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#1 of 17 Old 11-17-2009, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not a homeschooling parent . . . yet. I am trying to put together a curriculum plan for ds 1 who will be in second grade next year. DH is almost at the point where he will agree to homeschooling, but I want to really get him on board. I have a lot of info, I cannot find a science curriculum I really like. All the ones I have looked at are heavily into creationism. We are christian, but I don't want that kind of science lesson. I just want a general science curriculum. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.
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#2 of 17 Old 11-17-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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Check out Noeo, Real Science 4 Kids, and R.E.A.L. Science.

We use Noeo, which is put together by a Christian company. (we're secular). I like it because it uses regular books instead of textbooks, follows a Charlotte Mason/classical guide by having students create their own notebook/textbook, and has this statement on their website:


We assume that Bible study is already an integral and essential part of the child's daily schedule. We believe that science, for Christians, is simply observing and describing God's creation. Our books are carefully selected to provide marvelous examples of all of the wonders of His creation. Our materials are written to provide a framework for an organized study of science, not as a tool to provide our own commentary. If science is viewed from a Christian perspective, then His invisible qualities will be clearly seen (Romans 1:20) without any need for comments from us.

We have also chosen not to include Scriptural references in our materials. Many science programs are being marketed as Christian homeschool science because they have “sprinkled” in a Bible verse here and there. Some of these programs use verses that are clearly taken out of context. In our opinion, it is unacceptable to teach children to mold Scripture to fit our needs
rather than allowing it to teach us in context. We instead recommend that a complete, sound Bible study be used in conjunction with our curriculum (or any other)


http://noeoscience.com/frequently_asked_questions.html
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#3 of 17 Old 11-17-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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I'm looking at R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey for DS for next year. (I'm looking for a secular science program personally.)

http://www.pandiapress.com/real_science.htm

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#4 of 17 Old 11-17-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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McRuffy press makes a secular science curriculum.
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#5 of 17 Old 11-17-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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msnuclues is free, online, secular science curriculum http://www.msnucleus.org/membership/k-6.html
I'd also consider just doing some fun science experiments like the Janice VanCleave books, or books from You Be the Chemist or from Robert Krampf, http://thehappyscientist.com/

We found elementary science curriculum to be in general not great. We ended up sorely neglecting the subject, just doing fun experiments and talking about articles from things like Science News for Kids. Dd is going part-time to a charter high school this year. Her very first class in a school was high school Biology. She's got a 97 in there so apparently our haphazard approach didn't hurt her any!
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#6 of 17 Old 11-18-2009, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much! I knew I would find an answer here. I still have ton of reading to do. DH and I talked some this morning and I laid out part of my case. He said that he wasn't saying no, that we just needed to think about it. We still have at least six months before we need to decide whether we want to do it or not. Thanks again!
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#7 of 17 Old 11-18-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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Ah! I'm so jealous of all your planning time to look that far ahead at second grade. I'm kind of a planning addict and have to make myself focus on what we're doing now because everything will change so much by the time we get there next year!

We have just started going through the Montessori science progression. A lot of the activities are really simple (sink and float, magnets, etc), but we're starting at the beginning and going through because my girl is on the cusp of both age groups (3-6 and 6-9), and she enjoys the simple activities.

If you go here you will find the first science sequence under "culture" and then the second science sequence under "biology" for the 6-9 crowd. Montessori has more science than just what's available at this one website, tho. I also am really impressed with the history/geography progression.

I have been eye-ing these forever, but I don't want to overdo it on the workbook approach since we're using two different workbooks for math. So we do lots of nature observation, simple experiments, food science (cooking), read human body books, etc. And nature/science/etc. documentaries/imax. Probably we will ramp it up a bit on the formal science for next year, though. My dd is in 1st this year, and I decided not to do a "curriculum" for science this year.

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#8 of 17 Old 11-19-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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I recently purchased this book:

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 by Bernard J Nebel PhD.

I am going to start using it in January for our grade 1 child.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#9 of 17 Old 11-19-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llp34 View Post
I recently purchased this book:

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 by Bernard J Nebel PhD.

I am going to start using it in January for our grade 1 child.
We have this too. We've only done the first few lessons, but I flipped through most of the book and it looks really great.
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#10 of 17 Old 11-20-2009, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tndixiemom View Post
...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.

Lucie

still homeschooling holistically with my two boys, 14 & 10
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#11 of 17 Old 01-23-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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Tryiing to figure out a science curriculum for my 5 and 6.5 year old girls after becoming disenchanted with Sonlight science. Lucie, thank you so much for all the great ideas!

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
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#12 of 17 Old 01-23-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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I'm using Real Science 4 Kids with my kindergartner and we love it! We're going through it pretty quickly, doing 2 chapters and 2 experiments a week. We just started HSing last month but we're halfway through the pre-chemistry book and ds can explain all about atoms, molecules, acids and bases, etc. He requests to do the lab work often and for the most part he's "getting" it.

Of course it helps that I can direct him to my brother who has a PhD in chemistry with any questions I can't answer.

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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#13 of 17 Old 01-23-2010, 11:56 PM
 
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Science has always been a hard one for me to find curriculum for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madame Pomfrey View Post
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.

...

Lucie
I was also going to suggest GEMS.

And Lucie, I'm not the OP, but I want to thank you so much for all the links! What great info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Sonja View Post
I'm looking at R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey for DS for next year. (I'm looking for a secular science program personally.)

http://www.pandiapress.com/real_science.htm
We have R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey. We have both the Life and the Earth & Space versions. We like the resource list and the suggestions. I really liked the idea of having a lot of labs to do, but now it just seems like busy work (except for the "experiments"). I'm looking for a more hands-on/living science approach.

I'm currently reading Private Eye: Looking and Thinking by Analogy and Picture Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children's Books to Guide Inquiry.

I do a lot of research when it comes to curriculum and materials to buy and I think I have spent more hours researching science than anything else. I have even spent quite a bit of money on different curricula trying to find the right fit. It's taken me quite awhile to realize that the kiddos and I would do best with a living science approach... just like most of our other subjects! Duh! Why didn't I realize that sooner?

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#14 of 17 Old 01-24-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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What a great thread!
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#15 of 17 Old 01-25-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llp34 View Post
I recently purchased this book:

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 by Bernard J Nebel PhD.

I am going to start using it in January for our grade 1 child.
I LOVE this curriculum. When I read it, and see the activity my heart tends to beat a little fast.
I just think that the actual experiments are so well done. They do an excellent job clearly and concisely expressing the concepts being taught.
The program really requires the child to think scienficially, and really think, but it is done in a way that is not very hard.
Also, I belong to a yahoo group where the author is very active. he encourages discussions and gives great feedback.

We started the summer with REAL Science Odyssey and just didn't like it as much.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#16 of 17 Old 01-25-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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I have to agree Real science 4 kids is great and I have enjoyed using it with my kids. They both got a lot from it. I also use alot of Bill Nye videos to introduce a subject . My kids love him and check out his dvd's over and over again from the library.
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#17 of 17 Old 01-25-2010, 03:22 AM
 
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We're using Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, and I do love it.

I am still wondering if we should follow a more classical approach to science, and if I do decide on that, I have R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey lined up. But a few of you said it didn't work out for you, so I'm thinking maybe we'll stick with BFSU...

- Angela
mama homeschooling Satori, dd6 in the beautiful CO Rockies
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