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I am still trying to figure out science for next year (1st grade) for my science loving ds. All the samples of curriculum I look at just don't seem a good fit. I am thinking of just making my own plans.

 

I am thinking of getting a science encyclopedia and using that as a spine. Then adding in other books to dig deeper from Let's Read and Find Out and others. As well as documentaries, youtube, etc. Somewhat following WTM plans, but I want to jump around more than just staying on one area of science all year.

 

What are resources to add in experiments? Kits to buy? I will need to add in some hands on rather than just reading and watching. Is there any experiment books that will cover most all elementary topics/grades?

 

I don't want to buy a lot of resource books, but as I don't have an English library I need some spines that will last.

So what spines do you recommend for 1st-4/5th for a science encyclopedia and collection of various experiments? And any other spines for specific fields of study that I should get?

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I am still trying to figure out science for next year (1st grade) for my science loving ds. All the samples of curriculum I look at just don't seem a good fit. I am thinking of just making my own plans.

 

I am thinking of getting a science encyclopedia and using that as a spine. Then adding in other books to dig deeper from Let's Read and Find Out and others. As well as documentaries, youtube, etc. Somewhat following WTM plans, but I want to jump around more than just staying on one area of science all year.

 

What are resources to add in experiments? Kits to buy? I will need to add in some hands on rather than just reading and watching. Is there any experiment books that will cover most all elementary topics/grades?

 

I don't want to buy a lot of resource books, but as I don't have an English library I need some spines that will last.

So what spines do you recommend for 1st-4/5th for a science encyclopedia and collection of various experiments? And any other spines for specific fields of study that I should get?

The usborne and kingfisher books are nice. We have "the first human body encyclopedia" I think it's called. I don't know that it would really last until 4-5th grade though. SWB recommends some as resources in the WTM. I didn't like sticking with one topic all year either. You could easily take recommendations for materials from first to third grade and mix them up a bit.

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We do stick with one topic each year. I think you would probably need one set of resources for 1st-2nd grades, and another set for 3rd-4th grades, because your son's reading level will increase, and he will be able to understand more complex content. My kids like the DK My First ___ Encyclopedia, and after that the Usborne and Kingfisher Science Encyclopedias are both good.

 

For experiments, honestly, you can probably find plenty by searching Google and YouTube. Nice as it is to have guides, in your situation I'd put the money toward more content books and then use the internet to find instructions for experiments/demonstrations.

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Usborne internet linked books.  They are so easy to plan from.

 

We also like the series that Fizz, Bubble, Flash is from (Geology Rocks, Gizmos & Gadgets).  They are organized experiments in chemistry, earth science, and physics.  You can pull from any of them to match up with what you choose to study with the Usborne encyclopedia.

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We are really enjoying Mystery Science. We just have the free subscription for now but we will probably pay for a full subscription soon. I also like that I can download the lessons so that I do not have to have an internet connection all the time to watch the videos. Our internet can get temperamental out here in the boonies so being able to let it download overnight so we aren't disappointed when we are ready to watch but the internet is out, again, has been a lifesaver. 

 

Also we have to drive 2 hours + to get to somewhere that might have the semi-obscure items that some science programs say should be easy to find. For example, the small Walmart 20 minutes from us and the even smaller Walgreens do not have 30% peroxide, neither food grade nor the hair bleach variety, needed to do the elephant toothpaste experiment. I either had to order it online and pay exorbitant shipping or wait for our next trip out of town and get it at Sally's or a larger Walmart.  I love that the activities and experiments with the Mystery Science lessons call for easy to get household items and don't tend to be terribly fussy to set up.

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Most of the Let's Read and Find out volumes include one or more hands-on activities. You can easily find others online.

 

Other resources we used for early elementary science included:

Primary Physical Science series, each volume included a number of hands-on activities.  

My Body, a fun approach to human anatomy

Magic School Bus and Sid the Science Kid DVDs

 

For later elementary:

The Way Things Work Now

Adventures in Chemistry, free resource produced by the American Chemistry Association

Field guides for your location 

 

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We followed the WTM science recs for early elementary. The best series for early elementary for us was the Usborne First Encyclopedia of ... (Earth, Space, etc.) They are so easy to read a spread then follow up with the Let's Read and Find Out series. I also found that there was plenty of hands on to do from the Let's Read series. Each had an activity to do, so I didn't buy a separate experiment book. The library had tons of books on every topic. We went weekly as in WTM, and filled up the bag with them and read through some. The online links from the Usborne First Encyclopedias were great too. They had videos and even games and such to watch or interact with. My dd looked forward to those weekly as part of her science. 

 

So if we were studying human body, I would open the new topic with a Magic Schoolbus video (back then checked out from the library. Now I think they are all on Amazon Prime or Netflix or YouTube. It's been 10 years since we did this, lol.) Then we would read a spread from the Usborne book and a library book. DD would make a notebook page drawing or writing a sentence about what we learned. The next science period we would do any hands on from the books, make a page about that, or look up the Usborne link and do those games. There were often printouts showling that she completed a challenge in a game to print and put in her notebook, and there were printouts of the body parts being studied that we could print and label and things like that. We had a Dover Coloring book of the human body, but honestly there was so much to do with just the Usborne encyclopedia and online links and a library book and video, that we rarely used the coloring book. 

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