MAY
01
2013

Homeschool Science Curriculum Forum

 

science

 

Hi readers! Welcome to today’s homeschool curriculum forum on science!

As most of you know, I am currently using Abeka science in our homeschool. I have to say that this has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool this year. Not only does it require very little planning on my part, but it does include some hands on activities as well.

Since this program has a variety of resources included, I thought it might be helpful if I told you which things I purchase when doing Abeka Science.

One thing I don’t love about Abeka are all of the little booklets that you have to purchase. It would be nice if they came all together to make life easier. But for the science I always purchase the teacher’s manual or “curriculum” as they are often called. The student work text, the student workbooks, and the answer keys if I am teaching an upper grade. I also purchase the tests and quizzes and answer keys to those as well.

I do not always choose to purchase the optional visual aids, however if you plan to use this curriculum for several years it is worth it as the materials are re-used across several grades so you will get good use out of them.

Another great thing about Abeka is that you can typically find their materials used at a very reasonable price. Just be aware of which version you are purchasing and whether or not you can still purchase workbooks that correlate with that version.

AbekaScience

Pros:

  • Material is grade appropriate.
  • Lessons are easy to teach and plan.
  • Includes hands-on activities to reinforce lessons.
  • Re-uses colorful flashcards through the grade levels so you only have to purchase once.

Cons:

  • Can be a little confusing for the teacher with several booklets to purchase.

 

science_godsdesign

Once my children are a little older I plan to switch from Abeka to God’s Design For Science by Answers in Genesis. This curriculum is a four year curriculum that is meant to be repeated with older grades. Unfortunately I did try to start it but the materials were just too advanced for my younger children, so we will wait to start this.

Pros:

  • Focuses on God as Creator.
  • Hands-on activities to reinforce skills.

Cons:

  • Can be expensive, but not so bad when you consider it is four years worth of curriculum.

nancylarsonscience

A fun hands-on alternative for younger children is the Nancy Larson Science program. I have been tempted to try this a few times, however they currently only offer Science K to Science 4. With my oldest going into 5th grade, I wasn’t sure if it would benefit my children or not.

The other issue I have with this program is the price. Materials are quite expensive, however it comes in a complete kit. So it is tempting to purchase a science “kit” that includes everything you need!

Pros:

  • Hands-on and fun activities for younger learners.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Currently only available for elementary grades.

 

So, now comes the fun part!

What are your favorite Science curriculum, resources, websites, etc? Leave a comment below discussing your choices for this year and why.

Feel free to ask questions or reply to each other too!

It’s my way of doing a forum without actually doing a forum haha!

And hopefully this will help us all as we start the process of researching curriculum, and trying to decide what will be the best fit for our homeschool.

Note: Please keep today’s conversations geared towards SCIENCE, I will be posting one for each subject separately so we can keep our comments organized.

Click here if you missed my previous Homeschool Curriculum Forum posts!

 

 

 

Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post, I may however be affiliated with one or more products mentioned. The opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by the company. They are products I have used and felt like sharing, cuz’ it’s my blog and I can if I want to.

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Comments

  1. We use Apologia. We’ve done Anatomy and Swimming Creatures so far. I really like the layout of the books and the notebooks. I’ve found the content to be very interesting and I’m enjoying learning new things along with my daughter.

    • Jenny,

      I’ve heard great things about Apologia and I’m specifically looking at the Anatomy books. You’re the first one, in the few I’ve talked to, that have used the Anatomy. In your opinion, is it good for a 7 and 5 yr old? My boys have been asking lots of questions about their heart, blood, bones, etc. and I’m hoping it will help lead to healthy conversations about their own body. Thanks!

      Laura

      • Stefanie says:

        The anatomy is geared for fifth grade and up. You might be able to use it for a really bright fourth grader but it would definitely be too much for a 7 and 5 year old. Its worth the wait though. It was hands down our favorite and I cannot wait to use it again with my little one. The only one I would attempt with a five year old would be the astronomy. My daughter did great with that at 5 but the rest were better saved until she was a bit older.

        • Thank you Stefanie! Glad I didn’t order it yet. :)

          • Laura, if you really want to give the kids a lesson in anatomy, I can share some lapbook/unit studies that we have on this topic. My boys are 4 & 7and could get them through them. They just wanted to learn about their bodies.

      • Laura,

        I have been using Apologia too, and since I didn’t want to wait until 5th/6th grade to introduce the organs and systems in the human body, I picked up this book (http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?id=000874). It’s geared for younger children, and they learn about each organ/system, color a picture of it, then attach it to a “life size” cut out of a body. My kids and I will spend a few weeks putting it together, in addition to doing their regular Apologia curriculum. It might be enough to answer your boys’ questions. If they want more detail, you could certainly go more in depth, but it’s not a full year’s worth of science, by any stretch. Good luck!

        Danielle

        • Ambra Gardner says:

          Thank you for this idea Danielle! I think this might be perfect for my Kindergartener and Preschooler. What a fun, basic overview of the miracle of how our bodies work!

        • Christina says:

          Thanks. I am going to order this.

      • Laura, I used it with my daughter when she was 7 (2nd grade). We bought the Junior notebook to go along with it. She is not advanced, but enjoyed it. Did she retain it all? No, but it taught her a lot. She really enjoyed the edible cell experiment that we made. She is almost finished with 3rd grade, but can still recall information from the anatomy lessons. Apologia makes it fun to learn and easy to read and keep up with. I’d say go for it! Oh and I helped her with the writing in the notebook as well. We didn’t do the copywork pages.

      • I used the anatomy this year for my 4th and 2nd grader. They loved it! We actually do it together with me doing the reading and whatever explaining they may need. Some of the chapters are a little much for their grade level, but with those I”ll quickly read over it and just focus on main points for the reviews. I do not think I”ll purchase the notebook next year (we are doing Flying Creatures). We didn’t do any of the copywork since we already have a handwriting program and because I picked and chose grade appropriate review we just didn’t really use it much. We did some of the experiments but not even close to all…it depends on how much time we have and how much I think we need the visual.

  2. We have used Real Science 4 Kids the Physics, Chemistry, biology and Astronomy books. I plan on ordering the Geology book for next year. I love her writing style and the chapters are short and written well for young children. We have done most of the lab but I have gone else where to find additional lab work to reinforce learning. I am always tweaking curriculum that I buy so that is nothing new for me.

    Here is one of my posts on the lab we did using Real Science 4 kids
    http://lifesadventures-amb.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/constellation-cards.html

    • We also have used Real Science 4 kids. I like particularly that the books are available electronically so I can load them to our Nook and take them anywhere. I have used the younger and middle school versions…the only thing I dislike is that there is not anything for highschoolers. I particularly like her world view neutral approach. Some families do no want this but I find apologetics can be added to discussion and non homeschool officials are willing to accept that it is “real science” not religion.

  3. We have used Apologia (Astronomy). I appreciated that it was creation based and reinforced our thoughts on that area of study. But, I wasn’t completely sold on it. We found it to be a bit dry – may have been my teaching style (hanging head with embarrassment). My DDs (age 6 & 8) liked working in their Jr. Notebooks, so that was a plus.

    This year, we are embarking on Noeo Science. It uses a real books approach as opposed to a “textbook.” I think it will fit our personalities and family learning style.

    Who knows, we may go back to Apologia?!

    • the Noeo Science caught my eye as well….i so appreciate the “living book” approach. I ended up going with the Apologia Astronomy for next year though. I’m glad to hear your kids enjoyed the Notebooks, i’m planning on getting those to make it more fun.

    • My sister found the Astronomy pretty boring as well. There wasn’t as many activities and experiments that we had with Anatomy or Swimming Creatures.

    • We tried Astronomy this past year for our 9,7, and 6 year old. The kids and I were not impressed at all. I have heard great things about the other books though. I chose to teach each child separately this year for science but might try Apologia out again sometime in the future.

  4. I use the God’s Design Series for our co-op. I find it to be disorganized. There are 3 books for each topic and sometimes they overlap in subject matter. So I find myself teaching from all the books at the same time to really cover a topic. I do like the 4 year approach of them. So I let their topics (life science, astronomy, chemistry, and physics) be a guide to what other materials I find. I think they are much better for 5-8th graders than for the younger grades like they claim. I prefer the Christian Kids Explore Series. They are put together better and are a lot more fun. They are easy for someone who loves science as well as someone who doesn’t love science to teach. I also have the real science 4 kids pre-level 1 chemistry for my 1st grader and K4 kid for next year. It’s not in depth but it is short and they break the concepts down for little kids. They also have lots of cute pictures.

    • I am glad to hear from someone who has used God’s Design for Science. I was looking at it for next year, but now I think I’ll hold off until they are older.

      • I’m thinking the same thing!

        • What I don’t understand about it is how I’d have enough time to cover all the books if I start it in 5th grade…any insights on timing of this curriculum? I’m so in love with it (the idea of it, online) but I’m confused about how to get through all four sets of books.

          • Christina says:

            I am assuming that it would be 5th through 8th grades, and then you would start high school.

          • Hi ladies! I just came across this and LOVE God’s Design! It is actually an 8 year curriculum… 4 series, each to be repeated. So for example, we started with God’s Design for Life with my first grader last year. We are proceeding with the next series now and will until all four series are done (reading only the “beginner” level portion of each chapter…verrrry easy reading for younger ages/understanding. Then, in 5th grade, we will start at the beginning again (GDforLife), proceeding to go in order again through 8th grade, this time reading the more advanced portion of each chapter. I find it to be very well organized and can’t say enough wonderful things about it! The ONLY flaw I see is a lack of projects for the younger ages. BUT, these are super easy to supplement with simple experiments/crafts found online (I use Pinterest for this allll.the.time,). :) Just my 2 cents, but I think it is a super series that will last years as I take all of my children through it from grades 1-8. Turns out to be a bargain if you look at it that way! :)

  5. Kelly Jo says:

    We’re going from A Beka to Sonlight this year and I’m pretty excited about it. It looks similar to the Nancy Larson kit mentioned above, but thankfully it’s about 1/2 the price! There are tons of experiments throughout the year and that seems to be what a lot of kids love! I know my 5 yr old daughter is definitely hands on and will really enjoy this. I was disappointed that many of A Beka’s science experiments seemed to be off season with the school year. Experiments in the winter dealing with ants and bugs, not really possible!

    • We did SonLight’s CORE A this year and I was highly disappointed in the science for Ks. Their science kit activities are only for one day and it didn’t even related to what we had been reading that week. I loved the books that come with the program, but you just skim the surface of the topics. They do provide suggestions for hands on fun for the other days, but I purchased it thinking it was going to have everything I needed with little prep like Nancy Larson, however that wasn’t the case.

    • Go for it! We switched from Abeka to Sonlight and my kids keep saying how much they love Sonlight much more…I am impressed how someone like me, who did not care much for Science throughout my entire education teaches it to children who enjoy it and love the experiments! Even my toddler asks if it is “Experiment day”! :) The curriculum is very easy to follow. We are finishing our Science K although I have a first grader and Kindergartner, but I find it better suits my first grader since my Kindergartner is beginning to read/write and in order to answer the questions you have to put the answers on the board for her to copy.

  6. Lake Lili says:

    Because we started with the Calvert School curriculum we began in Grade 1 with MacMillan/McGraw-Hill’s “Science a Closer Look” series ( http://www.macmillanmh.com/science/2008/student/ ). The text is terrific – well written, great images and illustrations. My son enjoys them., but the lack of a work book makes it a challenge. The series goes through to Grade 6 and for the time being we are likely to continue using the books… I have however been referred to Super Charged Science ( http://www.superchargedscience.com/ )… has anyone used this one?

  7. Lake Lili says:

    We have been using the “Science: A Closer Look” series by McMillan/McGraw-Hill. We are in our second year and we love the content and the images, but there is no workbook and my son works better with workbooks. So while we intend to continue, we are on the lookout for other options. Super Charged Science was recommended. Has anyone used that curriculum?

    • Lake Lili says:

      Apologies for the duplicate – both the human and the computer seem to have operating issues… not enough coffee…

  8. We are using A Beka and books from the library.

  9. I have been using Apologia for elementary for several years now. We have done astronomy, botany, flying creatures, swimming creatures and anatomy. We love all of them! I really enjoy the notebooks that go along with them, too. This year we are, for the first time, using their middle school book – general science. It is a ton more reading, but I guess that is appropriate as the grades get higher.

  10. I am considering Alpha Omega and would appreciate anyone’s experience with that. I was also considering the AIG curriculum, but like others I think I will hold off until mine are older. Specifically I have 3rd and 4th grade, but any opinion on Alpha Omega style would be appreciated.

    • Letitia,
      We have used Alpha Omega Academy and switched this year to A Beka and are much happier. We just started with A Beka but my kids are much happier with the curriculum. I currently have a 10th grader and 2nd grader, we used Alpha from fifth grade until just recently switching. It all depends on what you are looking for and the learning style of your kids, I have also heard amazing things about Apologia. Hope this helps:)

    • Rachelle says:

      We used switched on schoolhouse from A&O this year and I wasn’t too impressed. The experiments do follow the curriculum, but we were using 3rd grade and some of it was confusing for my daughter and even for me in how they explain things. Of course the other curriculum they offer might be different. We will be using something different next year.

  11. I haven’t used it yet, but we are going to use Sonlight this year for science. I like the “real book” approach, and it seems like a good mix between books and hands on work (and there is a DVD to walk you through the experiments:)). It’s a bit pricey, but you can use it for more than one child with an inexpensive addition of a second consumable workbook.

    • We are finishing Sonlight’s Science A and I am impressed on how much not only they but I have learned. They love experiment day. I only used Abeka’s Science K and feel my kids learned so much more from Sonlight, and it is a curriculum easy to follow for the parent…I got it like 10 weeks late in the year due to economical reasons but we were able to catch up since it is not overwhelming. The DVD is a plus ’cause even when you might not have the things on hand in order to do an experiment they enjoy watching it on the video. :)

  12. We have used Abeka in the past but I found it too general and a bit boring. Maybe that was because it was for younger kids? This year we switched to Apologia Astronomy and we liked it much better. Astronomy isn’t our favorite subject but I like the way the book is written with the emphasis on God’s design. We purchased the notebooking journals to go along with it but abandoned them after a few lessons because they weren’t very clear. Next year we are doing Apologia Zoology 1 Flying Creatures. My girls love birds so they are looking forward to it.

  13. We have enjoyed Apologia science for middle grades through high school. In the early grades Considering God’s Creation was a great program for all my hands-on learners here. I’ve never liked Abeka’s textbook approach.

    Now we have been using New World Adventure units (grades 4-8) and using her picture book suggestions for Science from the library. Picture books have worked so well for us for learning and staying interested in Science. I also have a list of our favorite picture books here http://www.homeschool-how-to.com/homeschool-science.html. That list has kept us busy for several years.

  14. Amanda S says:

    I plan on ordering Considering God’s Creation for my K and 3rd grade boys next year. http://www.eagleswingsed.com/products/considering-gods-creation/ It’s very inexpensive and I’m really looking forward to using it. I first heard about it from a homeschool veteran at a conference. In future years I plan on using Apologia, which I’ve heard many great things about too.

    • I have used Considering Gods Creation and we loved it! It is black and white print, not very fancy but the information is really good. I loved their projects and experiments. We had fun with it.

      • I have never heard of Considering God’s Creation but it looks GREAT!!! Does it include a lot of hands on experiments? Using common items? This would be a total answer for science if it does!!!

  15. I started Apologia with my third grade son this year. We did Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day and loved it! I absolutely love how easy to read and interesting the science textbook is. We have used the notebooking journal a little bit, but it hasn’t been my favorite part of the curriculum. I also ordered the all-inclusive kit with everything you need to do each experiment in the textbook and have loved having all of the supplies close at hand.

  16. This my 1st yr homeschooling. Any suggestions for science for a 1st grader with ADHD and autism?

  17. I just want to clarify that the levels in Nancy Larson science don’t necessary match grade levels:

    Science 3 is recommended for ages 8-11 and is appropriate for older children with limited science experience.

    Science 4 is recommended for ages 9-12 and is appropriate for older children with limited science experience.

    • One thing that our family has LOVED about Nancy Larson Science is that we can use it all together. We’ve used the K through level 3 so far. This past year our oldest three {3rd grade, 5th, and 6th} used the Science 3 program together.

      Also, with Nancy Larson, the bulk of the program is non-consumable, so you can use it again with younger children {i.e. we have a rising 1st grader}. The curriculum also includes EVERYTHING you need, so you can literally open the box and go without hunting for various things around the house. :) That alone has been a huge help for me!

  18. I’m also a huge fan of sonlight. My kids go back to the books all the time.

  19. I have used Apologia for 4 years now. We LOVE it! I appreciate having a junior notebook as well as the regular one. I appreciate having the website (info at the front of the textbook) linking to some great online resourses which really make it come alive! I absolutely LOVE the notebooks; everything is there and done for me, event the lesson plans. They have supplemental list called “Dig a little Deeper” that we often use – these include additional experiments (there is at least one per lesson in the text book already); books, DVDs, and other things. It is a great curriculum and I would strongly recommend it to everyone – I love how it is from a Christian perspecitive and reinforces God as the creator of the universe.

    • I have been looking at apologia for my soon to be 9 and 7 year old. I was thinking about getting the notebook for my 9 year old and the jr. Notebook for my 7 year old. Would this make things too confusing or are they the same material but just scaled down for the jr notebook?

      Hope this question makes sense. Thanks for any insight you can give!

    • We used apologia botany this year in kindergarten/first grade and loved it. I had planned on sticking with it but am a little concerned because it doesn’t seem to cover any earth/physical science such as weather, water cycle etc. I feel that is something my daughter is curious about and needs exposure to. Any thoughts?

  20. Haven’t used it yet since we are new to home schooling but we will be using Real Science 4 kids next year with our 1st grader

    • Christina says:

      We have the whole Real Science 4 Kids set. It is very simple to use and easy to understand. I think it is perfect for that 1st -2nd grade level. My 3rd grader is a bit too advanced for it, but enjoys it.

  21. We have purchased several items from Answers in Genesis, which really teaches the kids Christian Apologetics and viewing science through Biblical glasses. There are a lot of videos you can watch online (Answers in Genesis http://www.answersingenesis.org/media/video/ondemand, and Origins on Demand http://www.ctvn.org/the-programs/origins/origins-on-demand/.

    We have done all the Elementary Books for Apologia (Astronomy, Botany, Zoology 1,2,3 and Anatomy). We are finishing the Anatomy now with my 8 and 12 year old. These books are a great reference and our boys have learned a lot. I plan to go through these books again as we study other things in the future. We plan to use Apologia for the upper level, as well. I also include Considering God’s Creation curriculum (for my younger one).

    • I am excited to begin using Apologia with my first grader, but I am curious if “Flying Creatures” will be too advanced. It’s okay if she can’t retain everything, but I don’t want it to be completely over her head. Maybe one of the other books would be better?

  22. Obviously, I love science. Until this year, (my children are now in 2nd and 6th grade), we mostly used science books found at used book sales as loose guides and relied heavily on science experiment books (especially Janice VanCleeve books). This year, we chose to use Apologia’s Human Anatomy and Physiology for my 6th grader and Nancy Larson for my 2nd grader. Both were a great fit for the kids. However, we still use extra experiment books and find great stuff in the Christian Kids Explore series to reinforce what we are learning in our main curriculum. We are planning on using Apologia and Nancy Larson again next year.

  23. Katy Burns says:

    Hi, Y’all. We are new to homeschooling for this upcoming year and my son loves science as do I. After looking and reading reviews of multiple programs we decided to bite the bullet and go for A Reason for Science for our older son (3rd grade) and let our daughter do all of the experiments. It is really pricey from The Reason For publishers because it contains 5 of everything (far more than we need), but if you go to Hearts at Home Curriculum you can pick up the teacher guidebook and the student worktext for $48.97. The experiments, questions, analysis are so thorough and we love that it is presented from God’s view too!

    • I am curious about “a Reason For Science,” this is also my first year. I plan on doing Nancy Larson K, and hopefully…our charter will pay for it! We will be using A Reason For Handwriting, that I ordered through Hearts at Home… So I would love to know how the science is!

  24. Hi, I’m torn between Sonlight’s science A and Nancy Larson. Sonlight sounds very promising and hopefully lots of hands on experiments as those were the kinds my son enjoy the most. But Nancy Larson looks like has a more interesting materials for experimenting and maybe more hands on than Sonlight? Which one should I go for? My son will be 5 in the fall. Anybody has any suggestions? I’m pretty new to homeschooling also that’s why I’m having tough time deciding. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Nancy Larson 1 has some drawing and filling in to do so depending on how much he can write I may look into the K program. I haven’t done the K kit but it is probably just as good as Level 1. I find it very teacher friendly and hands on. The teachers guide is scripted so you can just follow it along.

      • Thank you Penny. I appreciate your input. My son is just learning to write so if we do decide to go for Nancy Larson, we will surely go for the K kit first.

    • If you son will be 5 in the fall, I would definitely recommend the Nancy Larson K program. We used it this past year and it was fabulous! :)

  25. Michelle V says:

    Im considering purchasing WinterPromise’s Animals and their Worlds for my 1st and 3rd grader next year. Has anyone used this? (Id be getting their newest edition that contains the notebooking journal, Make your own animal book, and the One small square picture books.)

  26. Julie Haynie says:

    I do not use the Sonlight curriculum, even though I considered it, but I did buy their microscope. Let me save you the time of trying to find a good microscope. I did the research, and found the Sonlight one to be the best for the price. If you are looking for a microscope go to their website and read about it–you’ll be glad you did.
    My husband is over science and likes Bernard Nebel’s books, Vol, 1,2,and 3 (on Amazon). It requires preparation, but he wasn’t interested in changing when I asked him–both he and the kids like it.

  27. We have been using Nancy Larson for two years now (1 and 2). It is amazing and very easy to do. All I basically need to do is get the teachers manual, gather a couple of supplies from the kit or my kitchen and the girls grab their folders and colored pencils and we go. They all say (3 of them) that science is their favorite. My background is in Biology and Environmental Education and I would prefer to do science myself but this is just too easy and good. I save my time and energy for other things. If you can afford the kits, I say go for it. The booklets are geared for the ages listed and covers a good amount of vocabulary along with experiments, looking for things outside and books. I also have used the same level for all 3 of my kids at once. Last year I did Level 1 with K and 1st and this year Level 2 with 1st and 2nd.

    • I forgot to add that this is the first year they are offering free shipping. It was a lot more when you had to pay for shipping!

    • I’m considering using Nancy Larson but I would like to teach my 3 daughters together, ages 7, 9, and 11. Is that too broad of an age span for NL? What level would you suggest starting? We’ve been using Apologia, but a little bored.

      • I would look into level 2 or 3. I don’t think that it is too large an age span. You may need to just add a little more research/books for your older if you do the lower level. Look over the topics and see what you may not have covered in science before.

  28. We started with Sonlight for preschool. It had some basic stuff in there for Science. http://www.sonlight.com/homeschool-curriculum.html?grade=pre-k

    For Kindergarten we used Christian Liberty Press. I thought we would just do the K book, but my son breezed through it so we ended up doing all of them in the year. I loved them because they focused on the 7 days of creation and then talked more in detail about each day as the books went on.
    http://www.shopchristianliberty.com/science/

    For 1st grade we used Apologia Astronomy. WE LOVED IT!!!!! I never cared about science (especially astronomy) until we did this. It is colorful, the notebook is fun, and there are tons of supplementary books and activities listed. We plan to go back over summer and do the supplementary stuff.

    For 2nd grade we plan to do Apologia Botany.

  29. Haley Aldrich says:

    I wrote my own science curriculum for this year (my son is in K). We did unit studies each month, loaded up on books at the library and I spent some time on Pinterest and homeschool blogs finding supplements and experiments. We had a lot of fun! It really wasn’t much work for me and I feel we got to really explore the topics. Things that were more exciting to my son we expanded on.

    I’m not sure what the plan is for next year, so I’m checking out a lot of the links people shared here!

    • How did you learn to plan/piece together unit studies? My first yr homeschooling and am confused over what components are in a unit study.

      • Georgette says:

        There really aren’t any rules for developing your own unit study. If you want to study a topic in a unit study, you can choose how thoroughly it is covered. To start out, just think simple. (You can get more advanced or complicated if you want with practice.) Grab some books and DVD’s on that topic from the library. Add whatever activities you or your child enjoy, and relate them to your topic. Do an art project illustrating it, listen to and sing songs about it, write about it, create snacks related to your topic, make up a game for P.E.,… the ideas are endless (esp. with Pinterest’s help)! For more ideas, look at other peoples’ unit studies online. Be sure to have fun with it!

  30. I have a 10,8 and 3 year old. The older two take science classes at a local museum. There is also a couple places nearby that offer science for homeschoolers. We live in Pasadena, CA if anyone lives near and is interested.

    • Hi! I am thinking about homeschooling next year and live in Santa Clarita (right by Magic Mtn). I will have a K, 2nd & 4th grader. Would love any info about local places that you can offer! Pasadena is one of my favorite places. :)

  31. This year we used Gods Wonderful Works from Christian Liberty Press. My son (2nd grade) loved it! We went through each day of creation and studied about the things that were created on that day. As far as teaching it went, it was pretty open and go, very little prep work for me.

  32. We used Apologia’s Human Anatomy and Physiology this year for my Prek and 1st grade sons. We hardly used the text at all. It is written for much older students. Even the Jr. Notebooking journal was often too advanced. I ended up using the order of subjects taught from Apologia and creating our own units. We did TONS of hands-on activities and checked out lots of books from the library. I have our entire Anatomy Units posted on my blog: fromthemrs.blogspot.com. My kids’ favorite subject was science this year because of all the fun activities.

  33. kelly tillotson says:

    I just purchased the alpha and omega lifepac science curriculum set for grade 1 at a used book sale. it seems very simplistic, but its first grade—i didnt think it would be too in depth, but im noticing a lot of you arent mentioning that you use it…is it not considered a good curriculum? it was such a good price, that I couldnt pass it up—but maybe next year we’ll move into something a bit more advanced. It seems like Abeka and Sonlight are the most popular on here. I will probably supplement with kid friendly experiments from online and some of my sons favorite topics for fun.
    *kelly

    • Hey Kelly! I bought the Lifepac for my son also. It will be our first year and I like how it has a variety of topics in a workbook form. I’ve heard LOTS of people say they just get bored with the workbooks, but, like you, I couldn’t pass up the price either. I picked it up at a LifeWay store 50% off. For that, we will take our chances for a year. It wasn’t colorful or “fun” looking, but I’m sure we will supplement with real books and experiments also. Good luck!

  34. Bekah Begg says:

    My son will be using Apologia for the first time next year. He will be doing Astronomy which he is very excited about. He loves Outer space

  35. Any suggestions for a simple but educational program for first grade?

    • We studied insects. I put together a unit from several sources. My son learned how “insect” is defined, he created – and named – an insect with materials found in our back yard, created a “my favorite insect” survey and graphed the results, and studied the habitat/facts/metamorphosis type for two different insects. We made a stapled-together book with all of it. We also spent a lot of time looking for insects at area parks and nature centers. His favorite science so far!

  36. I have been looking into Elemental Science for my daughter who will be in K next year. I love what I’ve seen from Apologia, but want to wait one more year for those as she is a young K student (based on bday, not ability). I was wondering if anyone has used the ELemental Science curriculum before? thoughts and/or reviews would be helpful!!
    Thanks!

    • Bethany,

      We have been using Elemental Science for the past two years. (Horse cover and Butterfly cover) I plan on buying the next book in the series for our upcoming 1st/2nd school year.

      I really love elemental science but, I feel it needs to be the right fit for you. I would describe it as very hands on and requires a lot of library visits. I usually add more books than what is suggested. I also find a lot of videos to add to the weekly topics. During the preschool/kindergarten series I was adding Sid the Science Kid videos (on topic). This year I have been adding videos from the Magic School Bus Series and Bill Nye (on topic). I have also found a lot of educational videos on you tube that I will use.

      I tend to follow a typical pattern to the lessons (using Elemental Science as a guide).

      Day 1 – Introduction to Topic, Read book, Color Page
      Day 2 – Read book, Do Experiment, Record Results (The book encourages a camera but, I have the kids draw the experiment/journal)
      Day 3 – This is my video day and the snack that can be made
      Day 4 – Read book, Do the Art Related Activity
      Day 5 – Anything that I missed that week & Nature Study (We do our own nature topics)

      I have moved the units into different order to work better for the weather in Wisconsin. We just finished the tornado week. Fun!

      So this past week we:
      Day 1: Introduce the topic, Tornado book, Tornado Color Page, Practice Tornado Drill
      Day 2: Tornado Book, Made the Tornado in Bottle Experiment, Journal the Experiment
      Day 3: Watched Weather Channel/Tornado Chaser Videos – Made Tornado Smoothies
      Day 4: Tornado Book, Tornado Safety Posters (Art with Science)
      Day 5: Repeated a favorite tornado book & Nature Study

      I hope this helps. I love using Elemental Science and science has been very successful and the kids favorite subject. It is not a the type of curriculum you will want if you desire an open and go style.

      • We also use Elemental Science. This year we used Earth Science and Astronomy. My 2nd and 3rd graders love it and it is so easy to teach. We will be purchasing the grammer level Chemistry for next year.

  37. I started using BJU Press for Science for both 3rd grade and 6th grade. I like that this set is very organized and has everything with it….a workbook that correlates nicely with the text, tests and answer key all ready to go, and some simple experiements. I started using them for English, and because I could not seem to find something that fit into our schedule and didn’t create tons of prep time for me, I gave them a try and loved them.

  38. I am using 106 Days of Creation by Simply Charlotte Mason. It is meant to be done in 106 lessons so easily in one year if you choose to. It teaches science by following the days of creation. I have bulked it up by putting it together with lapbooks that compliment the days of creation with the topic learned that day. For example we are learning trees right now in Day 3 so instead of a one day lesson for trees I have added Amanda Bennett’s tremendous trees unit study and now we have 6 days of learning!! My son is 7 and he loves science and this is one of his favorite parts of the day. This curriculum when adding lapbooks can easily be spread out over 3-4 years!!

  39. I am always surprised at the number of people that use Apologia. We have tried it a couple of times but never stuck with it. Maybe I should give it another shot especially as my kids grow older.

  40. For those who use Apologia, do you know about the lapbook options? The names just fled my mind though. I know Rainbow Resource carries them, though.

  41. We love heathscientific.net for science supplies to support our homeschool curriculum. Love the selection and the prices! They also have fun kits that my kids love, like robot building kits or owl pellet dissection kits.

  42. We use God’s Design for our kiddos and I am in love with it! I have a 5 year old who hasn’t really started school yet and a 2nd grader. We also co-op with a 6 other kiddos all from 1-4th grade. These books are great. The first part of the lesson is for the “beginners” which would be 1st-4th grade and then when you repeat through the books you go into the more complex lesson. We have chosen to read the “advanced” section to the kiddos because we believe that this plants the seed for information that they will be learning. Today I over heard my kids discussing photosynthesis it was very encouraging!!
    Our kids have learned so much. I didn’t use the other books though. I just used the student books and then would use their lesson suggestions and also used google when I felt like I needed to add more to the lesson.
    I am glad that I got into this curriculum because I worried that she would have gaps since I am not a sciency person and with this curriculum it seems very contingent to what the schools around us are also teaching.

  43. I’m looking for a non religious view science curriculum for my 6th graders and my 3rd grader, something we can do together. Any ideas?

  44. We used Science Fusion this year. I loved it because I was sure they had a science lesson every day. It has online lessons and labs, as well as a very nice colorful workbook. This program includes lots of hands-on activities via the online instructor module.

    Advantages
    * Online Lessons and digital labs were excellent and allowed kids to do science on their own every day.
    * Kids retained the information.
    * Very nice workbook and my oldest would frequently do more pages than I asked him to do because he enjoyed it.
    *. Focused on inquiry skills and getting kids to think about science as opposed to just reading facts.

    Disadvantages
    *The online instructor module was a pain to use. Assigning online tests and assignments was confusing.

    http://www.hmhco.com/shop/education-curriculum/science/elementary-science/sciencefusion

  45. Bonnie Erickson says:

    I have a 5 and 8 year old and am wondering if anyone has used a curriculum that would work for both . I have a little one, 3, who limits our time so if I can get the lessons dpne together, it is wonderful! Interested in Sonlight, Nancy Larson, and Apologia…

  46. Heather Dubay says:

    I have used Apologia Anatomy, Land Animals, Winged Animals, and Astronomy, all were loved. They are simple and don’t require much, but do not do a lot of teaching into the Scientific Method or learning how to document (although the journals are excellent and I would greatly recommend them!).

    We have found that we also love Teresa Bondera from http://howtoteachscience.com (although she is NOT creation based, she does teach things your child will need to know to excel at science).

    Our favorite though has been hands down Supercharged Science. So much that I became an affiliate so this link is an affiliate link just FYI. There is a FREE webinar tomorrow that you can see how it works for yourself. I think you will like it, especially if your kids are science junkies like mine :) Here is where you can register for the webinar http://www.superchargedscience.com/affiliate/500_live_tele-classes.htm All of these are great programs, you just have to find what works for you and your family. :)

  47. does anyone use supercharged science? My son did a web class yesterday and loved it. They have a summer e-camp with experiments for 87$. I’m trying to decide if I want to spend the $ on it or not. Reviews would be helpful! Thanks

  48. Wendy Brown says:

    If you’re looking for a less boring approach to science, I highly recommend Noeo (Greek word for “understanding”) Science. It has incredible, colorful books in their kits (including many Usborne books with internet links for further research, One Small Square books, Encyclopedia of the Human Body, etc.) The kit for the year also includes numerous science experiments that are super fun and come in prepared kits with almost everything you need except for a few common household items. Each year, the curriculum is planned out for you and young scientists are given journals they can use for recording notes and each child is taught how to use the scientific method for determining conclusions for their experiments. Noeo has been my 1st graders favorite subject this year and mama loves it too. It’s a great mix of reading and hands on learning that’s fun, but easy to do. We love it and will definitely use it again next year!

  49. We’ve loved Nancy Larson Science and experiments using The Usborne Book of Science Activities with Sonlight’s Discover and Do DVDs.

  50. Anyone use Purposeful Design Science? I bought A reason for Science for our boys last year for Kindergarten but I only used the first unit. We just focused on Phonics, Math and Handwriting.

  51. HI :)
    I was wondering if you combine the science curriculum for your children that are close in age? I have a second grader, third grader, kindergartener and preschooler. Do you have any recommendations on how I can combine their science lesson using one book or maybe one for the two older and one for the two younger? Do I get a level book for the older child and let the younger one follow along (lets say for my 2nd & 3rd graders).
    Thanks :))

    • Vanessa,

      I have a 4th, 3rd, and Kinder. I also wanted to teach my kids the same curriculum so we chose Apologia Flying Creatures this year. We all do the lessons and readings together. They have a note booking journal that the older two use and a junior journal for my little guy. They are very similar but the pages are appropriate for his age. Both of the journals have lesson plans laid out…so, for example, Read Text pp. 131-140. NJ (notebook journal) p. 80 for olders and p. 85 in the younger. VERY easy to follow!
      They have other topics like Astronomy, Anatomy, etc. I was just really drawn to this curriculum because you CAN teach them all at the same time!
      FYI…if you need a bible history curriculum, use Mystery of History! You teach all the same and at the end of each lesson, there are different activities for the different age groups. LOVE IT!

  52. Hello my daughter will be a 3rd grade student next year. We started homeschooling this year.
    She is a moderate dyslexic, and there is lots to do with her. I also help my husband with our own business so I am looking for a little time off. I would like to do a online or video type science. But with the dyslexia I need one that does not require much reading at all. I would like one that has teaching videos and activities. I know there will always be some reading for her to do, and I will need to do that with her, however I am looking for one that she can do almost on her own. I want it to be Christian based. Does anyone know of a good online science course like that. I have looked at a few but it requires more reading then she can do on her own right now. Science is preferable, as I have found a great, fun history that I will need to do with her. However if I can not find a science and someone knows of a history that would work as well. I just need to be able to take one class off my plate.

  53. Jennifer Harden says:

    I also need one that doesn’t involve so much writing and reading. I have 2 children that are dyslexic. they have a blast with getting in and doing experiments but the reading can be so daunting for them.
    Thanks.

  54. We love Science in the Beginning by Dr Jay Wile. It is creation based and a hands on experiment with every lesson. It can also be used by multiple ages.

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