building foundations of Scientific Understaning?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-09-2010, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I have this book on ILL -- and I am torn.

HoW has it Worked out -- day to day -- for others.

I am looking at a kindy level; and Wonder if this is just a bit much for us?

I am so poor in the science area, i am looking for something to act as a guide to be my "cruch". I don't Want a lot -- observation, looking at catogorys ... the basics ...but my mind freezes at science; i am not good at it, never liked it myself and don't knoW much about even the basics really

Is this too much -- or not

I love the set up (floW charts and so on), but Wonder if the lessons are just too much

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#2 of 6 Old 08-09-2010, 04:16 PM
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A friend is using it. She's only just started it, but so far she likes it.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing and living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-09-2010, 04:44 PM
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I just got the book a few days ago so I don't have too much to say about it yet but so far I really like it!

I'll be using it for my 2nd grader and my Kindergartener simultaneously. I really wanted s curriculum that I could tandem teach since I have already split up math, phonics and some language arts. I want to teach science and history in tandem for now so that it cuts down on the time it takes to work through everything.

I spent a few hours last night flipping through the lessons and checking out the layout and the "experiments." Not only do I think my kids will really enjoy it but I also think that they will learn a lot. Each lesson seems to have lots of ways to tailor it to each child's individual needs... like leaving out writing/reading for K student and adding in "assignments" as needed for my 2nd grader. I also very much enjoyed the author's section on becoming a learning coach that really supports your kids' learning processes.

I also like that if you are starting the book at a K level you could essentially take all 3 years (K, 1 & 2) to get through it. This would give you the opportunity to delve more deeply into things you really like and also to go at a slower pace overall. There is not too much planned out for you as far as scheduling, which I appreciate. I'm going to move rather quickly though it for my son so he is ready for 3rd grade science next year (he is gifted but this is his first year homeschooling and his public school "didn't have time for science" at a K and 1st grade level). We'll take time over the summer to go back and delve more deeply into things that really interested him.

Overall, I think the book was WELL worth the $20 I paid for it (I think it is easily worth double that, personally). I am very pleased with what I have seen so far. The author recommends additional books in each chapter, should you care to elaborate on a lesson, which is something I really appreciate. I will also supplement with worksheets from online sources. I'll write a review once we start implementing the lessons! Hope this helps!

ETA: The lessons really do build on each other so even if you only get through a handful this year you will still have them to build on for next year.

Beth )O( Homeschooling Mama to blahblah.gif DS (7) luxlove.gif DD (5) and sleepytime.gif DS (1) & #4 on the way in October!!! love.gif
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#4 of 6 Old 08-09-2010, 05:03 PM
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I really love both Dr. Nebel and BFSU.

I understand the common hesitation at the is not open-and-go particularly at first glance...but I feel it is a very solid approach that is at the same time rigorous and approachable for little kids. I would 'subtitle' the book (tongue in check) Avoiding Scientific Misunderstandings about the World for Beginning Scientists...I feel it offers just what it advertises, a fantastic Foundation upon which later study of science will be that much stronger having cleared up things commonly misunderstood.

Love it.

I have been using it with DD since she was 4.5 (she is almost 5 now.) We are about 1/4 of the way through, so I feel like we're over an honeymoon period and still going strong.

I use it as a guide to conversation, more than anything else. My goal when we go through a unit is that when we finish, she will feel comfortable with the objectives listed in the front of every chapter. Some of these are very intuitive for her, so the lesson is more a brief reminder/illustration. Some take more investigation for her to be convinced.

I implement it roughly like this...I go through the book 6 or 8 lessons at a time and make note cards on each chapter; I copy the objectives, make notes about any activity I have in mind to demonstrate them, and I check the chapter bibliography against the local library catalog and pick out a book or many two on the subject. Then I file the cards in a box.

Once a week on Science Day, we talk about the new chapter and use the objectives as a kind of discussion guide. We often do an experiment in the book , but we've skipped them if DD can predict the results easily, too. We add a book about it into the bedtime story rotation for the week.

When she feels confident with the lesson objectives, she's been making a little science journal and recording/illustrating them as we go along. I keep this very simple. For example, lesson 1 is 'sorting things into categories' so our journal work for week one was getting the notebook and using stick-on tabs to organize it into the 4 science disciplines Life Science, Earth and Space, etc. She's drawn pictures of solids/liquids/gasses, drawn the earth and the sun and described night and day in a sentence, drawn different types of energy, drawn a food chain and a life cycle and labeled it get the idea. Most (but not all) of the chapter objectives get recorded into the journal and I catch her looking through it and reading the past pages we've made so I love this, too, it's clearly reinforcing the things we've discussed.

(I could post a few of her pages...but maybe just because I'm proud of them ;-) I've thought of making a blog for our BFSU because I enjoy it so much.)

To answer your question: I do not feel it's too much. If you tried to read aloud every word or read every book or do every demonstration it might be. But the ideas are not, in my opinion or experience, too much for a K'er (say, for example, the sun is on one side of the sky in the morning and the other at night...did the sun move? No, the Earth turned!) and how your child learns those ideas best is the flexibility that the book offers. Nebel is thorough and wants parents to feel they have a solid foundation, but IMHO does not intend to overwhelm small children. Just arm you to guide them through these discoveries about basic ideas of science.
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#5 of 6 Old 08-09-2010, 05:11 PM
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i don't use it or own it, but wanted to mention there was a thread a while back & dotnetdiva ( shared some kind of go-along spreadsheet or something with this curriculum. it was very well done & would be worth asking her to share again (or perhaps if you do an advanced search, it will pull up). i don't have personal experience, but just wanted to mention that, as it seemed like it would be something i'd personally want to incorporate if i used the curriculum. hth.

ETA - i found it. hth.

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#6 of 6 Old 08-10-2010, 09:09 AM
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I absolutely positively adore this program! We have 5 science programs here, but this is the one that I feel very confident about. It's just so solid but so adaptable. That's what I love about it. The info isn't "dumbed down" if your child is ready for more, but they can either get the surface of the lesson or go much deeper. I just browse the lesson ahead of time, order some library books based on the info at the end, and get any materials ready. When it's time for the lesson, we just pick the bits and pieces that make sense for my son. I spend maybe 15 minutes of prep time total for each lesson. Even if we just do it once/week, I feel like he's getting a better science education than if we did some other program 3x/week. It's not for everyone, but as you can tell, I love it!
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