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MomN

Elementary Science

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I am not super confident at teaching Science to my 1st grader.  We tried the recommendations outlined in The Well-Trained Mind book, and we've been reading books on animals and creating questions and trying to answer them.  But I am looking for something a little more structured, where I can open a book and just go.  I do like the order of science subjects suggestions in WTM; for instance, biology (study of animals, human body, and plants) in first grade ...  Any suggestions on a curriculum that might fit my needs, for a non-science-y mom?

I'd prefer a faith-based curriculum.  And I'd much rather prefer something enjoyable even if it means it's a bit less rigorous. Thank you!

Edited by MomN

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I would look at Mystery Science and add in your own faith. It is  open and go and very easy to implement. It will teach a love for science and covers a variety of topics.

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Mystery of Science is really fun! 
The Good & The Beautiful has faith based open & go Science Unit studies that fit your criteria. 

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Depends on how you prefer them to learn.

Do you prefer to do an experiment first and then find out why it went the way it did afterward? Berean Builders

Or do you prefer to read about a topic and then have the option to do or not do an experiment that demonstrates what they just learned? God's Design for Science and Rod and Staff

Also, do you want to cover a little about multiple topics in a year (Berean Builders, and Rod and Staff) or learn a lot about less topics per year? (God's Design for Science and Apologia)

All of these are Christian. There are so many more but these are the ones I have done the most research on. Oh, and I forgot about Christian Liberty Press' science. I can't remember the name of their elementary series but have heard good things about it.

 

Edited by Servant4Christ
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It’s not a curriculum per se, but my favorite science “spine” for that age is the Let’s Read and Find Out series.  My K-2 kids have generally found them engaging, and they’ve served as a great springboard for further questions/discussions/investigation. 

 You can simply pick a book that interests your kid (there are a ton to choose from on a variety of scientific topics), and have that be the topic for the week.  There are usually instructions for a simple activity at the end of the book if you want an easy hands-on component.  Throw in a couple of related library books that look interesting and/or some cool YouTube videos, and you have yourself a solid (and arguably more interesting than a textbook) 1st grade science routine!   
 

We’ve dabbled in other things, but we really enjoy the whole books approach to science when they’re little. You know what will work best for your family, I just wanted to throw the idea out there lest you feel like you *have* to do a formal program with your 1st grader in order to have your bases covered🙂 

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I love Considering God's Creation. It can be a little difficult for a 1st grader, 2nd grade seems to be a good starting point. But it is scripted and I make it last a couple years or more. I add in extra videos like Magic School Bus and such.

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DS9 hates all things color, cut, and paste crafty. He likes Rod and Staff Science because it covers more than just 1-3 topics per year without talking down at him, if this makes sense. (Apologia and God's Design, which only cover 1-3 topics per year, make his eyes glaze over.) However, he wants more experiments next year, so I'm leaning toward Berean Builders. I don't find the "going in historical order" to be necessary for us but I like that there are plenty of topics covered and each has an experiment first and clear explanations on what should happen and why. I do not plan to do every experiment, just the ones that we happen to have the items on hand for. I'm ordering it early for DS to browse through and then he'll get to make the decision of us using it or the Rod and Staff. He likes having a choice.

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I just picked up the 2nd grade R&S to use with my 1st/3rd grade dgd and dgs. I actually remember having this very same book with at least a couple of my children, but it had been SO long. I think it’s a nice little program without too much extra, which is nice for us just making science a regular subject. I have several of the Apologia books, which I do think we will delve into, and I had forgotten about CGC, which my kids really enjoyed when they were younger. I may need to pick that up and just fill in with some fun stuff - these kids really enjoy crafts/projects.

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41 minutes ago, StaceyinLA said:

I just picked up the 2nd grade R&S to use with my 1st/3rd grade dgd and dgs. I actually remember having this very same book with at least a couple of my children, but it had been SO long. I think it’s a nice little program without too much extra, which is nice for us just making science a regular subject. I have several of the Apologia books, which I do think we will delve into, and I had forgotten about CGC, which my kids really enjoyed when they were younger. I may need to pick that up and just fill in with some fun stuff - these kids really enjoy crafts/projects.

CGC?

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We are enjoying MysteryScience right now, ages 5, 8 & 10.  It works well for multiple kids and is fun for everyone, especially me as I get to drink my tea.

When my oldest was K-2, we did Bookshark Science.  It was very good, lots of beautiful Usborne books, and a short worksheet.  Was great for 1 or 2 kids close in age.  It is faith neutral.  It is secular but does give the parent warning if a sensitive topic lesson is approaching.  It also includes kit for experiments.  It is on the expensive side, but you get a lot.  Can check ebay, then just buy the worksheets from bookshark.

 

 

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We liked Elemental Science. Fairly open and go, along with an encyclopedia the course recommends for reading, plus an experiment a week(out of a Janice VanCleave book). My girls enjoyed it last year and have been enjoying Astronomy and Earth Science for the year thus far. It is "neutral" so nothing about intelligent design ... nothing about evolution either. It's just open for you to make work for you.

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I love Considering God's Creation, we are using it with my ds7 and he loves it.  We have the audio CD and he especially enjoys the songs.  We do a lot of the activities in the activity book and I've added in books, games and videos.  I actually just did a post on this the other day on my blog if you want to look, it shows the book, some of the activities and other things we're using.  CGC covers Creation, Stars/Sun/Planets, The Earth, Rocks/Minerals, Weather, Plant Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Animal Anatomy & Physiology and Human Anatomy.

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The words elementary science and rigorous are words that never need to be connected together. Elementary science can take whatever direction you want it to take. You can go to the library and check out whatever science books you want and just read them. You can take nature walks, teach how to observe little things (mushrooms growing after a rain, fern fronds unfurling, lichen on the side of a tree, etc). Later, look up information online about what you have observed. Draw pictures.  

Elementary science, especially in the primary/lower elementary grades, does not need to be cyclical. It does not need to be experiments. It does not need worksheets. It just needs to spark inquisitiveness about things they see and why they work/happen/occur. 

If a science curriculum will make you feel more like you are achieving something, go for it. But, if curling up together and reading lots of different topics from books they picked out at the library is something you would enjoy, you absolutely will not be harming ANYTHING in their science education. 

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