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5th grade science (esp chemistry)


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I am so sad!  DS10 and I have only one more lesson left in Mystery Science and then we will have done the entire program over the last couple of years.  Thanks, Doug!  We will really miss you.

And now I have to find something else for 5th grade science, sigh.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  My oldest kid is doing AP Chemistry and I'm sort of inclined to make chemistry a family affair this year.  This past year oldest DS did AP Physics and I had middle DS do Oak Meadow physical science, and I was pleasantly surprised by the synergy there.

I've looked at Oak Meadow -- not crazy about what I see for 5th grade science, although 6th grade looks better.  I see Blossom and Root will be releasing a 5th grade program, which might be an option.  I've used pieces of their science lessons before and they were decent, not great.  I've done various TOPS books with different kids and while some of them were pretty good, the (considerable) prep time just never seemed worth it.   Have repeatedly dallied with BFSU, never felt the love. I don't want to just read science books.  I want a program that includes experiments/activities and please please PLEASE a supply kit. 

Whew.  I miss Mystery Science already.

So, any suggestions?  It's not like I'm picky or anything 🙂

 

 

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Thanks for the replies!  Definitely looking for secular only.

I think I have some parts of Real Science Odyssey around here but they're for younger grades -- maybe I'll look at that again and see what they have for middle school.  

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12 hours ago, JennyD said:

DS10 and I have only one more lesson left in Mystery Science and then we will have done the entire program over the last couple of years

I searched for "mystery science" and I'm browsing the website. What is it like, can you tell what you'll miss about it?

I'll have a first-grade girl this year, so far we've only messed around a little with BFSU.

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6 minutes ago, stripe said:

The American Chemical Society has this free middle school curriculum

https://www.middleschoolchemistry.com

I am probably going to use that for my 8th grader this year but am not sure I want to combine with the 5th grader.  I feel like the 5th grader gets the shaft when we combine.  Still, maybe I could just do two separate lessons ... hmm.....

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, UHP said:

I searched for "mystery science" and I'm browsing the website. What is it like, can you tell what you'll miss about it?

I'll have a first-grade girl this year, so far we've only messed around a little with BFSU.

It's hard to explain, but there's something uniquely charming about the tone and approach.  I feel like the creators just fundamentally *get* elementary schoolers and how they think.  Also, the activities are easy to prepare, almost never require weird materials, and work as intended about 95% of the time, which is AMAZING.

I've done all of the lessons at least once and many of them twice, with different kids.  

Edited by JennyD
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12 hours ago, JennyD said:

Have repeatedly dallied with BFSU, never felt the love.

I've been pairing BFSU with the Let's Read and Find Out books and some of Mr. Q's experiments, lol. It's kind of a lot of prep, but I really like the flow chart and the focus on the fundamentals of science. 

Although we only do this sporadically... we also just spend time reading a variety of cool science books 🙂. Right now, we're reading a graphic novel about DNA. 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

It's kind of a lot of prep,

If I were willing to do a lot of prep I'd do TOPS.  

DS10 is not going to be content with reading books while the other two get to do all sorts of cool chemistry labs.  I have been very happy with doing different levels of the same content subject with each kid -- so, this coming year everyone will be doing American history -- but less happy with actually combining kids.  

Edited by JennyD
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2 minutes ago, JennyD said:

If I were willing to do a lot of prep I'd do TOPS.  

DS10 is not going to be content with reading books while the other two get to do all sorts of cool chemistry labs.  I have been very happy with doing different levels of the same content subject with each kid -- so, this coming year everyone will be doing American history -- but less happy with actually combining kids.  

We just read together and I'm pretty sure DD5 doesn't understand much of anything except the basics, lol. But I'm OK with that. 

Yeah, we don't have the "cool lab" thing going on, so my experiences aren't too relevant, I think. DD8's "practical science" tends to be building random stuff out of cardboard, anyway -- I'm too lazy (and too busy doing other stuff for her) to do labs. 

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My son used the Science Mom chemistry videos along with her notes.  Secular and free online.  He had an absolute blast.  He also just finished up Earth Science and we're planning on doing the Biology course coming up this Fall.  The only thing I added were some library books and a couple of chem kits off Amazon.  

 

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homesciencetools.com has lots of science kits. Some are ones they have put together, some are individual ones from other brands, some are multiple themes. Lots of options there.

 

 

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We really enjoyed Mystery Science during the elementary years, too.  

If you want video lessons and labs, we have had a wonderful experience using Supercharged Science over the past two years.  Aurora is an incredible teacher and so engaging.  She does live classes three times a week that rotate through different topics (one concentration each month) or you can just go through her videos at your own pace and study whatever you want.  I planned to do chemistry this year with my DS but he ended up doing the live classes all year and following the different topics each month.  I think you can preview the program for $1.  You might be able to preview her live science summer camp class if you email them.  She does the live camp class on Mondays at 10am pacific. 

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1 hour ago, goldenecho said:

Ellen McHenry's "The Elements" and "Carbon Chemistry" look really good.   I haven't used them but I looked into them when my middle kiddo was thinking about homeschooling 6th grade (he didn't end up doing that...but we were going to use those if he did).

We used them this year.  They are two different beasts, with The Elements being much more fun than Carbon Chemistry.  Also, the games in the back of CC need to be copied if you don't get the pdf instead.

But, they were fun, and we paired the two with the games Valence and Chemistry Fluxx, with Valence being a clear winner in that department.

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I haven’t found much that I’m thrilled with, honestly. It seems everything trends really young or much older. 

RSO Chem is light for a 5th grader, but with some tweaks it could do & hopefully it’ll be bulked up naturally by your 8th grader using ACS & immersing the family in a year of chemistry books, videos, & discussions.  

We’ll be skipping the songs & condensing RSOs Periodic Table, Element Flip Book, & Element Book into one bigger, ongoing activity - a “Building a Periodic Table” project that produced an almost 3.5’x2’ tabbed poster. Then fill in the missing elements with either Theodore Gray’s books or Ellen McHenry’s Elements. 

Home Science Tools has everything you’ll need that isn’t a grocery item (there’s quite a bit of “kitchen chemistry” stuff). 

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On 6/11/2021 at 5:55 PM, Eilonwy said:

We used this for my Gr. 7 daughter this year and it went really well.  

That is great to hear!  I asked about this on the middle school board but didn't get any replies.   I really like the look of the program but oy, that materials list.  OTOH, I have to buy DS16 a super expensive kit for AP chem, and we already have so many science supplies in the house ... Did you find the activities prep onerous or was it manageable?  Would love to hear any thoughts you have on the program.  

On 6/12/2021 at 4:33 AM, goldenecho said:

Ellen McHenry's "The Elements" and "Carbon Chemistry" look really good.   I haven't used them but I looked into them when my middle kiddo was thinking about homeschooling 6th grade (he didn't end up doing that...but we were going to use those if he did).

I forgot about this -- my oldest did The Elements way back when.  It was fun but not exactly what I had in mind for a science program.  Could be a good supplement for this year, though, thanks for the reminder.

On 6/12/2021 at 7:12 AM, Shoes+Ships+SealingWax said:

I  haven’t found much that I’m thrilled with, honestly. It seems everything trends really young or much older. 

RSO Chem is light for a 5th grader, but with some tweaks it could do & hopefully it’ll be bulked up naturally by your 8th grader using ACS & immersing the family in a year of chemistry books, videos, & discussions.  

Middle school science is like my perennial bugaboo.  How can I be on my third kid and not have figured this out by now?  But you're exactly right -- the obvious options all seem too young or too old.

I will definitely check out RSO chem.  Light is fine as long as he's learning new stuff.  As you say, there's going to be a lot of crossover with the kids anyway.  

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39 minutes ago, JennyD said:

I forgot about this -- my oldest did The Elements way back when.  It was fun but not exactly what I had in mind for a science program.  Could be a good supplement for this year, though, thanks for the reminder.

I've vaguely wondered about this one -- what is it like? 

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On 6/11/2021 at 10:48 AM, alisha said:

homesciencetools.com has lots of science kits. Some are ones they have put together, some are individual ones from other brands, some are multiple themes. Lots of options there.

 

 

Agreed. If you would like to combine ds10 with olders, could you simply get some kits and not formalize it with a textbook? 

Similar options would be MEL Chemistry or Physics if either of those more appealing although more expensive than HST.  

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On 6/12/2021 at 5:36 AM, HomeAgain said:

We used them this year.  They are two different beasts, with The Elements being much more fun than Carbon Chemistry. 

Is there a Table of Contents somewhere? I read through the sample, but it’s hard to get a feel for the overall structure. Is every element covered individually, or is it grouped by family / period? 

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8 hours ago, JennyD said:

That is great to hear!  I asked about this on the middle school board but didn't get any replies.   I really like the look of the program but oy, that materials list.  OTOH, I have to buy DS16 a super expensive kit for AP chem, and we already have so many science supplies in the house ... Did you find the activities prep onerous or was it manageable?  Would love to hear any thoughts you have on the program.  

DH did this unit (as with the majority of our homeschool work), and he said that it was manageable to get the materials and get things set up.  He got everything for the first 4 chapters for about $60 Canadian on Amazon, though he said he bought cheaper versions than those on the suggested suppliers list, and they weren’t the same quality. He only did those 4 chapters because he does block schedules and that is what fit in the time available.  He liked the program, and thought that it was well done. I found it, along with about 6 others I sent him as options, ranging from Waldorf to Ellen McHenry to textbooks. I have a lot more of a chemistry background than he does, and we both thought it was the best fit.

Edited by Eilonwy
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If you're looking for simple and to the point, CLE's 5th grade science is updated. It's textbook learning, but it does have some experiments and activities. The real magic is in the lightunit, which spirals back to previous concepts. Not for everyone, but if you're a "get er done" kind of person or in that phase of life, it could be perfect.

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