.


Out of curiosity, why is science such a sticking point? I find all sorts of great history, literature, reading, spelling, art, and writing curricula; yet science seems to be hard to come by. I realize that people have different opinions about the theory of evolution among other things; but that's simply the way science is. The whole background of science is people discovering things, their theories being debunked or built upon, new discoveries, more theories blown out of the water, old truths being rediscovered. Surely this is something that we should share with children, most especially the understanding that even great minds get it wrong sometimes.

Edited by Critterfixer
Late thoughts
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My DD loves Science, so we do a curriculum for science that has a lot of experiments, but we do a lot of living books too. Her grandma has been sending her this series Lets Read and Find Out Science (What Makes Day and Night, Forces Make Things Move, etc). She really enjoys these books.


Here are some other Science series:


Magic School Bus books/show (covers just about everything)

One Small Square series (African Savannah, Arctic Tundra, Backyard, etc)

All Aboard Science Reader series (Magnets, Lightning: It's Electrifying, etc)




A Math Adventure series (Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi,Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens, etc)

Math Is Categorical series (How Long or How Wide?: A Measuring Guide, On the Scale, a Weighty Tale, etc)


I know that Noeo Science has literature based science mixed with experiments and so does WinterPromise. I don't think these only have living books, but there are some there that you could use for suggestions.


Also anything about Gnomes will teach a lot of science, such as tinkering and nature (actually that is mostly me, but works well for her). :) I will have to look up all of the above suggestions! I'm always looking for ideas.

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Nice recommendations from the last two posters! I wonder if you all have similar living history and living math links as well? (and whatever else!!)



Paula's Archives

Living Books Curriculum: American, World

A Book in Time

Penny Gardner's A Charlotte Mason Approach...


Beautiful Feet


Ambleside Online



Math Reader Lists

Math Classics

Math Readers

Building a Children's Math Library

Living Math Booklist

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the lists! I recently acquired a copy of All Through the Ages (organized history booklists) which I love. As I was paging through it, I wondered if there was anything similar for science. So this thread is very helpful.


We have done science pretty much exclusively through living books; in the early years just by stumbling on stuff, and more recently, through HoD. I am convinced it is the way to go for elementary years. My DS loves science and I am continually blown away by how much he knows.

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Ladies, thank you! These links and lists are so helpful!


I recently was given the Milestones in Science kit and want to supplement it.


Bedell and SOW cover science, but after finishing Genesis, my main curricula aren't providing enough material for me, and I'm wanting a bit more. I'm especially interested in biographies. When it comes to scientist biographies, middle school level is where I'm at :-0 And I'm okay with that :-) I'm aiming for scientific literacy, and middle school level materials are aimed towards that goal. I find high school and college level materials too specialized and non applicable to daily life. They bore me and often go right over my head.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

Tiner has a series of books: The history of Medicine, The World of Math, etc. that are excellent.

Don't forget MSB- simple but good, and Dvd's- Moody.

Intro to Bio and Intro to Chem by Wes Olsen (he is marketing for high school but there's nothing younger kids can't handle) that are a great, visual intro to bio and chem.

Both Moody and Olsen's stuff are young earth creationists.


Reasons to Believe has some resources for kids here- old earth creationists.

Mags: Science News, Nat'l Geo for kids, Ranger Rick, Nat'l Geo, etc.

Web-sites: NOAA, NASA, etc.

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Loving this thread! I have puts load of the recommended books on hold at the library and some on my Amazon wishlist. Right now I am really wanting to supplement our science with living books, so this has been great.

Edited by Karen in Eastern WA
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Just this week, I grouped all my books by subject and was shocked to see how few science books I own, in comparison to the other subjects. Yes, I have several sets of encyclopedias and access to a great city library, and brain pop, and I haven't skimped monetarily on what I have bought...but the volume of what I have shocked me :-0


So now I have an excuse to buy more books :-) I'm just not sure what I want to focus on. I'm not going to buy books just to buy books, but I do want to balance my home library a bit, and look more to see what is out there.

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Here are some of the books we have and love:


Book for younger ages:


Jim Arnosky books- we especially like his Field Trips, Crinkleroot, and All About Books

Fun with Nature and other Take Along Guides

The Big Bug Book by Taylor and Green

Flip Flap Body Book


Science Through the Microscope

Kingfisher Flying and Floating

What is an Atom? by Gabriel Reuben- This is an older book but my kids really like it

Snowflake Bentley

How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightening

What's Inside and See How They Grow series

Eyewitness Science series- we like Light and Electricity




Older ages:


Handbook of Nature Studies

The Wonders of Creation series

Snowflake books by William Bentley

Famous Firsts in Medicine by Crook

Famous Men of Science by Bolton

Giants of Invention by Tharp

Landmark books about science/biographies- Wright Brothers, etc.

"Immortals of Science" series



Books of particular interest to my boys (i.e. we are in danger of wearing these out!):


The New Way Things Work

The Ultimate Book of Cross Sections



Free Science Books We Have Enjoyed (Google or Homeschool Freebies):


Little Busybodies

The American Boys Book of Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies


This is all that I can think of for now.

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The NSTA list isn't officially out for 2012, but there is a sneak peak, if you download the pdf here:



I love their book lists. I've gotten so many great ideas from their yearly lists.



Great lists! I've never seen this before. Do you know if they have pages for the previous years that are laid out the way the sneak peak for 2012 is? I like seeing the book covers.

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Great lists! I've never seen this before. Do you know if they have pages for the previous years that are laid out the way the sneak peak for 2012 is? I like seeing the book covers.


Not sure about that. I haven't seen it, but you might go digging around.

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