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RS4K middle school?

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I'm looking at middle school options for science, and am wondering if anyone has used RS4K for these grades.  We've been using the RS4K elementary books and have really enjoyed them, but I'm feeling unsure about continuing because the program is only 10 weeks.  For the elementary level, in order to round out the short program, I have supplemented with Janice VanCleave's experiment books, various library books, and science encyclopedias.  It has worked out well, but my fear is that if I do the same for middle school, I'll miss something important.  Experiences with this program?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have used both. The middle school books are just a tad harder than the elementary. I will tell you that my now 9th grader, who was homeschooled her entire life until this year and cycled twice through RS4K Biology and now has a solid A in her HS bio class. She feels familiar with lots of the concepts. That said, I am co-teaching RS4K Biology this year to a small group of 4 kids. We have so far augmented the curriculum with the following activities;


Owl study and Owl pellet dissection

Echnoderms study with starfish dissection (with an aquarium fieldtrip)

Earthworm study with live earthworm experiment (dug up from our yard after a rain) and earthworm dissection

Bivalve study with clam dissection


on the agenda for the rest of the year (we have only two chapters left in RS4K Bio book) includes;

cow's eye dissection

sheep's heart dissection

Frog dissection as well as growing a tadpole (different animals) and frog unit

observing a butterfly through stages (we are lucky enough to have a Monarch Sanctuary nearby)

a unit on wolves (we recently visited wolves at a drive through park)

a unit on aligators

The human body systems- I think we'll do at least 5-8 with experiments for each (we also plan on a fieldtrip to see a Body Worlds exhibity)


* Our group utlizes Discovery Education Streaming for each lesson. The kids do the assigned reading, then watch a few videos prior to coming to class.

We also utlize Youtube a ton on a large screen to walk us through the dissections. We can often see bits and pieces better on this big high def TV and do trips to the library. The kids choose the wolves, and aligators units and will have a few free weeks to decide.


So..long story short, RS4K Middle School was adequate for my now 9th grader to prepare her for HS bio but I am offering way more in this middle school bio class then ever before....it's super fun and so much easier to home school one child and one grade

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I also bought and returned the chemistry.  The books were very high quality and had excellent design and materials, but the middle school chemistry is more appropriate for upper elementary, IMO.

I bought and returned the chemistry and earth science ones.  I also felt like I would have to supplement a ton and just wasn't impressed.  I was going to use it for 3rd and 5th grades.


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If your kids are STEM kids, I think it wouldn't be enough for middle school.  My middle schoolers aren't science-y kids.  I cannot picture either of them going into any type of science related field AT ALL!!!  I think it is enough of the nuts and bolts for them.  I do require extra reading from library books and an extra experiment with each chapter (in addition to the one in the lab book).  Now, my first grader is following right along.  He is definitely more science minded.  I doubt I will get away with using them again when he is closer to middle school.  He will probably be tagging along in whatever high school science courses the girls are taking at the time.

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