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Sassafras Science...why do I come back to this?


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I've been struggling over what to do for my rising 4th grader for next year's science curriculum.  I thought I'd put together my own thing and read library books, notebook, etc.  Well, I'm not good at that.  I end wanting to include "everything" from whatever core I choose, and I feel like I DO need a core, or I will miss something important.  Also, I find that I want good notebooking pages arranged for me. 


I used Sassafras Zoology for this kiddo in 2nd grade.  I get that the book is poorly written, but we got through it.  He LOVED it.  He always asked for science and it always got done.  We used the teacher's guide and the logbook.  We did the experiments and extra reading.  Yes, the book itself is light on science, but the extra reading helped.


This year, we started with Apologia.  We made it halfway through the book and then tossed it and started Ellen McHenry's The Brain.  I think we all enjoy The Brain.  It is difficult for my 3rd grader, but he shockingly remembers things that I thought were over his head. 


For next year, I need something for him that is separate from his brother.  I have looked at Quark as everyone says it is terrific and since he loved Sassafras, I thought he'd like that format again.  My issue, honestly, is that I still have "work" to do with it.  I've read that the notebooking pages and extra reading don't exactly line up with the story, so it seems like I'm the one that would be lining up experiments and books to make sure it all flows. 


So, I'm back to Sassafras.  I love that it's all done for me.  Yes, the story is silly and poorly written, but I think I can get past that.  The notebooking is there.  The reading and experiments are there.  I just know how bad it is.


For those that have used the whole Sassafras plan (notebooking, teacher guide, experiments, and book), do you still think it's too light for say a 4th grader? 


And what else is out there that I'm missing?  Just reading books from the library doesn't work for us.  It ends up feeling disjointed and choppy. 

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You tried Sassafras Science, it got done, and your son loved it.  Don’t let others dissuade you from what works for your family. 


If you find it is too light for 4th grade, you can always supplement with more in-depth readings from other resources. 

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Think about it this way, do you remember anything you learned in 4th grade science?  The only thing I remember from 4th grade is that I had an amazing reading teacher who did tons of hands on fun stuff with us along with our books and a main teacher who was going through a divorce and cried in class all the time.  


If Sassafras works for you, then do it!  If he enjoys it and has fun with it, he will learn from it and it will stick with him.  Who cares if it's light or fluffy or whatever.  If it works then go for it!


I have had to really work with myself to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and just do what works for us.  I have began reminding myself that those hands on fun projects are what made learning great for me and it's what my kids like too.  

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You're both right.  Honestly, as soon as I asked my son if he wanted to do Sassafras again, he gave me an excited YES!  Honestly, my older son used to listen in on the story even though he used a different science at the time.  He just enjoyed the goofy storyline.  I already have the spine books, so that's a plus.  :)

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I think they aren't very well written.  My fourth grader LOVES those books.  They were sitting on our shelf, and he discovered them and devoured them twice.  We did not do them as our science curriculum, but he did love reading the books and asked me to buy the other one that we don't have.


We are using Real Science 4 Kids next year.  I like that it is only ten weeks so if I miss a week...no biggie.  I still have plenty of time to get two Focus On topics for two ten week sessions.  I can psyche myself up for that...just ten experiments.  I am hoping it gets done.  Science seems like such a chore when we have so much else to do, but they love it.  I am going to try to start it in the summer when I am in more of a fun mood and hope we get a head start.


ETA:  What I mean is that even though I think they are not well written, they are still liked around here.  

Edited by AdventuresinHomeschooling
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