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What science do I want, if I love Story of the World?


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I'm looking for science for my 2nd grader and K'er. I'd like to stick with the WTM cycle if possible, which means I'm looking for Earth & Space.

 

We studied biology this year. We used living books, and a fair amount of hands-on stuff, though science is pushed aside some weeks. It feels like a struggle on my end, even though the kids seem to be absorbing.

 

I love the way Story of the World is structured. I love that it's open and go reading, but there is so much more available, too. I love that there are coloring pages and maps that are basically open and go. I also enjoy digging into one or more of the bigger suggested projects when I have the time, and finding the book suggestions. We use the Usborne encyclopedia weekly along with library books after reading from the main book. It's the easiest, happiest part of my day. 

 

I'd really love to have a science like that: Open and go, but with lots of "extras" that could be done when we want to dig deeper. A spine is a must. Not a schedule with 3-5 spines. I want a cohesive story that I can supplement with later. So, Elemental Science is out. I tried their kindergarten program a few years ago and my mind did not mesh with the author's way of planning at all.

 

An experiment kit would be a huge plus. Or, at least a very simple list of truly household items that I could gather this summer and put in a box myself.

 

I've looked at Nancy Larson, but level 1 is pretty much what we've been doing this year. I'm not sure how well level 2 would go over with my K'er. Also I'd really like to stick with Earth science/weather/astronomy.

 

We are YE but I'm fine with a secular curriculum. 

 

So far I've rejected Elemental Science, Nancy Larson, Real science 4 kids, REAL science Odyssey, Apologia, easyclassical.com and others I can't think of at the moment.

 

My current #1 contender for a spine is Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space as a spine, but I don't know if it's enough. The sample mentions making your own flashcards and such, and I really was hoping for something a little more complete. Also, there is no experiment kit. 

 

So what should I look at next? Or am I just searching for the Holy Grail?

 

 

 

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For Earth and Space, at least using REAL Science Odyssey, it felt like 3 different subjects (weather, rocks & minerals, space), so you might need 3 different spines for the year, although you'd only be using one at a time.

 

And I agree - I'd love something formatted like the SOTW activity book for science with an experiment kit you could purchase for the hard-to-find items.

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Have you seen the new series by Jay Wile? I doesn't follow the cycles in the WTM, but it does follow science through history. It's an open and go read aloud with simple experiments using household objects. I like it waaaaay better than Apologia. And I like how it ties in the history of science. The publisher is Berean Builders.

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I was going to mention Christian Kid's Explore, but I see you are familiar. I'll just clarify what you mentioned so you have a better picture. The flash cards are for vocab. Personally, for children the ages of yours, I would skip the vocab part except for maybe 1 -2 words per weekly lesson. There really is no reason to be "complete" for children so young. Expose them to concepts and the joy of learning. At this point they will pick up bits and pieces, but don't worry about going deep. Also add things like Magic School Bus or simple library books on topic. This is how the program is designed. Very fun.

 

As far as the experiment kit...there is no need really. You will find the list to be pretty simple. Things like eggs, vinegar, epsom salt, cookie tray, jar, funnel, ice, modeling clay....stuff like these. 

 

Oh one set of cards is not for vocab. It is for making planet cards. My dd LOVED this project. If you don't want your children to make them, there are premade sets you can buy. 

 

I'm gonna link you to a blog by Susan Evans. She has short vids of her and her kids doing all of the hands on from Earth and Space. 

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I still like BFSU for that age - it does require a bit of prep, but because the book covers all sections you can concentrate on the section you want to teach even if you need to make occassional links to the other sections to get the prerequisites. We then do experiments, watch DVDs, read a lot of books about the topic and so on. It took a while to get into it and figure out what worked for our family, but the prep time now is minimal simply because I know what works.

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Thanks, everyone! I'm enjoying the replies and will take a look.

 

Susie in MS, I'm glad to hear that Christian Kids Explore gets good reviews from you! Thanks for the info about the vocab. I will keep it on my list!

 

Re: experiment kits. I really do need to pre-assemble a kit, or it will not get done in my house. You know how FLL sometimes requires things like envelopes, first class stamps, or postcards? Well, those lessons get pushed aside until I can get myself together, even with the many warnings ahead of time. I guess it's an issue for me. If I don't have an item RIGHTTHEREONMYDESK, I just can't find it in time to fit it into our lesson time. It's a way I need to grow as a teacher, I suppose. But no matter what curriculum we end up with, I really am going to assemble a kit, put it in a sterlite container under my desk, and keep it there for our science lessons.  :o  Otherwise there will be no experiments or demonstrations.

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This won't work for Earth Science...or maybe it will since I *think* that book is due out this summer...but have you looked at Sassafras Science?  It's from the same people as Elemental Science, but it is a living book and you get a guide as the teacher.  You can make it as much or as little as you like. 

 

 

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Thanks, everyone! I'm enjoying the replies and will take a look.

 

Susie in MS, I'm glad to hear that Christian Kids Explore gets good reviews from you! Thanks for the info about the vocab. I will keep it on my list!

 

Re: experiment kits. I really do need to pre-assemble a kit, or it will not get done in my house. You know how FLL sometimes requires things like envelopes, first class stamps, or postcards? Well, those lessons get pushed aside until I can get myself together, even with the many warnings ahead of time. I guess it's an issue for me. If I don't have an item RIGHTTHEREONMYDESK, I just can't find it in time to fit it into our lesson time. It's a way I need to grow as a teacher, I suppose. But no matter what curriculum we end up with, I really am going to assemble a kit, put it in a sterlite container under my desk, and keep it there for our science lessons.  :o  Otherwise there will be no experiments or demonstrations.

 

I had the same problem, and came up with the same solution. Before we started science this year, I took the supply list, some Ziploc bags, and a Sterlite and made our pre-assembled science kit. It worked out great. We did all the projects, observations, and experiments that we wanted to do, never had to postpone a science lesson to wait for Thing X, and had more momentum in science than we'd had in the past.

 

I'd say that if you find the course you want to do, assembling a kit on your own is not that hard. In fact, you could make part of it a treasure hunt to do with your kids. We did this for part of the "things" we needed, and I do think it was a good exercise for the kids to realize that most of what we needed was already scattered around the house. Hey, we can do science with ordinary things, who knew? We had fun putting our kit together.

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If you really want the kits I would do Stratton Home Science adventure kits they come with EVERYTHING.  I think the booklet that come with them had quite a bit of info but if you want more of a spine I would just add Usborne Science Encyclopedia.  

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Why don't you like REAL Science Odyssey? Was going to use that one this year with my 2nd & k'er and it sounds like I want all the same things as you...

 

I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. To me, from looking at the sample, there's not really much of a spine there, other than the initial notebooking page. It looks like it's just a bunch of  related experiments strung together. My kinds and I enjoy reading. We want to do experiments, too, but I really want to read about each subject, and then do the demonstration.  I don't know, I guess it could work, but I find my eyes glazing over when I see all of the BI and SS lists together with all of the lab stuff...

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If you really want the kits I would do Stratton Home Science adventure kits they come with EVERYTHING.  I think the booklet that come with them had quite a bit of info but if you want more of a spine I would just add Usborne Science Encyclopedia.  

 

Thank you, I took a look! I love the kit. I wish they had more than just astronomy! But I will keep it on my list as a supplement.

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Science has been the hardest subject for me. I think we are going with science in the beginning but that doesn't follow TWTM. Have you looked at the science in a nutshell kits? I was thinking of using some of those as a supplement. They look like a lot of fun and they come with everything. 

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Science has been the hardest subject for me. I think we are going with science in the beginning but that doesn't follow TWTM. Have you looked at the science in a nutshell kits? I was thinking of using some of those as a supplement. They look like a lot of fun and they come with everything. 

I like the looks of these!

 

The earth science ones all say grades 3+. I wonder if anyone has used them with younger kids. My 2nd grader is a strong reader and able to take a chaallenge but I don't know if it would be too much a a stretch for the K'r. I will look through them though!

 

I'm leaning towards Christian Kids Explore now with lots of library books. These kits could be fun too.

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We used A Child's Geography of the World Vol 1 for Earth science last year. I loved it because it was very much like Story of the World. It has book suggestions you can add. Narrations are done on postcards (we just wrote them on regular paper). It's not secular though but I wasn't looking for secular.

 

We are doing chem this next year and the only thing I can find is The Elements by McHenry (age 8+). I like it from what I can see but I can't buy it to see more till Beast 4D becomes available at rainbow resource. I want free shipping. I have an advanced child but I have a Ker too.

I'm interested in Christian Kids Explore....off to find that website....Thanks!

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