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Æthelthryth the Texan

Hands on Science for elementary aged AL

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I need some new hands on science type of stuff for ds7. We've exhausted Magic School Bus type experiment kits and Mind Blowing Science type of set ups and slime and all of those sort of things. I can't afford KiwiCrate type of subscriptions every month, and don't want to go down the robotics/programming path at this time. What else is out there? I am fine with a book of experiments and pulling things together, and would actually prefer that to buying an Apologia full set or something. We don't need more explanations as much as we need a lot more hands-on. But I need something past "buoyancy" or turning water pink or purple type of things. 

His understanding is definitely logic stage at a minimum. But if I just get a text book to read to him he's going to be bored stiff. He told me "I'm not just a read about science person, I'm a doing science person".  He's wanting to know about chemical reactions and general physics in particular- not really biology. I excelled at neither of those and am intimidated. He still not quite a fluent reader at this point so I need things we can still do together rather than turning him loose on his own. 

I'd love some affordable suggestions in an all in one book or something with well explained experiments a little beyond what we're doing now. 

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BFSU
Mystery Science
Usborne Internet Linked books

All three of these have been HUGE hits here and helped us springboard out.  And none are really expensive, except maybe Mystery Science if you don't catch a sale.  One of the things I really like about BFSU is it doesn't tone everything down, but it does offer real science in bites and expects students to explore.  Plus, nearly everything is found around the house, so it's a bigger draw for us than something like KiwiCrates.  I have a hard time bringing in all the waste, you know?  I'd like it a lot better if they sent real things you could use multiple times.

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If you buy Mystery Science, look for a group buy on facebook.  I paid something like $23 for our subscription.

http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu

In the red test tube area are experiments you can do at home. http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/HomeExpts/HOMEEXPTS.HTML

His Christmas lectures are amazing for kids.  http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/xmaslect/Xmascheery2018.html Scroll down past ticketing for this years show.  There will be a link for each year to watch that years show.  Dr. Shakhashiri does an amazing job training students to present science to the public.  

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I only have one unit but I like AIMS. The unit we have is Popping With Power and is targeted at grade 3-5 math ability. It covers the one topic but is comprehensive. Each experiment is an actual experiment, not a demonstration, and includes detailed background information for the teacher and necessary lab sheets. This particular unit uses stuff easy to find around the house such as different types of balls, string, meter stick or measuring tape. My son is six and it definitely gets him thinking. These units don't cover a lot of breadth unless you buy a bunch of them and then it would get pretty expensive. 

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I mostly gave up on curriculum and buy Thames and Kosmos kits from Amazon to fit my daughter’s interests. I’ve been careful about reading the reviews to make sure I’m not getting anything that will be beyond her fine motor skills or simply a dud, and we’ve had a great time with the kits we’ve gotten.

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4 hours ago, Jackie said:

I mostly gave up on curriculum and buy Thames and Kosmos kits from Amazon to fit my daughter’s interests. I’ve been careful about reading the reviews to make sure I’m not getting anything that will be beyond her fine motor skills or simply a dud, and we’ve had a great time with the kits we’ve gotten.

He will love these I think as they wont seem like “school” to him. I think a couple will be perfect for Christmas too. Thanks! 

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What about TOPS science? I picked up a few books at a library sale (but I haven't used them). Each covers a particular topic. The Pressure one I'm looking at had 32 student task cards each with instructions for setting up the experiment and then questions to answer. The teacher pages have answers/notes and materials lists. This one says grades 7-12, but I think that is for math (multiplication/division) and larger topic connection - which probably isn't a top concern for you at this age.

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Some ideas where I found great science stuff when my kids were younger........

This website sends lots of emails and you have to remember to download pretty much on the day but free!  The main reason I mention this is we got the best chemistry experiment book ever off this website......an oldie (50’s or 60’s and really easy to do at home)but my kid’s loved it at about 8 and 10.  I can’t remember the name but it was the best.  It used to be offered every couple of monthshttps://homeschoolfreebie.com/?from=%40

Once again Free stuff......play around with sorting different ways.  This used to have free TOPS units relating to Space https://www.nasa.gov/education/resources  

Loved her Chemistry units at about 9 for youngest but he might have enjoyed younger,  here are her freebies http://ellenjmchenry.com/

Janice Van Cleeve has stacks of science books with great experiments.  Your library might have a few..........

Lots of Usbourne.......

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I buy the TOPScience books (they used to sell kits too, but I think now you have to assemble your own materials) and just let them loose with them.  They're written to the child and the process of exploration/doing the experiments on their own is great.

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I really love Real Science Odyssey.  Very, very hands on.  I think they have a sale through today?  You have to have print copies of the student books, but can use the instructor guide on an iPad or something.  We are doing Earth and Environment this year with my K and 2nd grader and I get the supplemental picture books from the library.  I sincerely enjoy doing it myself!  I'm definitely planning on using their chemistry and astronomy and physics in subsequent years.  The instructor guide has limited "read aloud" material which I appreciate...we did one day of Apologia and it was an inundation of minutiae that is much better learned via living book, IMO.  Apologia was also stridently Creationist which I did not like, although we are Christian.  :-) 

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I haven't seen ScienceWise from Critical Thinking Co. mentioned. I have the first two books, but haven't gotten around to using them. I keep going back to it though, so maybe this summer will be when we finally get to it. It's a different setup than the usual text or experiment workbooks. It's purely hands-on and requires critical thinking to figure out the explanation for the outcome. 

https://www.criticalthinking.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=sciencewise

you can get 30% off today with THANKS18 code

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On 11/26/2018 at 8:17 AM, FireweedPrep said:

I really love Real Science Odyssey.  Very, very hands on.  I think they have a sale through today?  You have to have print copies of the student books, but can use the instructor guide on an iPad or something.  We are doing Earth and Environment this year with my K and 2nd grader and I get the supplemental picture books from the library.  I sincerely enjoy doing it myself!  I'm definitely planning on using their chemistry and astronomy and physics in subsequent years.  The instructor guide has limited "read aloud" material which I appreciate...we did one day of Apologia and it was an inundation of minutiae that is much better learned via living book, IMO.  Apologia was also stridently Creationist which I did not like, although we are Christian.  🙂 

I came so close to buying the chemistry one Monday, but am going to hold off until Spring or Summer. I bought several of the Thames and Kosmos kits we're working on now so didn't want to spend more at the moment, but I think we'll definitely try this soon. It seemed a little more streamlined for me (from what I could see in the sample) versus Apologia too. 

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On 11/30/2018 at 6:56 PM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I came so close to buying the chemistry one Monday, but am going to hold off until Spring or Summer. I bought several of the Thames and Kosmos kits we're working on now so didn't want to spend more at the moment, but I think we'll definitely try this soon. It seemed a little more streamlined for me (from what I could see in the sample) versus Apologia too. 

I’d love to know which kits have worked well for you.

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6 hours ago, Kinspired said:

I’d love to know which kits have worked well for you.

 

Candy Chemistry was a hit for us. It was a great introduction to the concept that the same basic ingredients can be combined and treated in different ways and have very different results. Plus, candy.

The Chem500 set was fine, but a bit too basic. We have the Chem3000 on the shelf now, but haven’t had time to dive in.

Catapults and Crossbows was another hit. After my kid built each one, we tested it out using a target, and recorded and graphed results.

Crystal Growing was a good one. Nothing earth shattering, but they did a good variety of crystals.

We’re currently working our way through the Structural Engineering Kit. We’re not finding it as inspiring, but my kid has been building structures for a competition for a year or so, so she already knows a lot of the principles the kit is teaching.

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On 1/12/2019 at 12:24 PM, Jackie said:

 

Candy Chemistry was a hit for us. It was a great introduction to the concept that the same basic ingredients can be combined and treated in different ways and have very different results. Plus, candy.

The Chem500 set was fine, but a bit too basic. We have the Chem3000 on the shelf now, but haven’t had time to dive in.

Catapults and Crossbows was another hit. After my kid built each one, we tested it out using a target, and recorded and graphed results.

Crystal Growing was a good one. Nothing earth shattering, but they did a good variety of crystals.

We’re currently working our way through the Structural Engineering Kit. We’re not finding it as inspiring, but my kid has been building structures for a competition for a year or so, so she already knows a lot of the principles the kit is teaching.

Thank you for the review. I appreciate it.

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If money is no object, most of the Tinker Crates are wonderful for hands on science. Each kit comes with a "magazine" that explains the science. My kids received it as a gift.  If the grandparents don't know what to get for the next birthday, you could suggest this... 

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