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Critterfixer
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If you love science, if you are happy with your choice of curriculum, if you have children so enthusiastic about it that they beg for science as the first subject of the day, please share your teaching methods, manner of selection and basic curriculum finds here!

Hopefully, this will give those who are finding science a hard subject to teach or to make interesting a place to look for ideas from those of us who get up every morning excited to teach science.

 

My contribution

Basic core curriculum for Earth Science, Geology section

Story of Rocks and Minerals by Harold W.Fairbanks (vintage book, Googlebooks)

Philosophy from the author that I agree with: "The study of nature in grammar grades should not be differentiated as it is in high school, but it should include a treatment of all the natural sciences. The study of rocks and minerals, their origin, and the changes in which they undergo in fitting the world to be a home for plants and animals, should equally with the elements of botany, zoology, meteorology, etc, be included in a symmetrical course."

Props needed: a hand shovel and gloves and a small bucket with a handle for test days: also known as field trips and for class a well furnished rock specimen collection. Also essential for the teacher is an explorer's heart and a good pair of boots! It is also nice to have a colorful guide to rocks and minerals for specimens that won't be in the basic kit--like diamond.

Basic plan of teaching-we read on chapter a day from the book, and illustrate the rocks and minerals from the collection. We describe the rock or mineral in the terms of it's color, what it feels like, how hard it is, where it was made, etc, and for rocks, we learn the names of it's basic construction, and what we use the rock for.

Testing-specimen identification tests, and field trips to look for the rock we have been working on where we can--for instance, quartz crystals were studied and the testing was to go to an open crystal mine and dig for our own specimens for our own rock collections.

Progression of study-for middle school the plan would be for each boy to develop, house and appropriately label specimens that he has collected and identified, and field trips would increase in distance to include less local places. The study will also go more in depth on mining for mineral resources. For high school, I've not decided yet, but we will probably get into how rocks are classified by age, and geologic time.

 

Response by children-science is now their favorite subject that they want to do in the morning. And I love teaching this way.

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After an initial bump in the road with BFSU we finally hit a good stride with it. It does take some prep and planning ahead of time but my girls LOVE it. Seeing their enthusiastic response makes me that much more willing to find time to prepare it.

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Our spine is BFSU. :party: The lessons are split into two or three parts, and we do them over two or three days.

 

In the morning we read related living books, especially anything Let's-Read-And-Find-Out and Max Axiom. I also like getting a picture book related to the subject. I will also use Magic School Bus books when they apply. We get a Bill Nye DVD from the library if one matches, and/or a Schlessinger DVD on the topic.

 

If I have extra experiments (something from a Janice VanCleave experiment book or one of the many experiment kits I have lying around, or if dd invents one), then we do those, usually on Wednesday (end of one subject, start of the next).

 

We also have a microscope, tons of living books we own to look through, Youtube & The Happy Scientist videos, Netflix, and dd's exploring nature (we've hosted snails, slugs, worms, katydids, ladybugs, pillbugs, etc).

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Great! Keep them coming.

I understand that BFSU has a similiar philosophy in that it does not dwell exclusively on one topic too long that there is a risk of the child becoming bored. At least that was my impression when I looked at it.

 

I should also add, that we sit down as a family with popcorn every Sunday night to watch a nature program, and usually Wed night is also a nature night with popcorn, just the boys and Mom. I chose DVD's at the library every two weeks.

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Great! Keep them coming.

I understand that BFSU has a similiar philosophy in that it does not dwell exclusively on one topic too long that there is a risk of the child becoming bored. At least that was my impression when I looked at it.

 

I should also add, that we sit down as a family with popcorn every Sunday night to watch a nature program, and usually Wed night is also a nature night with popcorn, just the boys and Mom. I chose DVD's at the library every two weeks.

 

It realizes that all subjects are interrelated, and there is a flow chart in the beginning. Some of the lessons have prerequisites of which lessons need to have been taught before you teach the current lesson, but it is extremely easy to bounce around the four "threads" of science, doing a few in each thread and then moving to another.

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It is also nice to have a colorful guide to rocks and minerals for specimens that won't be in the basic kit--like diamond.

 

Yes, but that is why we've always hankered for a trip to this place. :D

 

Critterfixer, you are my hero! And thanks again for introducing us to the Fairbanks books. They are (no pun intended) real gems!

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This is a surprise, even to me, but over the years for grades 2-6 the science most likely to be enjoyed by my kids and most likely to get done by me is Abeka. The text is clear and colorful, the experiments are fun and appropriate, and the layout is very straight forward.

 

I've tried and used many other science programs, some of which we've enjoyed and had success with (Elemental Science PreK-K and Apologia in 5th & 6th come to mind), but Abeka is what I always seem to fall back on and it stands out as the favorite. My current 3rd grader gets very excited when it's time to do Abeka science.

 

ETA: We also check out and read tons of library books about science. The Let's Read and Find Out series, for instance, is great.

Edited by Luann in ID
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Yes, but that is why we've always hankered for a trip to this place. :D

 

Critterfixer, you are my hero! And thanks again for introducing us to the Fairbanks books. They are (no pun intended) real gems!

 

Hey, we went there last summer!! The kids had fun digging but no luck. ;) We had even more fun mining for crystals.

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Yes, but that is why we've always hankered for a trip to this place. :D

 

 

 

After the gem and mineral show in Little Rock this weekend, that's next on our Greatest Rocking Days Ever tour. I'm hoping for a small one for our collection at least, but they are not easy to find. But I need a better amethyst and topaz speciment anyway, and those turn up pretty easily around there.

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After the gem and mineral show in Little Rock this weekend, that's next on our Greatest Rocking Days Ever tour. I'm hoping for a small one for our collection at least, but they are not easy to find. But I need a better amethyst and topaz speciment anyway, and those turn up pretty easily around there.

 

Well then, that calls for a trip to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in D.C. Amazing gems and stones there---and the Hope diamond, too! The exhibits are set up as themes of colors, and they are literally jaw-dropping to see.

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Okay, now I feel like a shameless blog promoter, but I blog about what we do for science and we really enjoy it. The kids like science. They never complain about it or roll their eyes. They're not *always* dying with excitement for it, but they often are. This is my link that has about our physics study last year for first grade. Here's our latest two posts for this year about atoms and elements.

 

I try to do activities that will let them play with concepts. I don't always get it just right... but I do try.

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We don't have "science" as a subject yet. Curiosity about the natural world is just normal, everyday stuff. We read up on anything and everything that catches our interest. The children have a million and one "why's" and if we don't have the answer then we set out to find it with them. We watch documentaries, science videos and such just because that's what we find interesting. We're always wanting to learn something. We do experiments from time to time because it's a fun way to spend time together. We could read together, play a game, go for a walk, or just find a new way to make something fly or explode, etc. - it's all good! (granted, I leave the flying and exploding stuff to DH and watch from a safe distance with my phone on hand) lewelma's contributions in this thread are helpful in expanding and deepening our ongoing learning experiences. I'm so thankful lewelma linked to that thread again in the other resent thread because I had forgotten it!

 

I'm really, really hoping science is never less delightful than it is now. I'm really cringing at the thought. I have boring memories of science in school .. well, physics was fun .. but the only exciting memory I have from chemistry was the day my lab partner and I thought our teacher was finally done with us after he had us mix two liquids together, neither drinkable, and then told us to drink it. Apparently together they made salt water or something just as benign but we had reason to be paranoid.

Edited by SCGS
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My guys love science. My youngest is 2nd grade and we use RSO and Elemental Science combined. Currently we are doing RSO:Life and Elemental Science Biology for the Grammar Stage. As soon as we finish that we will be moving to RSO:Earth and Space combined with Apologia Astronomy.

 

The activities are fun. Sometimes I supplement with other books. A favorite is Grossology - it has pretty cool experiments and projects.

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They read whole books on topics of their choosing.

 

:iagree:

 

I usually start out the year with a spine or even a full curriculum (we've had WP science, RSO Earth along with Voskamp's geography book, a few of the Apologia elementary series, and RS4K Bio and Physics), but this is what we have always ended up doing most of the year. I think the longest we ever lasted with a curriculum was Elemental Science Chemistry. We got about halfway through, and then just picked some experiments and did lots of other reading from the library.

Edited by Penelope
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As dh is a gemologist and the manager of his family's jewelry store, so we're basically covered with precious stones, including diamonds ;)

 

We enjoy quite a few things this year across the subjects, but Science is MY favorite :) We have also enjoyed several combinations of science thus far:

 

BFSU 1 in K, 1st, 2 together with living books topical studies and occasional nature walks

Singapore MPH 3/4 (Text, Workbook, Homework, HOTS) plus TM, Teachers Domain, Happy Scientist, Enchanted Learning, a few select living books and reference books

 

The latter program gives me the confidence to pull together my own material cohesively next year, and the plan in 4th is to do

 

BFSU 2 (3-5)

The free online curriculum from National Chemical Society: Inquiry in Action

Living Books on Chemistry and bios of chemists

Creek Edge Press Chemistry Task cards

 

I'm still in the planning phase of course, but considering adding relevant Singapore's textbook, workbook and TM chapters to give me ideas as well.

 

Ds reads whole books on the topics of his own choosing as well. He checked out all the books on snakes a few months ago :)

Edited by sagira
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Okay, now I feel like a shameless blog promoter, but I blog about what we do for science and we really enjoy it. The kids like science. They never complain about it or roll their eyes. They're not *always* dying with excitement for it, but they often are. This is my link that has about our physics study last year for first grade. Here's our latest two posts for this year about atoms and elements.

 

I try to do activities that will let them play with concepts. I don't always get it just right... but I do try.

 

I'm glad you are a "shameless blog promoter" -- I'd never seen yours before. What a lot of good ideas! I have such admiration for the people here who not only hs, but also keep a record of everything, so the rest of us can learn more. THANKS!

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I've shied away from BFSU because so many people say they have troubles implementing it. Yet others love it. I hate the idea of gathering a million things - we've had experiments that require all kinds of random things - in some cases we've spent a small fortune on buying random things to use a "pinch" of, and it's especially annoying when it's hard-to-find items.

 

Are those the problems most complain of with BFSU?

 

I'm always looking for better ways to implement science, but have been scared off from BFSU because of so many complaints.

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I am happy with our Science choices. My dh is working through the Apologia Elementary series with the kids in the evening. So far they have done Zoo 3, Zoo 1, and now they are doing Zoo 2. I also do the science in the HOD guides with them. In the early guides the science is fairly simple, but I don't mind since they are also doing science with daddy. I really like the science in Bigger hearts because it is teaching my ds about some scientists, and covering some topics we have not covered before. I also like the notebooking because it is teaching him science method. My kids are big into nature and animals so we are always informally studying those as well.

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We love science! My kids don't recognize it as part of their schooling since we just naturally live it. They spend hours outside every day on our country acreage, and we use their experiences in nature as a springboard for learning. We also read whole books and watch all kinds of science documentaries/movies. We use BFSU to give us a framework and vocabulary for their natural experiences.

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My oldest loves science. It isn't because of anything I have done although I could have probably done a bit to damper his love. He has loved science since he was a little guy and it is normal for him to spend his free-time reading about science topics.

 

My younger son likes science fine. He just likes some other things more like art and literature. He would choose those things over science.

 

As for what we do? I make up our own studies. My oldest wants to do science all day and needs depth. So we typically spend a long time on one topic. I use living books, DVDs, and activities/demonstrations/projects. I focus on increasing interest, discussion, and exploration without requiring any written output. I have links to our studies this year in my signature.

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I've shied away from BFSU because so many people say they have troubles implementing it. Yet others love it. I hate the idea of gathering a million things - we've had experiments that require all kinds of random things - in some cases we've spent a small fortune on buying random things to use a "pinch" of, and it's especially annoying when it's hard-to-find items.

 

Are those the problems most complain of with BFSU?

 

I'm always looking for better ways to implement science, but have been scared off from BFSU because of so many complaints.

 

No. The only things I've had to buy for BFSU were a couple of magnets and some rocks. The issue with BFSU is that it requires you to read the entire lesson ahead of time to fully understand the topic in order to guide the Socratic discussion at the core of it. If you already understand science quite well, it's practically open-and-go. (Open-and-go here normally, but I can see how it would take much longer for those unfamiliar with the concepts at this level of presentation and understanding.)

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No. The only things I've had to buy for BFSU were a couple of magnets and some rocks. The issue with BFSU is that it requires you to read the entire lesson ahead of time to fully understand the topic in order to guide the Socratic discussion at the core of it. If you already understand science quite well, it's practically open-and-go. (Open-and-go here normally, but I can see how it would take much longer for those unfamiliar with the concepts at this level of presentation and understanding.)

 

Hmmm, thank you! This is helpful. I'm not the science-y one in the family, but my husband DEFINITELY is. He would probably love this. He is so well versed in everything that he is always talking about everything in science terms (scrape your knee, he explains what's happening; drive down the road, he talks about what's happening; everything). Do you think, based on that, he'd like it?

 

Which book would you recommend we start with, this one?

 

Also, what do you think about this review on the second book?

http://www.amazon.com/Elementary-Science-Education-Foundations-Understanding/product-reviews/1432762362/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addTwoStar

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Hmmm, thank you! This is helpful. I'm not the science-y one in the family, but my husband DEFINITELY is. He would probably love this. He is so well versed in everything that he is always talking about everything in science terms (scrape your knee, he explains what's happening; drive down the road, he talks about what's happening; everything). Do you think, based on that, he'd like it?

 

Which book would you recommend we start with, this one?

 

Also, what do you think about this review on the second book?

http://www.amazon.com/Elementary-Science-Education-Foundations-Understanding/product-reviews/1432762362/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addTwoStar

 

I think your dh would love it. The first book is the one to start with, yes. I honestly do not know what the reviewer is talking about with it being light and not covering any more than normal elementary science curricula. I would like to see those other curricula if that person has a stash of equivalent ones around, lol! I have tried many other science curricula and nothing else has come close. (I haven't tried the My Pals Are Here, though.) I wasn't aware that most early elementary science programs usually teach about the particulate (molecular) nature of air/matter, how sound is actually the particles/molecules of air moving through air to our eardrums to vibrate the eardrums & be interpreted by the nerves as opposed to the usual "sound vibrates the air" and that's it, about friction and potential/chemical/kinetic energy, inertia, and on and on and on.

 

I opened up BFSU to a random page and found one of the guided questions in the lesson to ask the K-2 students (and this is NOT at the end of the threads. It's Lesson A-6 on Air Pressure, Vacuums, and the Earth's Atmosphere): "Now pose the question, 'If outer space is a vacuum, why doesn't the Earth's atmosphere push out into that vacuum?' Let students ponder this question for a few moments. They may not come up with the answer. The answer is gravity! Recall that air does have weight (Lesson A-3). The gravity of the earth literally holds the air down around the Earth and prevents it from blowing out into space. Now, take students through the following reasoning:...."

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I think your dh would love it. The first book is the one to start with, yes. I honestly do not know what the reviewer is talking about with it being light and not covering any more than normal elementary science curricula. I would like to see those other curricula if that person has a stash of equivalent ones around, lol! I have tried many other science curricula and nothing else has come close. (I haven't tried the My Pals Are Here, though.) I wasn't aware that most early elementary science programs usually teach about the particulate (molecular) nature of air/matter, how sound is actually the particles/molecules of air moving through air to our eardrums to vibrate the eardrums & be interpreted by the nerves as opposed to the usual "sound vibrates the air" and that's it, about friction and potential/chemical/kinetic energy, inertia, and on and on and on.

 

I opened up BFSU to a random page and found one of the guided questions in the lesson to ask the K-2 students (and this is NOT at the end of the threads. It's Lesson A-6 on Air Pressure, Vacuums, and the Earth's Atmosphere): "Now pose the question, 'If outer space is a vacuum, why doesn't the Earth's atmosphere push out into that vacuum?' Let students ponder this question for a few moments. They may not come up with the answer. The answer is gravity! Recall that air does have weight (Lesson A-3). The gravity of the earth literally holds the air down around the Earth and prevents it from blowing out into space. Now, take students through the following reasoning:...."

 

Okay, that settles it then! I am going to order it. Thank you so much for the detailed response!

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We love REAL Science Odyssey. This made the difference. We could spend the entire week, and often did, doing nothing but science. This was because they were so hands-on.

 

At present, Biology for the Logic Stage, is a big hit too. Again, nice short bits of reading, carefully chosen vocabulary, but most of all it is the sketches and actual lab work that are winners. I like the way that the foundation is laid, which is one reason that we switched. The second reason that we switched was that there were not any level two resources.

 

I provide ample resources, that I keep in our home. Along with the reading, I add computer time to research links and view other information. Everything is in short spurts. We do not spend more than 20 minutes on any one task or aspect of a lesson. This makes both science programs a success in our house.

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My kids love science. For Kindergarten, I use Singapore's Start Up Science series. I use Rod and Staff's elementary series for the Grammar stage. I sometimes add in a few books I think are interesting. I keep lots of science books around the house for free-reading. I tried Ellen McHenry's chemistry curriculum but I was a bit disappointed with it in the end. It was fun, but I felt some of the assignments were a waste of time. My dd liked it though. My eldest is now finishing up Apologia General Science.

 

I know textbook based science is not the most popular route, but it has worked well for us. My ds jumps with glee when it is time to do R&S science. He much prefers doing narration of his science reading to doing narration of his history reading... I just asked my dd the other day if she was happy with Apologia and got an enthusiastic "Yes!".

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My kids LOVE science. We do a lot of nature study. I am learning right along with them because I really don't know what anything is in nature!!! We also do science units. We are about to start learning about our Solar System. We are going to spend about 6 weeks on this and I know the kids are going to love it. I am planning on doing 2-3 science units a year for early elementary. I have found that really focusing on one topic makes them interested and they don't get bored. Plus, it just wasn't working for us to do science 1 or 2 times a week. During our other units, there is usually some science (like during North America, we learned about animals, swamps, snorkeling, etc). I just want to keep their love of science as long as possible!!! We also watch a lot of science stuff on TV (animal shows, space shows, etc). We probably do that once a week as a family. Mostly, if they have questions, I answer them, set up experiments or just let them try and figure it out themselves. I want them to keep thinking about wondering!

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We have finally started to enjoy science by realizing we just needed to give up on finding a great curriculum and just live our science filled lives. We love learning about an element each night with our Ipad App. We also have just recently completed watching the series of Eureka! Episodes on youtube. Currently we are reading The Way Things Work and really studying all it describes. Yesterday, we read about how hair clippers work, then unscrewed our clippers to look at all the inside parts. We learned that next time we take something apart, we should take a picture of how it should look first so that we can put it back together.:lol:

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We have finally started to enjoy science by realizing we just needed to give up on finding a great curriculum and just live our science filled lives. We love learning about an element each night with our Ipad App. We also have just recently completed watching the series of Eureka! Episodes on youtube. Currently we are reading The Way Things Work and really studying all it describes. Yesterday, we read about how hair clippers work, then unscrewed our clippers to look at all the inside parts. We learned that next time we take something apart, we should take a picture of how it should look first so that we can put it back together.:lol:

 

My 5YO is obsessed with taking things apart. Finally I asked my husband to find all the broken things in our house and garage and just let him take it apart. We'll always be hanging onto the broken items now, rather than getting rid of them!

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Our whole house loves science, with DS more than likely going into a science field. (Right now he wants double majors in science and engineering.)

 

Programs we have used and loved:

Apologia (flying creatures, astronomy)

BFSU

The Pillbug Project

Elemental science (chemistry and physics)

Shining Dawn nature studies

 

 

Other things we have done to promote a love of science:

Regular nature walks and nature studies

Camping and hiking

Attend lectures and programs at colleges, hobby clubs, state parks, science museums, etc.

Keep a membership at a zoo or science museum

Educational travel (We have visited 28 different zoos and aquariums around the states since we started homeschooling.)

Keep science supplies accessible (microscope, binoculars, field guides)

Allow DS to take apart electronics (We visit a 2nd hand store once a year to stock up on cheap items.)

Keep a garden

Buy science kits and/or books on a topic child expresses an interest in

Lots and lots of books - living books, textbooks, field guides, etc.

We watch at least one science video or program a week together as a family

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We love science here. I've found REAL Science Odyssey to be a perfect fit for us. It lays the outline for us, gives us a few experiments/activities to explore, and then we strike out on our own with books and videos. We make heavy use of Discovery Education Streaming, BrainPop and YouTube. We'll incorporate field trips - last year's big one was tide pools in Oregon and this spring will be the Grand Canyon. We started homeschooling at age 4 and explored several fossil parks in the Colorado/Utah area.

 

I blog about science often and intend to publish a new post tonight in fact.

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We love science here. I've found REAL Science Odyssey to be a perfect fit for us. It lays the outline for us, gives us a few experiments/activities to explore, and then we strike out on our own with books and videos. We make heavy use of Discovery Education Streaming, BrainPop and YouTube. We'll incorporate field trips - last year's big one was tide pools in Oregon and this spring will be the Grand Canyon. We started homeschooling at age 4 and explored several fossil parks in the Colorado/Utah area.

 

I blog about science often and intend to publish a new post tonight in fact.

 

We're going to go to the Grand Canyon this year also. If you happen to have any resources, I'd love to hear it!

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My 5YO is obsessed with taking things apart. Finally I asked my husband to find all the broken things in our house and garage and just let him take it apart. We'll always be hanging onto the broken items now, rather than getting rid of them!

 

I should do this for my 5yo. He is my engineering, wants to know how it works and why little guy.

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We love science as well. I think bringing what you study to life with "experiments" are what make science fun for us.

 

This year we are basing our science on science kits. Solar power, wind power, and creating perfume are some of the science kits we are using this year. Here is a post that explains how I take a kit and create a full science course around the topic in the kit.

 

http://missmoe-thesearethedaysofmylife.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-create-science-course-from.html

 

We also take questions the kids have and research and experiment to find the answers. Making science a part of our everyday lives is important part of enjoying science for us.

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We love science as well. I think bringing what you study to life with "experiments" are what make science fun for us.

 

This year we are basing our science on science kits. Solar power, wind power, and creating perfume are some of the science kits we are using this year. Here is a post that explains how I take a kit and create a full science course around the topic in the kit.

 

http://missmoe-thesearethedaysofmylife.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-create-science-course-from.html

 

We also take questions the kids have and research and experiment to find the answers. Making science a part of our everyday lives is important part of enjoying science for us.

 

Great blog post! I was wondering what age you liked for the Science in a Nutshell kits? And at what age/stage did you move to the Thames & Kosmos kits? Are some of their kits better than others? There are reviews on amazon that are terrible for some of the Thames stuff, and I am certain I've read similarly negative reviews on this site as well. I am always so hesitant to spend the big money on these kits ONLY because of the negative reviews. I would gladly spend the money on kits I knew were really good and we'd get a lot out of.

 

If you wouldn't mind sharing what have been your favorite kits (and for what age) I would very much appreciate it. I've been looking to buy a few kits for this year, but have hesitated because I just wasn't sure which were good.

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It's really nothing that I've done; the girls just love science. I have used Living Learning Life Science, R.E.A.L. Earth/Space, Sonlight 1, and now Apologia A&P with the bit of science that's included in Adventures.

 

I personally love human anatomy/physiology, so I think that's really come through to Becca. We always go more in depth with those topics. But basically, anytime we do a project or experiment, Becca perks right up. She squealed when I told her we were getting anatomy slides for the microscope. :001_huh:

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Great blog post! I was wondering what age you liked for the Science in a Nutshell kits? And at what age/stage did you move to the Thames & Kosmos kits? Are some of their kits better than others? There are reviews on amazon that are terrible for some of the Thames stuff, and I am certain I've read similarly negative reviews on this site as well. I am always so hesitant to spend the big money on these kits ONLY because of the negative reviews. I would gladly spend the money on kits I knew were really good and we'd get a lot out of.

 

If you wouldn't mind sharing what have been your favorite kits (and for what age) I would very much appreciate it. I've been looking to buy a few kits for this year, but have hesitated because I just wasn't sure which were good.

 

Tammy,

 

We used the Science in a Nutshell Kits between the ages of 7-10 or 11. We have had good luck with all the T&K kits we've used.

 

Physics Workshop

Wind Power--this year will be our second time using it

Milestones in Science

Solar Power--again our second time using it

 

I wasn't impressed with Core Science. It seemed to be rather cheaply made. I ended up not buying it after seeing it in person.

 

We move into the T&K kits around 6th or 7th grade depending on the child.

 

You do need to keep in mind that your child (or teen) will most likely need your help with the kits. Sometimes building the models takes strength that works better with two people working together. Also, I've had students that wonder what the heck is the point of what they just did. That is why I like to have my kids study the concept taught with the model before completing the experiment. Then they have an understanding of the what and why of their experiment. I think peoples' frustrations with the kits may come from simply handing the kits to a kid and the kid can't work things out on their own.

 

It would be nice if the kits came with better manuals and background information. But I still think they are worth it without that information.

Edited by missmoe
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Tammy,

 

We used the Science in a Nutshell Kits between the ages of 7-10 or 11. We have had good luck with all the T&K kits we've used.

 

Physics Workshop

Wind Power--this year will be our second time using it

Milestones in Science

Solar Power--again our second time using it

 

I wasn't impressed with Core Science. It seemed to be rather cheaply made. I ended up not buying it after seeing it in person.

 

We move into the T&K kits around 6th or 7th grade depending on the child.

 

You do need to keep in mind that your child (or teen) will most likely need your help with the kits. Sometimes building the models takes strength that works better with two people working together. Also, I've had students that wonder what the heck is the point of what they just did. That is why I like to have my kids study the concept taught with the model before completing the experiment. Then they have an understanding of the what and why of their experiment. I think peoples' frustrations with the kits may come from simply handing the kits to a kid and the kid can't work things out on their own.

 

It would be nice if the kits came with better manuals and background information. But I still think they are worth it without that information.

 

Thank you so much for this! I will definitely be looking into buying some of these Science in a Nutshell kits for now (my kids are 5 and 8.5). Sounds like we should hold off on the Thames kits for a couple years, but I'm going to take note of your favorites.

 

Did you just do a search (on amazon or wherever) for books that would complement each kit?

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We're going to go to the Grand Canyon this year also. If you happen to have any resources, I'd love to hear it!

 

We just returned from a fieldtrip to the Grand Canyon. I highly recommend reading Brighty of the Grand Canyon before you go. Also, where will you be coming from and staying? There is so much to do in the nearby areas--the Red Rocks of Sedona, Meteor Crater and Walnut Canyon (cliff dwellings) near Flagstaff, Antelope Canyon (a slot canyon) near Page. Of course, all these are more in the vicinity of the South Rim. Accessing both rims in one trip would require a bit of extra planning.

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We just returned from a fieldtrip to the Grand Canyon. I highly recommend reading Brighty of the Grand Canyon before you go. Also, where will you be coming from and staying? There is so much to do in the nearby areas--the Red Rocks of Sedona, Meteor Crater and Walnut Canyon (cliff dwellings) near Flagstaff, Antelope Canyon (a slot canyon) near Page. Of course, all these are more in the vicinity of the South Rim. Accessing both rims in one trip would require a bit of extra planning.

 

Thanks! I'll definitely check into that book. We will try to plan something in the new year though not exactly when. We will be coming from San Diego if that helps? I'd gladly welcome any advice you have, as we've never been!

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Thanks as well! We'll be coming from Colorado and plan to do both rims. We've passed the Grand Canyon on our way from other vacations at least three times but knew we needed to dedicate more of a vacation to this place. We will be going late next spring, so I'm all :bigear:!

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