Originally Posted by tndixiemom
...I cannot find a science curriculum I really like. All the ones I have looked at are heavily into creationism...I just want a general science curriculum. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.
Until about a month ago I was the science coordinator for our local children's museum and the one thing I noticed in teaching science to classes in the museum and in schools is that there's too much emphasis on texts in elementary school science. My homeschooled kids never saw a science text until middle school and they both are WAY ahead on science.
I recommend making science interesting and fun - because science IS interesting and fun. You cannot really do that with a general text in the elementary years. Pick up just one thing a month and
have a ball with it - I promise the kids will learn more from that than from any general text. Here are some I recommend:Anything from GEMS
These little short units from Berkeley's Lawrence Hall os Science are fun. inquiry-based, and usually require easy to find materials.
Find your child's interests and go with them - mine loved animals and one of the best resources we have used is a little series of books with fold-out dioramas and slide-together cardboard animals
. Each story tells of an adventure with a scientist within a given ecosystem and after you encounter an animal, there's a pocket with pieces to slide together & make the model of the animal. My son LOVED these.
Plus be sure to do messy stuff like the Mentos explosion
. You can find instructions for a lot of experiments online at Steve Spangler's site, the Exploratorium site
and a multitude of others - free. Then save your cash for supplies.
Pick up experiment books at the library, like Janice Van Cleave's. They have loads of experiments with simple household items and each one has just one point explained at the end.
And finally, take your kid to any toy store or even Wal-mart and let them pick out a science or engineering kit - they LOVE having the chance to choose.
Just keep it interesting and decide on just one point to make out of doing an experiment. Your child doesn't need to "get" Newton's Laws of Motion out of a Hot Wheels set, but you CAN use one to do a fun experiment and chant "For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction" at a few points, etc. They WILL remember just one thing and then the next time you do another.
Then in middle school, you can start some inquiry-based science like Biodiversity Basics, and get a Chemistry Set.
Sorry so long, I'm passionate about science.