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TOPS and/or GEMS


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I am looking to purchase one or the other, or maybe some of both. The way we tend to do science around here (and history too) is to throw ourselves into a study for 4-6 weeks, then switch to something else. Right now I am knee-deep in planning. Ideally I'd like to have 3-4 different science avenues to choose from. Oh, and the kids are 8 & 10.


TOPS: We have dabbled with Lentil Science in the past (the k-3 book) and I am now considering moving up to the 4-6 book. I was also looking at Corn & Beans or Radishes (or both???). I was also thinking maybe electricy and/or magnetism.


GEMS: This just stumbled onto my radar and I am impressed. There are a lot of choices so I am hoping someone can point me to some 'gems' :D that we can consider. There haven't been any real science request other than the human body (but I think I've got my path for that one already) so I am open to anything really!

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Thank you so much fo the information. We move all over the place with our learning so I am sure we'd benefit from, and enjoy, both approaches. We also love to make messes here! Gathering supplies...not my favorite pastime, but I know how worth it it can be :D


Thanks again!

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My two oldest boys (11 and 9) are loving TOPS electricity right now. We're seven weeks into it, and they are very enthusiastic.


TOPS magnestism is scheduled for later in the year (we are doing SL science E).


I am enjoying TOPS because:


1. I got the supplies, copied the sheets, and I handed it over to them; THEY are figuring it out and recording it all...they are in charge, making it happen, and they are thriving with the independence. They get it all out, and they can clean it up. :001_smile:


2. It has been pretty inexpensive--the TOPS book is not that much, and the supplies needed for the electricity are not expensive (cell batteries, bulbs, foil, wire...).


3. The explanations are clear, and my very methodical, sequential son is able to feel successful.

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I nearly burnt our house down with Tops Electricity the first time I did it with my boys (with my daughter I kept the fire extinguisher close at hand).


BUT - I did for the first time understand the concept of how the thinner the copper wire, the higher the resistance. I probably learned more than my kids (I didn't do any science after high school).

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