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Not sure I'm loving CPO Life Science


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We've been doing the Earth Science, no experiments. And yes, it is very dry. I am using it as a review, and plan to do Life Science next (my DD has had both Earth & Life at public school), so we can be ready for physical science next year. But not so sure I'll use CPO for that now.

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Halcyon,

My father in law quit teaching CPO earth science to my boys back in November because "it is hard and way too boring" (in their own words) for the boys and they couldn't pay attention while he taught the lessons. I haven't picked up where he left. I just went on with Apologia Zoology 2 as read aloud for science while letting our co-op teach earth science. I cannot do CPO by myself. Well, I didn't try, maybe I could. We will probably do human body next year. Hope you find something you like better.

(On the side, can you pm me about the comparison between Easy Spanish Step by Step and Basic Spanish by Practice Makes Perfect? I am interested in knowing the English to Spanish and Spanish to English translation balance. Thanks!)

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I think with any science text its important to supplement with other reading, documentaries, hands on stuff, field trips, discussion, whatever (and maybe you are doing this). The text is an important piece but it is not the only piece.

 

With CPO, take what is working for you and leave the rest. You don't have to do all of the experiments, and you don't have to do all of the worksheets if those things aren't working (if they are then by all means keep them!). Comprehension questions can be done orally and provide a basis for discussion. As for the reading, I like to keep textbook reading short and frequent.

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I recently got a used copy of the CPO Life Science text. At first I was all gung-ho - oh yeah! We should be doing all this! But then I realized . . . science is really working for us in a much more relaxed and casual way. I know when we get to high school we'll be doing science more "by the book" but what is the hurry? I decided to just relax and enjoy the time we have now, the freedom to follow interests and rabbit trails, and realize that the more formal approach will come in time.

 

FWIW, here is what that looks like at our house: For the first half of the year, we were doing mostly library-book based biology, 3 days a week. This term, we started Story of Science in that same slot, 3 days a week. With the quest guide for activities and discussion, it's been really fun. We also do Equine Science and Entomology - at dd's request, her special interest areas, 2 days a week. I still look at the CPO textbook sometimes . . . but so far I'm resisting.

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I haven't used the CPO Life book, but we are enjoying the CPO Physical Earth and Space book. After this thread I asked my son what he thought about the book. He said he liked it except for the tests. The chapters are pretty short and I go over the end of the section questions orally. We use some of the skill and practice worksheets. My son does some on his own and some with me. The investigations area the most enjoyed part though. For tests I have my son complete the end of the chapter questions as an open book test. Do add a little to it like YouTube videos, but not much. We also do other things for science so we don't do CPO everyday. My ds is also a science nut so that may have something to do with it too.

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I had a down time with CPO earth and space, but stuck with it. In the end it was one of our best science years.

 

here is what worked for us:

We did almost every single lovin experiment. I think there were three we skipped. Maybe 5, but no more than that. We really did all that stuff and it was great. We also did the entire book, but we did the section questions orally. I didn't make him write stuff out. That made it go smoothly. It felt like a much smaller burden when he read a section and then we just talked about it.

 

It may be dry, but it was much better than some of the other texts I saw out there.

 

I can't imagine only doing the book and not the experiments. No way.

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We used it with a 2nd and 4th grader. We didn't use many worksheets. Though they were cool, they were mostly above my kids' heads with the math. We did tons of demos, games, experiments, microscope work...I really liked teaching it and plan to teach it to my younger 2 next year when they are 3rd and 5th. I've posted previously about stuff we did, but it's the most effective year of science we've had yet. We only made it halfway through the book. We mixed in a little BFSU too.

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Okay thanks all. I think i am inspired to revamp my approach. We will read the chapter but focus more on the skill sheets and the experiments. We already watch a lot of documentaries. I have story of science on my amazon wish list! Tomorrow is a new day, and i think we just got in a rut.

 

Thank you for the motivation!

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We used it with a 2nd and 4th grader. We didn't use many worksheets. Though they were cool, they were mostly above my kids' heads with the math. We did tons of demos, games, experiments, microscope work...I really liked teaching it and plan to teach it to my younger 2 next year when they are 3rd and 5th. I've posted previously about stuff we did, but it's the most effective year of science we've had yet. We only made it halfway through the book. We mixed in a little BFSU too.

 

 

Yes i think we will just have to move slower, esp if we want to get to all the fun stuff. I think i got concerned with making sure we were on pace, and lost sight of simply enjoying the material.

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I didn't use any of the skills and practice sheets, if that is what you mean by 'worksheets'. It just got overwhelming. I decided to focus on the 'student record sheets' (the hands on part of the program) and the section and chapter questions. We did an experiment about twice a week (sometimes once depending on the chapter) and read/discuss the other days. I didn't do tests or anything like that.

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I didn't use any of the skills and practice sheets, if that is what you mean by 'worksheets'. It just got overwhelming. I decided to focus on the 'student record sheets' (the hands on part of the program) and the section and chapter questions. We did an experiment about twice a week (sometimes once depending on the chapter) and read/discuss the other days. I didn't do tests or anything like that.

 

 

I actually like some of the Skills and Practice Sheets. It IS overwhelming, so I have to be careful we don't get overwhelmed again (which is I think what happened before, so we resorted to just reading the text and discussing, and not doing enough experiments. Even though I have all the supplies!)

 

Anyway, I told DS that we are going to focus on the hands on part of science for a while, and he was thrilled.

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The S&P sheets just made me feel guilty.

 

The hands on part of CPO is what makes it worthwhile. I didn't find the textbook to be any different than any other standard text for that age. Well, it doesn't talk down to the reader and it lacks a jokey/folksy/hey let's try to trick the kids into learning something feel that I see in so many school materials. For some kids that works. My kid finds it annoying. So, we like that about CPO books, but the content isn't anything spectacular. I am guessing there are talented middle school teachers out there who use the materials but hardly use the books. They have their own lecture materials they have developed over the years.

 

We did like the 'hands on first and read second' layout of the program. It lets the hands on part do the teaching. We did the demonstrations (I can't really call them 'experiments because there is no hypothesis) and talked about it. When he did the reading it felt like he had already gone over the materials because he had.

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It was a bust over here. I was all excited about it last year, I ordered all the supplies for the experiments. I think we lasted two chapters. My son felt the text was boring and a chore to read, and he is totally my science loving kid (wants to be a biologist when he grows up). I could see all the fun being sucked out of it for him. I think it just dampened the excitement. We just sort of skipped around and discussed the topics while doing more of BFSU. This year I decided to take a totally different approach. I have gotten subscription to The Young Scientist Club and Magic School Bus (for my littles) and we are going through those. My son is doing a report on the topic at hand and then we do the experiments based on the concept. Then we change up the directions and make our own hypotheses (is that how you spell that)? This works much better for all of us. I really wanted it to work, but I wanted to save the boring textbooks for when he was older, ha.

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We loved CPO Earth and had a great year with it, doing almost all the labs and hands-on activities. It helped that dd is quite interested in earth and space science-----she's studying it again this year as part of Science Olympiad events. We only did a very few of the skill and practice sheets because basically they're just busy work. We did not bring dd home in fifth grade to recreate the same experience she had in her previous school!

 

CPO Life was a bit harder last year but that was due to circumstances beyond my control------my father died unexpectedly in the fall and I had to deal with selling the house and settling the estate. We did about half of the labs. I added in a lot of botany (falling back on grad school texts) which dd greatly prefers to the animal portion of life science.

 

I had thought we'd do CPO Physical this year but dd is really past that. She's picked up a lot of physical science over the years and is ready for proper algebra-based physics which we'll do next year. I used the free ACS Middle School Chemistry curriculum to cover the chem part of physical science (and she already knew more than I anticipated!) Now we're doing "integrated science" which basically means learning about her Science Olympiad events----rocks and minerals, forestry (tree id and botany), stars and deep space objects, electricity, and building balsa wood booms (forces etc).

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It sounds like you've come up with a plan! Keep us posted. :thumbup1:

 

I do want to make a couple points in case anyone else is considering CPO.

 

Having many options is one of the strengths of CPO--skill and practice, demonstrations, projects, research, literature selections, etc. This makes it a great program for different kinds of families and students with varying needs/goals.

 

We don't do all of the skills sheets, but we do complete many of them. I am concerned with a blanket statement calling them busywork. Some kids may know all the math and be familiar with all the scientists, or may not care about those aspects, but I would hate for someone who would benefit from the skills sheets to not look into them because they have the impression they are just busywork.

 

Regarding the skills sheets. . .

 

---math applied to science

---biographies of scientists, including research questions to explore the scientists' lives further

---exposure to various kinds of mind maps as potential study aids

---possible projects to apply the new concepts

 

I know busywork varies from family to family and even student to student perhaps, but it's hard for me to see all, or even most, of the sheets that way.

 

 

Regarding the demonstrations. . .

 

In the same vein as the skills sheets, I would hate for someone to not try CPO because they think the experiments are the heart of the program. For some families they may well be true, but not all. There are valid reasons to not do all--or even most--of the demonstrations.

 

---the student has done the demonstration in the past--(possibly ad nauseum)

---the student has witnessed the phenomenon in real life--(possibly ad nauseum)

---the student knows what is going to happen and doesn't care to do the demonstration and waste time/energy

---there is a better demonstration

---reading a 200 page book on the topic would be a better use of time and energy

 

This isn't to say we don't do any demonstrations from CPO, but for us that is not the heart of the program.

 

We have delved into scientists' research prompted by the biographies, a CPO literature selection prompted a comparative analysis of the 1996 Everest disaster, DD has applied concepts learned from the texts and skill sheets to daily life. . . If nothing else, the text itself is a great introduction to learn how to use a textbook to learn--mainly because it is simple and straightforward.

 

I'm not saying skipping the skills sheets is wrong, or feeling the demonstrations are the heart of the program is invalid. I just wanted to present another viewpoint to show CPO is not a one path/one size fits all curriculum, which in my mind is part of what makes it so great.

 

CPO Kool-Aid anyone???? :cheers2:

 

;) (I promise I'm not trying to convert anyone to the Cult of CPO!)

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Having many options is one of the strengths of CPO--skill and practice, demonstrations, projects, research, literature selections, etc. This makes it a great program for different kinds of families and students with varying needs/goals.

 

Thank you for taking the time to post and for writing all that out. We are planning to use CPO next year, and I was starting to doubt my choice. Options are good. Curriculum is a tool - it's all in how you use it, right? Now I'm encouraged again! Thank you!!!

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Thank you for taking the time to post and for writing all that out. We are planning to use CPO next year, and I was starting to doubt my choice. Options are good. Curriculum is a tool - it's all in how you use it, right? Now I'm encouraged again! Thank you!!!

 

You're welcome!

 

So true--curriculum is a tool, and CPO is a Swiss Army Knife. smiley-vault-misc-140.gif That's some serious science!

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Thank you Hilltop. You echo my thoughts exactly about the Skills Sheets. I don't agree that they are busywork; I think they have a LOT of valuable integration of math and science, in particular, which we haven't really seen before in a science program.

 

I also agree that for us, the experiments are not the centerpiece (but nor do they have to be completely sidelined). I think what happened was other subjects began to take a lot of time (WWS, anyone? Latin?) and I began to get frustrated that science wasn't open-and-go. Not that I think it SHOULD be. What makes a science program strong (IMO) is a variety of activities, documentaries, experiments, discussions, biographies, readings...and we just weren't getting to it. So the more I think about it, the more I think that the fault does not lie with CPO, but in not implementing my vision of what a science program should be for my son. There is only so much time in the day, and we just haven't been able to flesh out science to the extent I had hoped. But tomorrow is a new day!!!

 

Today we worked on Demonstration #7 (the one with the pond water, the milk and hay, and THE GRAIN (what's up with that) of yeast). We are going to monitor it daily for changes. We are up to the chapter on Reproduction, which (to me) is where stuff gets really interesting. I found a section in The Way Life Works that fit in perfectly, so we read that. DS had tons of questions about fraternal vs identical twins so we researched more about how they develop, which segued into a discussion of nature versus nurture and how much genetics influences one's life. It was fun :D

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We are using CPO Physical Science and we love the worksheets. My dd needs the extra practice and the more challenging math involved. I like the biographies since they are often people that I wouldn't think to include. And I like the non-fiction reading and questions.

 

Karen

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It sounds like you've come up with a plan! Keep us posted. :thumbup1:

 

I do want to make a couple points in case anyone else is considering CPO.

 

Having many options is one of the strengths of CPO--skill and practice, demonstrations, projects, research, literature selections, etc. This makes it a great program for different kinds of families and students with varying needs/goals.

 

We don't do all of the skills sheets, but we do complete many of them. I am concerned with a blanket statement calling them busywork. Some kids may know all the math and be familiar with all the scientists, or may not care about those aspects, but I would hate for someone who would benefit from the skills sheets to not look into them because they have the impression they are just busywork.

 

Regarding the skills sheets. . .

 

---math applied to science

---biographies of scientists, including research questions to explore the scientists' lives further

---exposure to various kinds of mind maps as potential study aids

---possible projects to apply the new concepts

 

I know busywork varies from family to family and even student to student perhaps, but it's hard for me to see all, or even most, of the sheets that way.

 

 

Regarding the demonstrations. . .

 

In the same vein as the skills sheets, I would hate for someone to not try CPO because they think the experiments are the heart of the program. For some families they may well be true, but not all. There are valid reasons to not do all--or even most--of the demonstrations.

 

---the student has done the demonstration in the past--(possibly ad nauseum)

---the student has witnessed the phenomenon in real life--(possibly ad nauseum)

---the student knows what is going to happen and doesn't care to do the demonstration and waste time/energy

---there is a better demonstration

---reading a 200 page book on the topic would be a better use of time and energy

 

This isn't to say we don't do any demonstrations from CPO, but for us that is not the heart of the program.

 

We have delved into scientists' research prompted by the biographies, a CPO literature selection prompted a comparative analysis of the 1996 Everest disaster, DD has applied concepts learned from the texts and skill sheets to daily life. . . If nothing else, the text itself is a great introduction to learn how to use a textbook to learn--mainly because it is simple and straightforward.

 

I'm not saying skipping the skills sheets is wrong, or feeling the demonstrations are the heart of the program is invalid. I just wanted to present another viewpoint to show CPO is not a one path/one size fits all curriculum, which in my mind is part of what makes it so great.

 

CPO Kool-Aid anyone???? :cheers2:

 

;) (I promise I'm not trying to convert anyone to the Cult of CPO!)

 

That Kool-Aid sure was delicious!

 

DS9 thinks he might want to try a schooly science curriculum in 5th. Can anyone talk to me like I am five and tell me (or link me to) exactly what I would need to buy and (hopefully) samples for him to look through?

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We just ditched CPO Earth science 2 weeks ago. It became a chore. Indy was bored and so was I. That does not make for good schooling. We switched over to Elemental Earth Science and I wish we had been using it the entire year. Indy really likes it and finds it much more interesting. The other day we did an experiment using a chocolate bar and the microwave to calculate the speed of light. And we got to eat the chocolate afterward. Yay science. I downloaded the ebooks for $25 and found the other books I needed used on Amazon. I practically have to tear the books out of Indy's hands.

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I am doing CPO Life this year with my 7th grade ds. We don't do a lot of the investigations (we read them all and you tube videos of similar ones), but older ds is doing biology so we have many of the supplies needed when we do want to do one. We tried growing some bacteria using hay, crick water, and milk. We saw many "things" under the microscope, but I wanted to see movement and didn't. Older ds has a very similar lab in his biology coming up. so hopefully he will have better success.

 

I have done CPO Earth and Physical and am now comfortable with the layout. I also found tests online (no solutions) so I have been able to assess his comprehension better. We do very few of the skill sheets this year. I did many more of them the past two years.

 

I wish my oldest had done life science before biology. He is doing well, but a better foundation would have made lot less of this new to to him.

 

 

 

One less "s" makes a big difference!

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Oh, man. I was really hoping CPO Life would be great for us for next year, but it sounds like it might not be. I've looked through the investigations manual and a lot of it looks good, but I was hoping to do even more -- maybe even have dds come up with a science fair project to work on. Maybe I'll just use Plato Life Science as a spine and beef up the labwork/investigations.

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Oh, man. I was really hoping CPO Life would be great for us for next year, but it sounds like it might not be. I've looked through the investigations manual and a lot of it looks good, but I was hoping to do even more -- maybe even have dds come up with a science fair project to work on. Maybe I'll just use Plato Life Science as a spine and beef up the labwork/investigations.

 

 

Look into Elemental Science. She schedules a science project in. We're so much happier now that we've switched from CPO to ES.

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CPO Earth worked great for my DD last year in 5th grade. Because of its style and math component it is really aimed at middle school/junior high.

Two reasons she is not using CPO again this year: she wanted to focus on just chemistry (CPO doesnt have a chem only book and i wanted to use a program that all 3 could do together this year.

 

I wouldnt consider using CPO with younger than a strong 5th grader. My younger two were in 3rd and 1st, so they will use it when we cycle through again when they're in 5th and 7th.

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We are using it a spine, picking and choosing investigations. I did not know the skill sheets existed til I saw this thread! And now, oh, the guilt! :LOL

 

It's pretty good, but definitely needs supplementing at our house. The problem I have with it is that it tries to be all-encompassing of biology topics, but then is very shallow in its coverage. With a bright kid, Im finding its more interesting to get deeper into it since he's able,not to cover more, more, more at a breakneck pace, which is what it would feel like for a 10 yo to do every chapter, every question, every investigation.And now every skill sheet! :LOL He doesn't have to do a survey of every topic in fifth grade. I think I'd feel the same next year. And if you wait til the year it's meant to be used for, it seem to me that this text would even more not be enough.

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I'm wondering if you've used the literature selections--the 9-12 level ones--such as Lives of a Cell and Water: A Natural History. If you missed the skills sheets, I wonder if you've missed other things too. The text is a small part of the program.

 

For the record, this is only one of our science programs, and we supplement everything, but we also don't do everything in CPO. On the other hand, I can't imagine anyone doing EVERYTHING in CPO and saying it's not enough for an average or even bright, but not PG, 5th grader.

 

ETA: Not liking it is one thing. No program fits every family. I'm just having a hard time wrapping my mind around it not being enough for many/most 5th graders.

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It's pretty good, but definitely needs supplementing at our house. The problem I have with it is that it tries to be all-encompassing of biology topics, but then is very shallow in its coverage. With a bright kid, Im finding its more interesting to get deeper into it since he's able,not to cover more, more, more at a breakneck pace, which is what it would feel like for a 10 yo to do every chapter, every question, every investigation.And now every skill sheet! :LOL He doesn't have to do a survey of every topic in fifth grade. I think I'd feel the same next year. And if you wait til the year it's meant to be used for, it seem to me that this text would even more not be enough.

 

The teacher's guide has suggested living books to go with each chapter.

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With a bright kid, Im finding its more interesting to get deeper into it since he's able,not to cover more, more, more at a breakneck pace,

 

 

I think this may be related to personality, more so than being bright. (Some bright kids enjoy depth, some enjoy breadth, some enjoy both). We've found this broad introduction allows us to go deeper in many areas, and especially so in areas of particular interest.

 

Depth vs Breadth isn't necessarily a matter of intelligence. There are many factors at play.

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I think this may be related to personality, more so than being bright. (Some bright kids enjoy depth, some enjoy breadth, some enjoy both). We've found this broad introduction allows us to go deeper in many areas, and especially so in areas of particular interest.

 

Depth vs Breadth isn't necessarily a matter of intelligence. There are many factors at play.

 

Of course I am only referring to my own child. :) I don't think I was saying that a family that enjoyed it isn't intelligent??

 

I'd think even a middle school classroom teacher wouldn't be able to schedule every chapter, every book, and investigation, etc. It's a very nice spread to choose from. What I was trying to say is that for us the text is a good spine, but it tries to cover everything, yet it is impossible to cover everything very well at this level. From what I can see the other parts if the program for the most part add "more " , but not really more scientific detail and explanation. That's probably great for the other books, but for life science, it's not as necessary to have advanced math to be able to understand more about, for example, microbiology and human anatomy than is in this program.

 

There is nothing terribly wrong with the program itself, but these have been my particular observations in using it with a science-loving fifth grader. :)

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Of course I am only referring to my own child. :) I don't think I was saying that a family that enjoyed it isn't intelligent??

 

. .

 

There is nothing terribly wrong with the program itself, but these have been my particular observations in using it with a science-loving fifth grader. :)

 

Yes, I think it was the wording that caught my attention and confused me. If I was confused I thought maybe someone else was too. I just didn't want anyone to think it's not for bright children or science-loving children in general. Some programs get a reputation for being math for non-math lovers or science for non-science lovers. :001_smile:

 

We used it with a bright, science-loving 5th grader, and it was a hit-- a great foundation that spurred interest in other great science--both rabbit trails and deep trenches.

 

ETA: My point is that it's possible to misinterpret phrases such as "with a science-loving fifth-grader" and "with a bright kid" to mean "the program lacks for my child because my child is bright and science-loving. With a less bright child or non-science loving child it might work." Or vice-versa. In reality there are many factors at play including personality, temperament, and learning style.

 

I hope that makes sense. I'm just trying to clarify. :001_smile:

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That Kool-Aid sure was delicious!

 

LOL! I will feel so guilty if you don't like it! ;)

 

Do you need the links to the CPO site/ skills sheets? Or just what to order? I would recommend Amazon for the student and teacher books. I also bought the Investigations book on Amazon. I bought them used, but they didn't have writing. Well, one text had a bit of highlighting in one chapter, but otherwise it was in excellent condition. I have been able to find some good deals.

 

I would get the three books before ordering anything else. You can then go through them and decide which Investigations to do and which extra books to order.

 

That is just a quick-start guide. I shouldn't even be here. :ph34r:

 

Let me know if I've not helped a bit, or just confused you more. ;)

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LOL! I will feel so guilty if you don't like it! ;)

 

Do you need the links to the CPO site/ skills sheets? Or just what to order? I would recommend Amazon for the student and teacher books. I also bought the Investigations book on Amazon. I bought them used, but they didn't have writing. Well, one text had a bit of highlighting in one chapter, but otherwise it was in excellent condition. I have been able to find some good deals.

 

I would get the three books before ordering anything else. You can then go through them and decide which Investigations to do and which extra books to order.

 

That is just a quick-start guide. I shouldn't even be here. :ph34r:

 

Let me know if I've not helped a bit, or just confused you more. ;)

 

Thanks! I did find the site and samples. I was a bit :lol: at the earth science sample chapter though because DS already knew the vast majority of the info because we/he read so much and have seen roughly a bazillion documentaries.

 

Honestly, I know what I am getting with a typical PS text. No worries. I actually like the surface coverage of so many topics because the way we work here is skim, skim, skim, dive, skim, skim, dip a toe, skim, dive... I mean isn't everything like that? A survey gives a smattering of somewhat superficial but important knowledge and, in doing so, provides a generous menu from which to choose further study according to personal taste and interest. All of life is an outline, really. You have to fill in the details for yourself, and your details will differ from those of others. We can't dig deeply into everything and I have no wish for everyone (or even all of my own kids) to dig deeply into the same topics.

 

Love the book recommendations. Somewhat concerned about some of the sample investigations not looking hands-on enough. Lots of paper.

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Honestly, I know what I am getting with a typical PS text. No worries. I actually like the surface coverage of so many topics because the way we work here is skim, skim, skim, dive, skim, skim, dip a toe, skim, dive...

 

OK, good. That's our approach as well.

 

I mean isn't everything like that? A survey gives a smattering of somewhat superficial but important knowledge and, in doing so, provides a generous menu from which to choose further study according to personal taste and interest. All of life is an outline, really. You have to fill in the details for yourself, and your details will differ from those of others. We can't dig deeply into everything and I have no wish for everyone (or even all of my own kids) to dig deeply into the same topics.

 

 

Well said!

 

Love the book recommendations.

 

Me too. I have tried to get a book for every chapter. Aside from the goal of having a broad knowledge base, one never knows what might become an interest or even a passion. I was afraid the longitude book would be a flop, but it's been a hit. That's why I am so hesitant to outright skip topics or downplay anything this early in the game. I think it's good to cast the net wide--there are so many interesting things to discover!

 

Sometimes I use one of the books they recommend, but sometimes researching one of those books leads to a better fit for my dd. I still love the recommendations as a starting point.

 

Somewhat concerned about some of the sample investigations not looking hands-on enough. Lots of paper.

 

As I've mentioned before, the investigations haven't been a strong point for us. In Life Science we decided to work through How to Dissect by Berman and do other labs as well. Same with Earth--we're adapting.

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That Kool-Aid sure was delicious!

 

DS9 thinks he might want to try a schooly science curriculum in 5th. Can anyone talk to me like I am five and tell me (or link me to) exactly what I would need to buy and (hopefully) samples for him to look through?

 

Well the links for the textbooks are already posted,so that should be plenty of 'sample'

 

You might try the CPO website:

 

http://www.cposcience.com/home/Home/tabid/119/Default.aspx

 

Look under the "for educators' drop down menu.

 

The first three choices you have are "middle school Earth science" "Middle school Life Science" and "Middle School Physical Science" Pick one. I used Middle School Earth Science. My next time through middle school I am planning to use Middle School Life Science. I don't have much experience with Middle School Physical Science. That one (physical science) seems to have the largest number of investigations requiring specialized equipment. I know there are people who use it and I would love to hear more about how they made it work.

 

I will use the Earth Science page as my example, but all three Middle School science pages are pretty much the same. On the right hand side you will see Ancillaries. That is a TON of stuff to go with the book. You will see one for "Student Record Sheets" Those are the experiments. You don't need to buy the workbook titled "Student record book" because it is on the website for free. A you look at the investigations you will see many involve equipment. This is where you have to be creative. I was able to buy almost everything I needed from Home Science Tools, and the rest I managed to make. Luckymama (posted upthread) has some pics on her blog showing what she did for some experiments. That was really helpful to me.

 

In that same list "Ancillaries" you will see "Skills and Practice Sheets' and 'graphic organizers' etc. I used some of all of those.

 

I did buy the teacher's book used from Amazon. I just did a search for "CPO earth science teacher book" I found it very helpful. It gave a schedule for each chapter and unit and also had suggestions for books to read and when to use different skills and practice sheets etc. I really needed it, but YMMV.

 

And it really does depend on what you like. I see people saying it looks 'dry' but one person's dry is another persons 'gets to the point'. It is a matter of taste.

 

So, for our year of CPO Earth Science I bought:

 

A textbook used from Amazon (there wasn't an online option at the time, and I am not sure that would work for us)

A Teacher's book used from Amazon

A whole bunch of science supplies from Home Science Tools and a few from various local stores etc

 

From the CPO website I printed out: Student Record sheets, various Skills and Practice sheets, graphic organizers, teaching illustrations.

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Well the links for the textbooks are already posted,so that should be plenty of 'sample'

 

You might try the CPO website:

 

http://www.cposcience.com/home/Home/tabid/119/Default.aspx

 

Look under the "for educators' drop down menu.

 

The first three choices you have are "middle school Earth science" "Middle school Life Science" and "Middle School Physical Science" Pick one. I used Middle School Earth Science. My next time through middle school I am planning to use Middle School Life Science. I don't have much experience with Middle School Physical Science. That one (physical science) seems to have the largest number of investigations requiring specialized equipment. I know there are people who use it and I would love to hear more about how they made it work.

 

I will use the Earth Science page as my example, but all three Middle School science pages are pretty much the same. On the right hand side you will see Ancillaries. That is a TON of stuff to go with the book. You will see one for "Student Record Sheets" Those are the experiments. You don't need to buy the workbook titled "Student record book" because it is on the website for free. A you look at the investigations you will see many involve equipment. This is where you have to be creative. I was able to buy almost everything I needed from Home Science Tools, and the rest I managed to make. Luckymama (posted upthread) has some pics on her blog showing what she did for some experiments. That was really helpful to me.

 

In that same list "Ancillaries" you will see "Skills and Practice Sheets' and 'graphic organizers' etc. I used some of all of those.

 

I did buy the teacher's book used from Amazon. I just did a search for "CPO earth science teacher book" I found it very helpful. It gave a schedule for each chapter and unit and also had suggestions for books to read and when to use different skills and practice sheets etc. I really needed it, but YMMV.

 

And it really does depend on what you like. I see people saying it looks 'dry' but one person's dry is another persons 'gets to the point'. It is a matter of taste.

 

So, for our year of CPO Earth Science I bought:

 

A textbook used from Amazon (there wasn't an online option at the time, and I am not sure that would work for us)

A Teacher's book used from Amazon

A whole bunch of science supplies from Home Science Tools and a few from various local stores etc

 

From the CPO website I printed out: Student Record sheets, various Skills and Practice sheets, graphic organizers, teaching illustrations.

 

 

Thanks so much for this! Yes, the online textbook was so I could basically see all of what we would be getting. No way can my eyes take reading on a bright screen and I don't really want the kids trying it either.

 

I have to say I really like the looks of the skill worksheets. Maybe because we have beens so exploratory here, I think DS is ready for more structure.

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...I am so hesitant to outright skip topics or downplay anything this early in the game. I think it's good to cast the net wide--there are so many interesting things to discover!

 

Sometimes I use one of the books they recommend, but sometimes researching one of those books leads to a better fit for my dd. I still love the recommendations as a starting point.

 

As I've mentioned before, the investigations haven't been a strong point for us. In Life Science we decided to work through How to Dissect by Berman and do other labs as well. Same with Earth--we're adapting.

 

Casting the net wide. Yes! :) I have been doing so much scaffolding work with the kids in the early elementary years that I think I will welcome a ready-made scaffold for me to adapt. It's got to be less work than building it from the ground up myself!

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