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Science for 3rd and 6th grader - WTM, SL, RS4K, BFSU...


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Absolutely no idea what to do for science this year and we are already in wk 5. TBH we haven't done a thing - consistently - in science yet. However, my almost 11 yo loves science and constantly reads all she can on any science-related subject (and we have tons of books - from WTM elementary suggestions, Easy Classical, SL, and probably another program or two I bought & didn't use)!


I spent the greater part of the morning looking through science posts in this forum, which left me more confused than ever :lol: The only thing I do know is that I do not want a young-earth text, as I am simply not sure what I believe on that topic (FWIW we are Protestant Christians).


So far I like the looks of science TWTM way, but can't tell that many actually do it. Why not, I wonder?


I have also considered SL, as I like how it is all planned out. Not sure I will like jumping around, but if it is a good and complete program I can certainly manage.


I looked into BFSU. Am I understanding that there are just three books? How would that work - one for each stage?


Finally I looked into RS4K. I really like the fact that it doesn't teach any particular world view, but not 100% sure why that appeals to me right now. Perhaps there is a downside to that? Also, would I be able to do elementary biology alongside middle school biology, or would that be too difficult?


Thanks so much for any advice! I am also open to other programs (yikes)!

Edited by knit247
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Sonlight Science doesn't get alot of love here on the boards but we use it, and enjoy it. It does jump around a little, but that doesn't bother us. And most importantly in gets done. We have also used Winter Promise science and enjoyed it too. It doesn't jump around as much as Sonlight. But it was fun. Hope that helps!

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Sonlight Science doesn't get alot of love here on the boards but we use it, and enjoy it. It does jump around a little, but that doesn't bother us. And most importantly in gets done.


TY - I am glad to hear more positive SL reviews. We already do SL history, so I am familiar with the scheduling, etc.


You might take a look at:


I read her bio - interesting lady! Headed back to read more after school.


My favorite so far has been NOEO. It's open and go. It comes with most of the supplies for the hands on stuff. I need that because I hate gathering supplies. I don't have to prepare anything. So it gets done...


I have BFSU 1 and 2. I wanted to like it. I love the concept. I found it too difficult for me to implement. I also used RS4K pre chem and chem 1. I do like those, but my big complaint with those is that they are not full year science programs. We completed them in less than 2 months.


Ugh - Noeo doesn't go into middle school. I really want to find something I can continue... And I had no idea that RS4K wasn't a full-yr. I really might suck it up and do science as outlined in TWTM - it's the planning part that seems to get me there ;)

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I could confuse you more and suggest you look at Mr. Q Science.




At least till you decide you can download the first book, "Life Science" which is free. You can then also download the audio version




and have your kids listen to it when you are deciding what to do for science. Then if you like it you can do the currciulmn with the suggested labs and what not or get the next books in the series.


PS: Mr. Q now has a referral program. You can always list me as a referral. :) I still haven't bought his newest book.

Edited by Julie Smith
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Noeo does have two courses at the middle school level, Chem and Physics.


We LOVED Noeo level I. DS completed Bio II and Chem II. It really wasn't nearly as cool as level I as it seemed every day was read a couple of Usborne pages and notebook them. It was "fine" but got old.


We just started The Rainbow and we like what we've done so far and it looks really good.


We have done many, many science curric (in their entirety) and there aren't any that I truly love, except for Noeo Physics I.


Good luck!

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We did WTM sciece for the full 4 yrs of grammar stage. And I have read other posts over the years of those who did it too. I think the reason the majority doesn't do it is because it is work to put things together yourself. It is easier to buy a program that tells you step by step day by day what to do. It is easier to not put together experiments every week (chemistry and physics years) and to find materials on your own each week to complement the studies.


But this year for logic stage science, I did decide not to go with WTM style science. I am sticking with the main ideas for my grammar stage student (we are in the ancients. So it is a biology year for us) so the grammar stage child is having an animals, human body, plants year with various sources.


For the logic stage child, I looked at that list of hands on kits and experiments and realized it was not a good fit for us after the 2 past years of hands on experiments in grammar stage (WTM chemistry and physics) I needed something more put together and less hands on for a year. So I went with Memoria Press 5th grade package which has a unit on birds and then the rest of the year on human body/history of medicine using books and workbooks. I also added in their 6th grade biology book to line up chapters from since we will be moving out of biology next year. I am going to add a microscope and a couple of hands on things, plus she will do experiments at co-op at times. But I don't have time to do them every week anymore. She can read and answer comprehension questions on her own without me, and she has to be able to do so this year.


It is ideal that I chose this path. I had no idea the changes that were in store for us this year back in the spring when I made this decision to go less hands on. But it is perfect for us to have a small break from the hands on WTM stuff for this year.


But coming from someone who has done it, it works. So if you feel pulled to try WTM style, go for it.

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We used RS4K Chemistry Level 1 in 3rd grade. We loved it; the text was accessible and the lab work was fun & easy. However, there are just 10 lessons, so at 1 lesson a week it took just . . . 10 weeks. You could do all 3 Level 1 books in one year for a brief introduction to science topics, and it would probably be fine. I think the Biology is way too light for a 6th grader, great for a 3rd grader. I haven't seen the Physics.


BFSU. Sigh. BFSU is not an open an go curriculum. It isn't a text for the kids either. It is a teacher's manual, that fully equips *you* to teach science. It doesn't do anything for you, and there really aren't any short cuts. You have to read and understand each lesson so you can guide you kids to discover & learn the concepts. That is the hard part. The lessons themselves are really pretty easy to implement once you've digested the material. Sometimes, it's just reading and looking at pictures and discussing. Sometimes it's building some kind of a model that illustrates the point. Most of the lessons we've done so far haven't taken very long, and they have been great for conceptual understanding.


The three books are roughly intended for K-2, 3-5, 6-8. A lot of people say you must start at the first book, no matter the ages of your dc, but I disagree. I think the first book helps kids to notice and observe basic things about the world, and gives them a vocabulary for talking about these things. It also challenges some of their naive assumptions. Older kids have generally figured a lot of this stuff out, and/or their assumptions and vocabulary are already at a higher level. At least that's my experience with my two, although we are a sciency house and "talk science" all the time. You can get the $5 pdf of Vol. 1 and go through it quickly, filling in any holes in your kid's conceptual understanding, then dive into Vol. 2.


It covers all of science, divided into 4 "threads" (physical, life, earth, and chemical) that are meant to be studied concurrently. It builds up a conceptual understanding from the ground floor, and by then end should prepare a kid for college-level introductory science.

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