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What to Do With a Science & Math Child?

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My dd9's strength is math and now I'm learning, it is also science. My strengths are English and history - my worst subject in school was math. What am I to do with this child? :confused1:


She wants more math and science - I mean MORE, she wants to do math even on weekends and science experiments never get old with her. She has been begging for a microscope because she can't wait to see all sorts of things magnified. I purchased some $1 Scholastic math riddles ebooks recently and she loves doing those. I also purchased Elemental Science and anxious to see how that goes when we get it.


How do I help her with her strengths? Should I forge ahead and let her advance in math at her pace, or just stay on schedule doing one lesson a day? She has already taught herself multiplication a year ago and we haven't even got to it yet in math.


Are there games or other activities we can purchase to fuel her desire that you can recommend?

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I would definitely let her advance in math, and if she wants to do lessons on the weekends I would totally let her do them. I'd also look into some fun math supplements like Math for Smarty Pants. For science I would also look for lots of library books on scientific subjects that interest her -- she can do these totally on her own in free time. I wouldn't worry about making it match up with what you're doing for formal science that year -- there's nothing wrong with reading some extra geology or biology or astronomy in your chemistry year -- if anything it'll help her draw connections.

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I also purchased Elemental Science and anxious to see how that goes when we get it.


Plenty of great free resources/downloads on McHenry's website http://www.ellenjmch...loads/index.php

My kids enjoyed the mealworm project. We got the mealworms from the pet store. http://education.usg...lworm-ranch.pdf

We also enjoyed kitchen chemistry e.g. http://ocw.mit.edu/c...-2009/index.htm

My kids also tried most of Steve Spangler's experiments http://www.stevespan...ience.com/video



My older is enjoying Lure of the Labyrinth which is a fun free math online game.

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Some suggestions...


Add more math programs, like Beast Academy, Life of Fred, etc.


Add more math supplements... I'd second Math for Smarty Pants and add Primary Challenge Math, Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School, The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math, and getting fun math books like a math dictionary or Usborne's See Inside Math.


Add more math games... Things like Muggins, Sumoku, Zeus on the Loose, 24, Smath... And logic games like Mastermind, Set, Rush Hour, and so forth...


For science, I second Ellen McHenry and look at TOPS. Curricula is hard because I think a lot of it isn't really great. I mean, Elemental will check a box and cover some stuff, but it won't be super in depth. I would mostly look at Ruth (Lewelma)'s posts about science and doing a long term project with her for scientific inquiry.


Also, I would get good science gear for her to have. A microscope, and lots of things like bug boxes and a net and a thermometer and a rock set and so forth.


And, of course, I would use lots of books and movies for science. There are soooo many good books for 9 yos for science... Seymour Simon's books, Sandra Markle's books, the Scientist in the Field books, etc. Also, there are lots of good documentaries... Bill Nye and Magic Schoolbus and so forth, but also things like Mythbusters are so good for science. And we've been loving all the Attenborough animal series on Netflix right now. Just head to the library for books and videos and start exploring.

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Adding to the above:


magnifying glass or magnifier like this http://www.hometrainingtools.com/magnifier-double-lens-5x-10x/p/OP-MAG10LG/ (my kids prefer this type to a traditional magnifying glass as it can slide into a pocket)



field guides for your area (check the library or do the look inside at amazon as you and she might prefer a certain format)---birds, butterflies, insects, trees, wildflowers, rocks and minerals, reptiles, shells, whatever she might like

clear plastic boxes to store treasures

a simple star chart

a net for butterflies or for aquatic creatures, depending on where you live

a flashlight for looking in and under things and/or a red-light flashlight for star viewing

magnets of various shapes and sizes

string, pulleys, hooks etc

small buckets


etc. :D

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Agreeing to much of the above. You can also look at curricula options like The Private Eye that integrate science and language, and might play to your strengths. Definitely get a couple of the Private Eye loupes on the lanyards, too. They give a great image, you can take them anywhere, and they are relatively cheap for the quality you get.

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What am I to do with this child?



Your key word there is "do." :) Just do science--buy your child kits, let your child take apart things, read science books to her, let her wallow in the non-fiction section of the library like my kids :). Watch all the netflix science documentaries you can find. Get some magazines about science and let them lay around the house. Our Popular Science just came in today, in fact. When you go to the library, go the the regular non-fiction section (the grown-ups' side) and bring home those big fabulous science books with lots of pictures. Read science books out loud to her that are beyond her reading level--like "The Sea Around Us," by Rachel Carson. LIsten to Science Friday on NPR--we love that. See if there are opportunities to get hands-on in the community. A couple of times now, my dc have got to see a bee hive being opened.


Science education: It's just messy and unpredictable, and slightly expensive, that's all. :)

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On math, I'd say let her go as fast and as far as she wants. Either via your core program, or via supplements and being willing to accelerate the core program when she is ready for a jump. Yes, there might be gaps. Yes, you might have to circle the wagons at a few topics here and there, or move sideways, but you need to have the tools to do that-and the tools are basic arithmetic, through about 5th grade level or so. I agree with looking at Beast Academy, Life of Fred, Singapore IP or CWP, Challenge Math, MOEMS, Math Kangaroo and CML math contest books, and similar resources for enriching math.


The American Chemical Society and American Physics Society both have really good materials on their website. APS will even let you register each year to participate in a classroom physics competition, and will send you most of the materials you need to do it. Look for local science groups-Astronomy groups, Herpetology societies, ornithology groups, etc. Yes, these are mostly adults, but they've been very, very friendly to my science-y, animal-loving kid. Participate in the Cornell Backyard bird count, or in frog counts.


For animal projects, make friends with the guy at the local bait shop. Lots of options for neat critters to view/study for awhile, and since they're being sold for bait, they're species that can be released without harm to the environment. They're MUCH cheaper than Carolina biological supply or home science tools and avoid the "Uh, I can't release this animal-now what?" problem (grow a frogs can live 20+ years). Otherwise, you quickly end up with a lot of pets.



Legos! Lots of options for science and math there, especially on the Technics side. Knex, too.




Another thing-look for competitions. Math is a little easier than Science, but you can usually find a science fair or symposium for homeschoolers (or start one, which is what I did for my STEMs focused child). There's also things like World Science Day (online competition, free) and the National Science League (same folks as Continental Math League).


My DD lives for and loves academic competitions. My only caveat is check dates-we ended up with basically the entire month of March being solid competitions, and I do think fatigue started to sink in for both of us after awhile.

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