Science I had them (my preschool/childcare) make a worm farm. Its SO cool and we can add to it and watch the worm make casings and use that to plant flowers.
Do a search for science ideas, I know (can't remember) there are things you can do with just the stuff around th house.
Not sure about social studies only remember it was my favorite subject (I too was home school)
Keep an eye out for used books at library sales, used book stores, etc. Science seems to be pretty easy at this age. Refridgerator magnets, baking soda and vinegar, the dirt outside, there's lots of free stuff around. Maybe in the spring you could plant some seeds. Even if you don't have room for a garden, just a pot with soil could grow a plant, and if its a veggie she'd eat-even better.
Dh and I bought our 5yo dd a cheap microscope that came with some slides, cost $15. Baking is science and math and reading.
Hmm, social studies at this age seems to be introducing them to ideas of different continents and their people, and discussing differences. This would be easy to tie in if your dd knows anyone who travels. A picture of a map, and so and so went there, and this is what it is like in ? Mexico? would open up the conversation.
I am pretty laid back, I am not even considering buying curriculums. Remember that the library should have a lot to offer, and the librarians in the children's area are there to help you.
I can strongly recommend Singapore Science-- it's called "My Pals Are Here" and i think it goes through 6th grade. You can buy it through Rainbow Resource or www.singaporemath.com
There is a set of textbook, workbook, and activity book for each half of the year. The total for each set is about $20, so $40 for each year. You could also just buy the textbook and workbook, or if you're really short on money, just the workbook, though I recommend the whole set.
We couple this with DK's The Way Science Works. This is an excellent book they can start using as early as first grade (with help) all the way through high school.
As far as Social Studies-- we have used "The Complete Book of Maps," and the TV show "Postcards From Buster" is good, though we don't have a strict social studies curric per se.
My son is 8- usually we just head to the library with a list of topics that he's like to explore and make sure that some of them have experiments in them. You can do weather, earth science )plate techtonics, volcano,s, etc), animals, seasons, astronomy, simple chemisry, etc. I have my son do a very simple lab report on our science experiemnts (a sheet of paper with the title of what we're studying and the date, then "What we used......", "What we did....", and "what happened") and we keep them in a notebook. A nature journal with pictures of local flora and fauna is also great for science at this age. Take samples when you go on a walk or to the park and then look them up later. It's so exciting to see them noticing the world around them!
For social studies we just mostly talk. We have the Schoolhouse Rock DVD, and some of the songs on it peretain to social studies. They have lef to discussions about voting rights, government processes, human rights, etc. We also have some books, and have gotten some from the library. Honestly, I don't think you need to really do formal social studies at this age- it seems to happen naturally- but maybe that's because my son is so interested in History, which seems to lead us to social studies.
We're doing 'preschool' science, but we pick a topic in a 'spine' book (We're using the "Big Book of Science and Nature," but it would be too young for your dd) and then pick out a few library books on the same topic. For example - this week, we read two pages about the moon, and checked out two books about the moon, both v. basic science books, probably on a 1-3 grade level. Since dd is just 4, I read them to her, paraphrasing in a few places. And then we went outside last night and looked at the moon.
The advantage is that we just use/buy one main book.
We're doing a similar kind of thing for 'geography' - I read her a bit about a country, we check out a simple book, find it on the globe, and try to cook something from the country. Most of it's library-based, too.
khrisday brought up the most important resource-- the library! Every week we hit the stacks and they're "required" to pick some science books as well as anything else they like. We don't own many good science books for children which is why I have them choose some science books from the library.
We use the library a ton, too. For science we like Magic School Bus and Magic Tree House books. Your library should also have a section of books with science experiments. Keeping a nature journal when the weather is decent and making collections of leaves, rocks or whatever is another way to approach science. Spending time at a science museum, zoo, or nature center is good, too. We really enjoy Great Adventures in Science by Zike, too.
For history we use real books. I just pick a topic and start getting books from the library. My DDs love the American Girl books and they have TONS of history. The more of them I read the more impressed I am. I also read them biographies, Usborne and DK books, etc. There are just so many good books! We some times do hands on projects, too, such as weaving or candle making. I made each of my DDs a Book of the Centuries, if you want more info about this just say so.
For geography we have maps in the wall and a globe accessable. We find places all the time (if we eat Indian food for dinner, we find India, if a country is mentioned in the news, we find it, etc.). I also make little disks for the girls to put on the map for different things. For example, when we studied the European colonization of N. American, I made disk for the first settlements with the flag of the country and the year they came. My kids put them up with blue tacky stuff, so we could take them off and on over and over. Very easy, very hands on, very fun.
If you are just getting started and trying to decide how to spend money, I would buy a map, a globe, and a nice blank book for your DD to keep a nature journal and use the library for everything else.
The library is the best resource, esp if you have interlibrary loan available. There are tons of experiment and activity books available for science studies. Find out what your DD is interested in, find some activities and experiments to do together, and then record the fun(pictures, written account of what you did, drawing pictures, etc)!
I love Home Science Adventures http://www.homeschoolscience.com . We have both kits and have done almost all of the topic studies. I bought it through Rainbow Resource Center. DS did a few in first grade and really took off with them in 2nd. I plan to use them again w/DD. They come with everything you need(except common household supplies), a teacher's guide and a student guide.
We use Story of the World for history. The book and guide are excellent, and there are more resources included for additional reading and research. This year my mom got my DS a subscription to Scholastic News which we use for social studies.
Often time the professional organizations for different scientific societies,
e.g. the American Chemical Society, have information on their web sites
geared toward teachers. If there is a branch of science or discipline that
interests your child, it may be worth an email to one of these groups
to see what free resources are available.
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