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Noeo Chemistry or Real Science 4 Kids?


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I am looking for a chemistry curriculum for upper elementary kids. Can't decide which one to choose...

Real Science looks more "meaty" then Noeo... Noeo looks more CM...


I might use these in a small co-op.


Anyone used these and can comment?

Or maybe something else?




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I think the RS4K chemistry books are really excellent, much better than their bio and physics books IMHO (the author is a chemist). On the other hand, I think the Noeo Chem Level 2 is one of their weaker offerings. You have 1/3 (or less) of an encyclopedia, the Mysteries & Marvels book (which is mostly pretty pictures and little content); a book on elements (Fizz, Bubble, Splash), a book on the history of the Periodic Table, a book of experiments, and an unrelated book on geology. Nothing that ties it together or *explains* it all, KWIM? And I think that using it in a coop could be problematic, in that you would be asking everyone to spend $150 (library books won't work unless everyone goes to a different library!).


So if I had to choose between those 2, I would definitely go with RS4K, plus maybe a separate book of experiments (a Vancleave book or something), since the main complaints I've heard about RS4K concern experiments not working.


However, if you plan to use this in a coop, you might want to check out Ellen McHenry's chemistry curriculum. It's aimed at upper elementary and middle school and it's perfect for a small group, with lots of fun games and activities that are genuinely educational (not busy work.) It also includes comprehension questions (could also be used as quizzes) and suggestions for further research, which could be assigned as homework. And it's really cheap: you can get all the materials on CD for $20, which includes the right to print copies of the 60-page student book for a whole class. Depending on the level of the students, you could do "The Elements: Ingredients of the Universe" (grades 4-8) supplemented with a couple of other books (like some of the books Noeo recommends), or you could follow it with "Carbon Chemistry: An introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry" (grades 5-9).


Even if you don't use her full curriculum, she has lots of cool science materials and activities available for free download:




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Agree with getting the Elements! I bought RS4K and it just bored my kids because the information is deep, but not explained in a manner that can be fully understood and retained. But the Elements is wonderful. (We do the 'Amazing Atomic Atomizer with chocolate chips...what a GREAT idea for retaining valence numbers and the ways/whys that elements react!!) If you would like to do RS4K or NOEO (which I have and am going to do next), begin with the Elements. Plus it would be fun for a coop.

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