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Is RSO Physics I light? Should I supplement? 

 

I want to use it next year with my 3rd and 6th graders. My concern is that it might be too light for my science loving 6th grader, but he has requested physics as his primary science topic for the year. His dream is to be a pilot or an aerospace engineer, so he reads about these topics on his own already.

 

 

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Unless your 6th grader is exceptionally advanced mathematically any physics at that level would need to be quite light.

 

I haven't used the RSO text though.

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I'm using it with my 3rd-7th graders this year. My kids don't have as much science background and are enjoying it.

 

There are extra reading and activity suggestions, more than there were in the chemistry book.

 

Pandia Press's website offers very large samples, so you can see a lot of the book before buying.

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Unless your 6th grader is exceptionally advanced mathematically any physics at that level would need to be quite light.

 

I haven't used the RSO text though.

 

This is a good point. He is very good at math and will be starting AoPS prealgebra, so he can easily handle w=mg, but I know he's not ready for high school level physics yet. He's not in love with doing math, but I think once he sees the fun math in chemistry and physics he will really take off.

 

Looking at the table of contents it covers the topics I want. My goal is to place pegs with these basic ideas in his head and fill in gaps from his own reading, so that he is prepared for a more rigorous physical science course in 8th. So... maybe I could go deeper if he's enjoying it? Watch video demonstration of science teachers on YouTube and see what he absorbs?

Edited by librarymama
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I'm using it with my 3rd-7th graders this year. My kids don't have as much science background and are enjoying it.

 

There are extra reading and activity suggestions, more than there were in the chemistry book.

 

Pandia Press's website offers very large samples, so you can see a lot of the book before buying.

 

This is very helpful, thank you! I could possibly work extra with him using additional materials following his interests.

 

Do you feel like your 3rd grader is retaining or understanding what is being discussed? It looks like so much fun so really I just want my 3rd grader to build a love of science at this point, but bonus if he's getting more out of it. 

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My science loving 4th grader is doing great with it this year. I would not consider it light. We try to check out some of the books on the additional reading lists. She is doing engineering using legos, enginos, and k'nex, but that is for the charter we are with; they require a tech "class". It just happens to go very nicely with physics. We also like to check out The Way Things Work DVDs from the library. She loves that series and will re-watch each episode a few times. So I guess in a way we do supplement, but it's never felt necessary to fill out the curriculum, more just that DD can never get enough science so we'd be doing all of that no matter how meaty the program. 

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My third grader is getting *something* out of it, but more fun than concrete information. The activities and discussion work for her, but I think most of what she'll retain is memories of enjoying it. She has plenty of time to hit physics again (and again!) before graduating high school.

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We are doing it with ages 8-13 this year. My oldest is supplementing with a few things, but mostly because we get through it quickly and I feel she needs more to do. Mostly she is just doing outside reading. I think the program is fine for these ages. Like someone else said, there are many suggestions in the curriculum for extra learning.

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I'm a huge RSO fan.   However, I felt like it was too light for my science-loving 5th grader.    I also am not a fan of the poetry they have for every lesson.  I don't understand the point of those poems really.   

 

We are using Exploration Education this year, and I like it a lot better.    You get a lot more for your money too.  You get EVERY thing you need for the labs minus a hot glue gun and one battery.  Everything!   And all of the labs actually work!   It is so nice actually just being to open up our physics box and just do science instead of doing all of this planning throughout the year.   Plus, the online text has some short "videos" showing the kids how to do each step in the experiment so both of my kids can do the labs on their own with very little help from me.   (And they LOVE them.)   

 

Exploration Education is a physical science course.  That basically means they spend a few weeks reviewing some things from Chemistry.   (I am fine with that.  But just wanted to warn you.)  

 

My kids LOOOOOVE to read about science topics.   So, we have added in extra reading from an Usborne encyclopedia and "How things work" that corresponds to the labs.   We had both of those books sitting our our shelf, and I feel like it helps to read about a topic from several different sources.  Our Usborne encyclopedia has little QR codes that you can scan for each topic which bring up a video or online lab, and they enjoy that as well.    We also added in a biography for Newton.   We might do another one before the end of the year too.     If I didn't have kids who are more STEM inclined, I could have skipped the extra readings/videos.   However, my kids like a lot of meat.  

 

I've also made flashcards to drill memory work, vocabulary, and some very basic formulas.   I feel like this is a pretty crucial step no matter what science program you use if you want your kids to retain the information.     Another fun "add on" are the coursera videos here:  https://www.coursera.org/learn/how-things-work and brainpop.   The coursera videos do not line up with exploration education, but they are a lot of fun.   

Edited by TheAttachedMama
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I'm a huge RSO fan.   However, I felt like it was too light for my science-loving 5th grader.    I also am not a fan of the poetry they have for every lesson.  I don't understand the point of those poems really.   

 

We are using Exploration Education this year, and I like it a lot better.    You get a lot more for your money too.  You get EVERY thing you need for the labs minus a hot glue gun and one battery.  Everything!   And all of the labs actually work!   It is so nice actually just being to open up our physics box and just do science instead of doing all of this planning throughout the year.   Plus, the online text has some short "videos" showing the kids how to do each step in the experiment so both of my kids can do the labs on their own with very little help from me.   (And they LOVE them.)   

 

Exploration Education is a physical science course.  That basically means they spend a few weeks reviewing some things from Chemistry.   (I am fine with that.  But just wanted to warn you.)  

 

My kids LOOOOOVE to read about science topics.   So, we have added in extra reading from an Usborne encyclopedia and "How things work" that corresponds to the labs.   We had both of those books sitting our our shelf, and I feel like it helps to read about a topic from several different sources.  Our Usborne encyclopedia has little QR codes that you can scan for each topic which bring up a video or online lab, and they enjoy that as well.    We also added in a biography for Newton.   We might do another one before the end of the year too.     If I didn't have kids who are more STEM inclined, I could have skipped the extra readings/videos.   However, my kids like a lot of meat.  

 

I've also made flashcards to drill memory work, vocabulary, and some very basic formulas.   I feel like this is a pretty crucial step no matter what science program you use if you want your kids to retain the information.     Another fun "add on" are the coursera videos here:  https://www.coursera.org/learn/how-things-work and brainpop.   The coursera videos do not line up with exploration education, but they are a lot of fun.   

 

We've been using using Mystery Science (which I absolutely love!) for the past two years, but sadly we'll have to switch because we'll have gone through all of the mysteries by the end of this school year. I've been looking at RSO, Real Science 4 Kids, Elemental Science, etc. and they all look okay, but Exploration Education looks intriguing (especially since most of the materials are included). Which level did you use, Elementary or Standard? I'll have a 3rd and 5th grader, so I was leaning towards the Standard, but I was curious which one you used. 

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We've been using using Mystery Science (which I absolutely love!) for the past two years, but sadly we'll have to switch because we'll have gone through all of the mysteries by the end of this school year. I've been looking at RSO, Real Science 4 Kids, Elemental Science, etc. and they all look okay, but Exploration Education looks intriguing (especially since most of the materials are included). Which level did you use, Elementary or Standard? I'll have a 3rd and 5th grader, so I was leaning towards the Standard, but I was curious which one you used. 

 

We went with standard because we are doing an astronomy study (nature study) as well and I wanted to make room in our schedule.   Plus, I knew I would be adding in extra reading.  So I decided to make multum non multa my mantra this year.  :)    Less topics, but more depth.

 

I've heard that the main difference is that the advanced version has even more "projects" to build.  (See this page.)     Plus, you might have up to 5 experiments to complete in a given week in the advanced version.   I know 5 labs sounds intimidating, but the program is VERY doable because it is so open and go.  Everything is packed, labeled, and ready to go in the little box.  (They are like the lego kits of physics experiments.)   Plus, with a little training about carefully following instructions and not losing parts, the kids can work nearly independently on the labs because of the online instructions written TO the child.    Note:   There are a few labs (example, the lab on fuses) that require adult supervision.   However, there are about 30 warnings in giant font that you need to have an adult present before completing this lab.   (And 30 more warnings in the instructor guide about this lab.)  

 

Exploration Education also has amazing customer service.   If you lose a piece (or break it) they will help you out.   That hasn't happened to use yet, but I've heard that from several people on this board.   

 

The only con I can see with exploration education is that the reading would be light if used alone.  (At least light for us.  But we love to read about science!)   So I would recommend you supplement readings with a spine text (usborne encylopedia, How Things Work, etc.) or be prepared to check out some other reading from the library.   (I have a couple of fun science series that I just pull books from when we get to those topics from the library.)   

 

That said, I will be switching back to RSO level 2 next year for biology.  :)   

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I'm really glad I posted and appreciate the feedback. 

I ended up buying it because I have a 5, 7, and 10 year old and it will get used, and after looking through it I think it will be perfect for the 3rd grader. 

 

After speaking with my oldest I know that it will not work for him next year. He has been in public school for 3 years and I really misjudged the level of science he has been learning. I have a copy of CPO Physical Science that I think might work better as a spine and I could maybe find a way to pair it with RSO for the demonstrations and labs. Exploration Education sounds fantastic though, so I am going to investigate that one more. 

 

ETA: After looking at RSO Physics more closely, I actually do think I can make it work. It's a very solid looking program for elementary, IMO. I am knowledgeable enough to be able to add depth for my oldest and there's plenty of material I can pull from online and through the CPO text. We'll be going deep and doing science 3 days a week because that's what my boys love. I think Exploration Education is what I will go with when my kids are in 8th and 5th, so thank you for the rec TheAttachedMama.

Edited by librarymama

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