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Science in the Beginning....looking for reviews


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I had considered purchasing SITB last year to try, but at that time it had just be released and so there were not many reviews or feedback on it.  We're now in our second year of Nancy Larson.  As I plan for the next school year, I am coming back to SITB and hoping there may be more people who have tried it that can chime in;)  I do like NL Science, but the big draw back is the price for me...it is our  most costly curriculum each year.  I remember really liking the look of SITB, but of course never did get a chance to try it.  Next school year I will have DD in 4th grade and DS in 3rd grade. 

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I just got it, we've only done three lessons.

 

So far the kids really like it, which is helpful.  They seem to be retaining the information well.  The notebooking isn't too difficult for them, and it's getting done.  So, it's a win in my book.

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There are other reviews on here--search the threads.  I know I've replied to this several times :)

 

We used it last year--4th and 5th grader.  It was very easy to use and understand, and we could do most of the experiments fairly quickly without special equipment.  Some experiments we just talked our way through. 

 

I was so impressed by the book that we bought Science in the Ancient World for this year--but we have just made the decision to drop it.  It has a historical flow and the science jumps all around-we don't love it.

 

But I will use SITB again when Little Guy is a little older--it was a nice "General Science" overview text for elementary kids.  There were no notebooking resources available when I bought it--I was on the early end--but I would buy a notebook to go with it and make it easier.  There are a few out there now--free printables and paid books.

 

B

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I bought it when it was first released and did the experiments for summer fun. just because we could  :)   We had almost everything on hand or quick trip to walmart type of store, or grocery for the few little extras.    and then I had energy for a few days and wrote little notes on the experiments/demos.   here's a thread on another forum where I left those notes. It looks like a lot, but I left tiny little notes for about 90 experiments (such as before you pour the wax in the spoon, line the spoon with foil.   goofy stuff like that.. here

http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/forums/1/thread.aspx?id=120510

 

 

 

Went through it slowly this year with my youngest. 

 

likes: each lesson is quick.  learn a bit. do something to demo the concept.  notebook with the ideas given in the text.  close the book and move on.  (in other words, old school veteran homeschool mom style of quick short high interest lessons)  Makes it very doable and keep interest without overkill.   notebooking suggestions are easy to follow for various ages.

 

dislike: not really a dislike for us.  I decided to summarize the information rather than read every sentence out loud.  ;)

 

there are some threads with the question along lines of if I'm old earth, can I use it?  the reviews seem to be yes.  The age of earth is such a minor thing in this book it's not an issue. I think people talk about changing some sentences on the page that opens the 4th unit.   not bad.

 

and agreeing with meandtheboys -- several people have already done supplements for the SITB book.  check on Berean Builders website under downloads.  If you like fancier pre printed notebooking sheets, there you go. 

 

overall, I still think the book is designed for when child is in 4th-6th grade, and then younger siblings in lower grades to join along. 

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We used it this year and are about 20 lessons from finished. I agree with most of what the other replies have said. It's great for multiple kids, the experiments are doable and sometimes have surprising results, the lessons aren't super long, and my kids have found it interesting.

 

One tiny complaint I have is that while most of the lessons are great for 4th-6th grade, there are a few that seemed a bit "young" and then the kids complained that they already knew it. I either skim them or skip them, but there haven't been very many. Most of them were in the section about space.

 

I personally like doing the notebooking in a plain notebook, but the downloadable one looks really nice and it would definitely help kids be more independent with the notebooking (sometimes I found it a bit of a challenge to give each kid their notebook instructions all at the same time).

 

I think it's perfect for 3rd and 4th grades.

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We made it through 1/3 of it.  It was too wordy for my kids (ages 6, 8, and 11).  The experiments were fun, though, and easy to do.  My kids did say many times that they already knew what was being taught from Magic School Bus show and their previous science readings and experiences.  I have officially decided that we will be doing a Charlotte Mason style starting next year for my younger kids.

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We made it through 1/3 of it.  It was too wordy for my kids (ages 6, 8, and 11).  The experiments were fun, though, and easy to do.  My kids did say many times that they already knew what was being taught from Magic School Bus show and their previous science readings and experiences.  I have officially decided that we will be doing a Charlotte Mason style starting next year for my younger kids.

 

I second this - too wordy, and a new experiment (more like a demo) at the start of each lesson was not time efficient for us as we were doing 2-3 a week. The experiments/demo's are fairly simple and quick to complete though. We used SITB last year in grade 4 and got through about half of the book before stopping.  DS did not enjoy the topics either - he  loves the Apologia elementary books, however I have some issues with them, so we are doing our own thing this year, CM style also.

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Purchased it to use instead of the science scheduled in HOD CtC. I realized that my 5/6th grader had not had a firm foundation in science. We had skipped all over the place before, never really stuck with anything except the previous year when we did Apologia Anatomy with our co-op. We like it. It is good for a basic overview of many science topics which is exactly what I wanted. Some of it is a bit "easy" for my 5/6th grader (6th but functioning on a 5th grade level). He likes the experiments in every lesson although we do skip some as we try to do a lesson each day. I will probably keep it for my 1st grader for when he is in 3rd/4th grade. 

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I have been using it this year with a co-op class of 1st-3rd graders.  As such, we haven't gone through every lesson but I think I've gotten a pretty good feel for it.  We also used Science in the Ancient World at home this year.

 

I thought my 1st-3rd graders could follow the material pretty well...the first graders were a bit lost a few times, while a couple students who were more advanced in their understanding of science concepts were maybe a bit bored. 

 

With both SITB and SITAW, the "experiment/demo with every lesson" has its pros and cons.  They are usually fun for the kids.  On the other hand, sometimes they are a fair amount of work (and planning ahead to have the right stuff), for a limited "point" that could have been made from watching a youtube video.  Some things didn't work for us seasonally.  For example, the suggestion to go out and get a couple different kinds of soil (actual soil, not potting soil) was pretty impossible in the middle of winter here when the ground is frozen and covered in snow.

 

I like SITB better than SITAW.  Like a previous person said, the disjointed nature of the topics when following a chronological progression gets annoying after a while. I didn't think it would bother me, but it did.  We completed about three-fourths of the book before I decided I couldn't handle week upon week of lessons based around Leonardo DaVinci right now (maybe we'll come back to it when we are studying him in history next year?). 

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We made it through 1/3 of it.  It was too wordy for my kids (ages 6, 8, and 11).  The experiments were fun, though, and easy to do.  My kids did say many times that they already knew what was being taught from Magic School Bus show and their previous science readings and experiences.  I have officially decided that we will be doing a Charlotte Mason style starting next year for my younger kids.

 

I third this!  I thought the book gave a great general glimpse of science as a whole.  The experiments were quick and easy.  However, the reading was very repetitive, so I begun summarizing the lessons.  We eventually dropped it, too.  My 8 year old devours science books.  So, this wasn't a great fit for him.  I still think I'll keep it to see if it might be a good fit for my daughter when she is about 7 or 8 years old.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are loving this series!  The experiments at the beginning of each lesson are helping my dd get into the content. They are simple to do and fun, so they are good for us.    My dd is in 6th grade, so a bit older, and I don't read all the lessons. She has not complained, but enjoys science for the first time.

 

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