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Help me with science please

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Dear all,

For both of my sons we use Singapore Science (My pals are Here) as there main science curriculum.

Even though I love the curriculum . I still have the feeling we miss a lot of things out. The curriculum is strong for its comprehension and problem solving skills . Which is very important for my oldest son, because he loves STEM. He also has lot of solving problem skills with Beast Academy. Would that be enough? For a kid who probably is going to study Engineering, would it be enough to have just a strong math curriculum ?

Because we follow the Singapore curriculum ,I hate that there is no time left to investigate science and to read more science books. I would love to see my sons to do science together. With a Science curriculum everyone is on his own level doing his thing. I also feel that the science curriculum doesn't go deep . The topics are very general compared to science reading books.

What do you do for science ?

Thanks in advanced,

visitor

 

 

investigate

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What age? I have not found a science curriculum for middle school that I liked and that I found inspired curiosity and excitement. What I have seen was dry and had way too much focus on vocabulary.

Before high school, my kids read non fiction books, watched documentaries, did field trips to science museums and nature centers. When they reached high school age, they were ready for systematic study using college texts which are of vastly better quality than the school textbooks. 

Both kids ended up majoring in physics.

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I honestly don't think it matters long term what they study for science at 7 or 8 years old.  I don't remember doing much of anything in PS science besides walking the perimeter of the school and refusing to kill bugs for a required insect collection assignment.  I still went to engineering college and graduated with high honors.  I say meet them where they're at and teach them what and however it takes to keep them happily interested and engaged.

I think the main reason to offer more challenging/in-depth/accelerated science at younger ages is to satiate the student who craves that kind of academic intensity.   Also, there are some kids, especially those with anxiety/rigidity/transition issues, who prefer the predictability offered by using a curriculum.  Using the right curriculum can keep lessons more harmonious for certain kids.  Others don't need or want that kind of structure.  There's nothing wrong with checking out books about interesting topics from the public library and then searching for related videos on YouTube. 

As far as curriculum suggestions, we've enjoyed Mystery Science and some of REAL Science Odyssey.  Both are very hands-on, which is why I think my boys have liked them so much. 

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We did experiments using books from Usbourne and other publishers when the my kids were little.  They loved doing the experiments on their own one afternoon a week ( Dh or I did our own thing in a connecting room, supervision very lite) with a kit we constantly added to......the basic one was purchased from Sonlight.  My dc’s grew up to degrees in math and Cybersecurity......so not engineers.  My kids are 2 years apart in age and did the same science always, basically the younger was accelerated.

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On 8/2/2018 at 11:59 AM, visitor said:

Because we follow the Singapore curriculum ,I hate that there is no time left to investigate science and to read more science books. I would love to see my sons to do science together. With a Science curriculum everyone is on his own level doing his thing. I also feel that the science curriculum doesn't go deep . The topics are very general compared to science reading books.

 

I have the My Pals are here Singapore edition as my BIL brought the textbooks over for me. The books are grouped in two years so one set is for Primary 3 & 4, the other for Primary 5 & 6.  So your two oldest sons can do the same set of books. I use the books more as a summary for DS12 who was a slow (speed) reader. My kids just read whatever books they couid find at the libraries ans bookstores. They also watch a lot of NOVA, crash course videos on YouTube. Besides math, having a good foundation in english was helpful since my kids are free to read up and understand books/journals/magazines/articles in their area of interest (science and non-science). 

Link is to Nova ScienceNow webpage. I forgot if you are in Europe or US. If you can’t play the full videos, most are available on YouTube. 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/search/results/page/1?q=&x=14&y=10&facet[]=dc.type%3A"Full+Episode"

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On 8/2/2018 at 5:13 PM, regentrude said:

What age? I have not found a science curriculum for middle school that I liked and that I found inspired curiosity and excitement. What I have seen was dry and had way too much focus on vocabulary.

Before high school, my kids read non fiction books, watched documentaries, did field trips to science museums and nature centers. When they reached high school age, they were ready for systematic study using college texts which are of vastly better quality than the school textbooks. 

Both kids ended up majoring in physics.

 

This makes me feel a lot better!  Our science has consisted of classes at the Natural History Museum and Magic School bus books with the random Mystery Science experiment thrown in. ?

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I found grade level that cover a little bit from various areas in science not very satifying for my son.

He likes to study a particular branch in depth. So, if you are looking for secular, perhaps Real Science for Kids and perhaps Joy Hakim's Story of Science might appeal to you. If open to Christian, Apologia is ok. I don't love it. The ones I did like were the Chem/Physics and Human Anatomy/Physiology ones which are written for upper elementary. Noeo is more living books focused. You can at least look at their reading lists for ideas. I really liked Berean elementary science better by Dr. Wile which is also approaches things historically as discoveries were made. 

We like Ellen McHenry's Elements as well. 

What my son has gotten a lot out of are the classes at Athena's. 

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I haven’t found a science curriculum that I love. DD reads a lot of science books and magazines, we spend time at the science museum, we go to public lectures, she watches Great Courses lectures, she sets up her own experiments, and we get hands-on kits. Because she wants to explore some deeper stuff, I’m considering having her do the typical high school science sequence once she’s finished Algebra, and then switching back to her self-led science once she has that knowledge base.

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On 8/2/2018 at 11:13 PM, regentrude said:

What age? I have not found a science curriculum for middle school that I liked and that I found inspired curiosity and excitement. What I have seen was dry and had way too much focus on vocabulary.

Before high school, my kids read non fiction books, watched documentaries, did field trips to science museums and nature centers. When they reached high school age, they were ready for systematic study using college texts which are of vastly better quality than the school textbooks. 

Both kids ended up majoring in physics.

They are 9 and 7 . We still have all the time of the world :)  I was concerned that if we didn't do science in the elementary years my kids would be behind for a high school curriculum. 

The science books are indeed dry but my boys need the vocabulary because English is there third language. 

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You could look into Mr. Q science. I think his textbooks (PDFs, not actual books) do a great job covering science fundamentals in a clear, deep, entertaining way. The chapters are also pretty short, so even after reading, discussing the comprehension questions, perhaps doing one of the vocab practice sheets (word search, crossword puzzle, vocab matching), and completing one or two of the listed experiments, that still leaves my kids ample time to read and experiment with science on their own.

Mr. Q Life Science is completely free to download, so you could give it a try.

Wendy

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2 hours ago, visitor said:

They are 9 and 7 . We still have all the time of the world ? I was concerned that if we didn't do science in the elementary years my kids would be behind for a high school curriculum. 

The science books are indeed dry but my boys need the vocabulary because English is there third language. 

They can acquire the vocabulary by reading actual books rather than doing worksheets and memorizing definitions.

In the elementary years, the most important scientific skill to cultivate is observation. Science begins with observing phenomena in nature. So, for this age group, nature walks, rock collections, visitor centers in state parks, science museums, playing outside. 

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3 hours ago, visitor said:

They are 9 and 7 . We still have all the time of the world ? I was concerned that if we didn't do science in the elementary years my kids would be behind for a high school curriculum. 

The science books are indeed dry but my boys need the vocabulary because English is there third language. 

We take a similar approach as Regentrude. My kids also just read science books (not textbooks) until high school level science. High school science is taught at an introductory level. My kids have never had an issue transitioning to high school science and one is now a chemE and another in grad school for physics. 

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Oh dear, it loks like they are charging now. This used to be free.

Edited by calbear
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As you will have exit exams in grade 6,8, (10) 12 you have to take that in account too.

You can still read, explore en watch documentaries during k-grade 5, but I would recommand to use a textbook in grade 6. The exam is nothing serious, more a test in comprehension reading,but some experience with Flemish textbooks won't hurt. Especially for those who don't see the easy answer and will hunt for a more complicate one.

In grade 8 there is an exam in science AND in Technical Education.

The science exam is mostly biology with a very small amount of Chemistry and even less Physics. Just cover the states of matter with a Flemish textbook (they use certain symbols I have not seen anywhere else) The most of Physics is covered by the Technical Education Exam. Although it is geared to the more practical tracks, one can deepen it with more theory, If you have the knowledge for that.(I didn't)

So in grade 9, when the tracking becomes more seriously, the science becomes more seriously too (finally).

If you don't aim for going back to school, you can aim for the grade 12 exams directly which give you space and time to cover science your way.

Realise American science textbooks are written for +one hour of science per day, one science per year. Those books are huge ?

I wrote you earlier in private, that it is difficult to find a biology textbook in English according the Flemish Exam board, so you have to do some parts with a Flemish textbook.

Realise also that Flemish exams tend to ask for implementation of the theory, not just the theory or proofs. But I think you are aware of that ?

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