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Favorite Earth Science resources???

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My older dd will be taking science in public school next year (she's been doing band and science this year and it's been a great experience). They do earth science for 8th grade (did lab science this year in 7th). I would like to do some earth science at home with younger sister who will be in 5th grade. I'm thinking maybe just a semester. I'd like some reading, some hands-on activities, and maybe some DVDs if they're good. Do you have any materials to recommend that have been a hit in your home school? Thanks.

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I am watching this. We will be doing Earth for one semester next year. So far I bought the Exploring Planet Earth and the guides with extra questions from Memoria Press. That covers the reading. There aren't any hands on ideas in there that I have seen, but I haven't read it all yet. We have the Usborne Science Encyclopedia and will use it as we go, matching topics or doing a spread from it in order. We may do hands on in there. The activities that went along with the chemistry chapters were good and many matched or complemented the experiments we were doing from another book that year. Then my dds love the linked websites from it. Not much help I know. But thought I would join the conversation.

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I'm in the planning stages for Earth Science. I'll have an 8th grader and a 5th grader. My plans are not all worked out, but this is what I'm thinking...


The 8th grader will use the new 4th edition BJU Earth Science text with the lab book (depending on how many lab supplies we already have- I need to watch how much we spend since BJU is expensive.) The text will be our spine.


After reading a chapter in BJU, he'll watch the corresponding video from The Teaching Company: Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1700.


The rest of the week, we'll discuss the chapter making sure to understand the chapter objectives and questions. Hopefully we'll work in labs. (I don't think we'll be able to do all of them.) I'm hoping to cover one chapter per week. After each UNIT, my 8th grader will complete a lap book based on the topic of the unit. He'll have 2 weeks to plan, organize, and complete the lap book. After that, we'll start the next UNIT. I'm hoping the lap books will be works of art with plenty of explanations, labels, charts, etc... He can decide what he wants to focus on within the confines of the unit title-(what he considers either important or interesting), but there will be parameters to maintain. For example, I want him to clearly communicate the concept/point of his lapbook to me. He will explain the secular side of his topic as well as the Christian viewpoint. (This is the perspective the 4th edition is written from.) He'll also need to include a simple paragraph of explanation, pictures, charts, and references used. He'll be able to research using the internet, library books, encyclopedias, etc...


I don't plan to use the BJU tests. The lapbook will serve as the "test".


I think my 5th grader will use this book for Earth Science: http://www.christianbook.com/the-earth-its-structure-changes/tom-derosa/9780890515914/pd/515914?event=CPOF and this book for energy: http://www.christianbook.com/investigate-the-possibilities-energy-3-volumes/tom-derosa/pd/51570X?item_code=WW&netp_id=684713&event=ESRCG&view=details



With both boys, I want them to learn earth science through a physical science lens... for example, when we study earthquakes, they should learn how waves work. There is no way we can accomplish both earth science and physical science in the same year, but I want them to see that there are physical science concepts within earth science. I don't really have this worked out completely. I'm hoping that the BJU book will prompt me to include physical science topics. I'll just have to wait to see if this is possible.


Finally, I want to link a study of geography to earth science. I'm thinking about using World Geography Challenge as a spine: http://www.christianbook.com/world-geography-challenging-level/richard-rayburn/9780743937993/pd/937996?product_redirect=1&Ntt=937996&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP along with Mapping the World by Art. Also the online geography "games" Seterra and Shepherd Software. We may invest in David Attenborough's Planet Earth as well. Oh, and I just looked at The Happy Scientist's web page. For $20/year, he has interesting science for kids. I'm wondering if his site might be a resource for us. I also have The Global Puzzle for them to put together: http://www.christianbook.com/the-global-puzzle/pd/228151?item_code=WW&netp_id=357829&event=ESRCG&view=details


So... that's where I am at the moment. It sounds like a lot. My 8th grader will simply eat this information up. He LOVES earth science. I want him to be engaged and enjoy learning next year. The 5th grader wants EXPERIMENTS!!!! I'm hoping he'll be satisfied with the books I've chosen for him as well as participating in the 8th grader's labs. So much to plan!

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Thanks all. Lots of good ideas. The Intellego Unit Studies look great and I think they would suit this dd and this topic very well (hands on activities, video demonstrations). They have one on fossils, rocks, etc. and one on natural disasters that both look good. About $16 for PDF and would take 1-3 months for each, they say.


We have the Usborne Planet Earth book. I checked out a few other books from the library. The Kingfisher Planet Earth looks a little better than the Usborne (more text, geared to older kids I think), but since I already own the Usborne, I probably wouldn't buy a similar book. The Eyewitness Earth looks good--will probably invest in that. I'm looking at the TOPS rocks and minerals stuff--on my wishlist at Rainbow Resource. Haven't looked through the activity type books yet.


Anyway, thanks for sharing your ideas. I feel like I'll be able to put together something that will work for us.

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Intellego Units



I had never seen this before now.... they look wonderful. Have you used them personally?


Several years ago, we tried a couple of Amanda Bennett's online/CD unit studies. They functioned much like these from Intellego do. I thought they would be great, but they were not. Her unit studies became monotonous and boring.


One difference I see is that Intellego has so many demonstration/experiment activities. Although I really hate having to find the experiment supplies, the science unit studies look like they would hold a student's attention.


I would be interested in the grade 3-5 earth science courses...geology, weather, astronomy. The individual unit studies would also work for us.


I'd love to hear any reviews from those who have tried Intellego.

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Thanks, Taryn! I did a search on Intellego, but it did not find these reviews. If I could find these on sale, I would be more inclined to use them. After reading the reviews, I think I would come closer to supplementing with them instead of using them as our primary science spine.


Anyone else???



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