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Free Thinker
04-17-2014, 05:50 PM
I'm looking for a good science for a science-loving kid. I've looked at the Pandia Press Biology, and while it looks like she would love it, I think it would be too much for me to do. Now I'm looking at Noeo Science, maybe the Physics. Has anyone used this? Or what other science do you suggest for middle school? Kiddo will be in 6th grade, but I also have a 4th grader, and 1st graders that will piggy-back onto whatever the oldest is learning. Or maybe that's a bad idea and I need to do separate studies with the littler ones?

panama10
04-17-2014, 06:59 PM
I'm on a similar boat. I have a 7th, and two 3rd graders.
I have looked at Elemental science and although I liked it for the younger ones, I didn't really think it was challenging enough for my oldest. Plus it has lots of writing and we already have writing as its own.

I am looking at Pandia right now. Price is a huge deal here but I like what I see so far. Plus I could use later with the others.

I've also looked at CPO life science (I understand it's a public school textbook) and the CK-12 online book. My only issue with those is the experiments. We need hands on things and biology is not my thing so I wouldn't know where to start planning for labs.

I am going to put together the curriculum for the boys based on what my oldest is doing so they can see the experiments, etc. and participate.

I looked at Noeo but it's a Christian curriculum; and I wasn't sure if it would cover evolution or if it's all creation based.

crunchymum
04-17-2014, 10:34 PM
We love Pandia Bio 2. We're doing it in a co-op with a 13 y/o, two 12 y/os and an 11 y/o.

It can be a plug and play program. You can just do the next thing. The labs vary but we usually do both labs, plus a game or two and a video in our 2.5ish hour co-op. The teacher's manual has video (youtube) and book recommendations which so far have been pretty good.

aspiecat
04-19-2014, 10:11 PM
I know you're looking for something that can cover 1st to 6th grade, but perhaps you can try for something more aimed at your oldest child, allow the 4th grader to piggyback off that, and include the wee ones when you spot activities that would be suitable for them.

When DS was in grade 4 - well, about 3/4 the way through that academic year - I started homeschooling him, and after a couple of "wrong" choices in Science, I found "The Elements" by Ellen McHenry. It's an introduction to Chemistry, and has a lot of activities for kids as young as six years old, such as poems, songs, games. It has some concepts maybe only your 6th grader will comprehend, but that's obviously a good thing for him - that becomes his more advanced learning.

There is also an introduction to the study of plants, not surprisingly called Botany (LOL), and that might be something else to consider. I haven't seen that one myself, but can only imagine it's similar to The Elements. Plus, there are curricula called The Brain, Cells, and Carbon Chemistry. Again, I haven't seen these publications either, but I assume they are just as much fun.

Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop (http://www.ellenjmchenry.com/)

Good luck! :cool:

Teri
04-19-2014, 10:50 PM
I would definitely concentrate on the oldest and maybe let the 4th grader piggyback. I wouldn't worry about the younger ones.
We really like RSO Biology 2. I am doing it with 11, 11, 12, 12 and 13 year olds (two families).

Free Thinker
09-19-2014, 02:06 PM
Bumping up again! I decided to just get some books and work on our other subject while I figure this whole HSing thing out. I did get my 6th grader the STory of Science, and it's going okay. I'm finding out I really need something written out for me, I just don't have time to put together fun things to do. I would rather have something with everything laid out. I did buy Ellen McHenry's Basement Elements, but I'm pretty sure my 1st graders don't want to do that. I plan to do it w/ my 4th and 6th graders this winter. Now I'm considering just getting a 6-8th level textbook, or RSO Biology 2. Can someone give me a rough estimate of how long it takes you do it a chapter?

fastweedpuller
09-19-2014, 02:16 PM
We're doing RSO Bio2, and it takes us a solid week to do one lesson. That's the way it is set up, by the way: the author has broken it down into what to do if you're planning on doing it 5 days/week, 3 days/week or (like us) 2 days/week. My kid is science mad but even with 2 days when the calendar is otherwise cleared we've had a hard time getting everything done. This could be because the currculum is aimed at grades 5-8 and like any other age group there's a great range of abilities between these years. So maybe DD is on the slow but steady track (I hope anyway).

HTH. We bought it because it's scripted.

Free Thinker
09-19-2014, 03:08 PM
That is what I am afraid of, that it will take me too long. I guess I could spread it out longer if I need to? I am also considering just getting Holt Science and Technology Life for this year, and letting the littles follow along w/ books on their own level.

fastweedpuller
09-19-2014, 04:31 PM
FreeThinker, there are a couple other programs I can think of that are fairly scripted and are classically bent like RSO. I am sure others can weigh in too (I haven't used them and I only have 1 kid!) but there's
Elemental Science (http://www.elementalscience.com/)
and
Classiquest Science (http://www.classiquestscience.com/)
Both of these hit the earth/astronomy, biology, chemistry fields.

Chemistry: The American Chemical Society (think that's what ACS stands for) has a free middle school chemistry program (http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/lessonplans/) that is great I hear.

Otherwise, Holt is very solid. Problem with textbooks is it does require the parent to have THE lead role in instruction.

But if you are looking for something that your littler kids can tag along with, you might have to read ahead and modify whatever it is you do. I have enjoyed reading Emily from Build Your Library's posts (http://buildyourlibrary.com/multi-grade-teaching-an-example/) on how she teaches 4 kids...it can be done with a bit of planning.

I work full time, so I am looking for some help with the tougher classes too for my 5th grader; more scripted and more scheduled tends to be the way we have to go to get things accomplished. I would imagine teaching 5 kids would be the same kind of time crunch? Anyway, good luck!

Free Thinker
09-20-2014, 05:50 PM
I found a CPO textbook on-line, and showed the 4th grader a few different ones. They were too difficult for her to read. I want something both 4th and 6th graders can read! She was able to read and understand the RSO excerpt, so I printed out the first 2 chapters and we are going to give it a go this week! I am hoping it isn't as difficult as it looks. Sometimes things just seem overwhelming when you are reading them, but seem easier when you are actually doing them. I hope that's the case for RSO! They will like both of the experiemnts, and DD1 already has a microscope w/ slides, so we are set there. Does anyone know of a RSO pintrest board, that gives links to experiments and ideas? If this week goes well, I guess I will purchase them w/ the sale code. If it's just terribly hard, I can always continue into the summer or finish up next year.

And does anyone know if RSO is going to have another level 2 out soon? Earth science or Chemistry? Is there a plan to finish the series?

LAR
09-20-2014, 09:52 PM
I'm using Exploration Education Science with our 6th and 4th grader. It's going really well. The lessons take 20 minutes - an online lesson, question/answers in a logbook, followed by a daily experiment/activity. We add in reference books when needed. For example, Basher books or Wile E Coyote series.

This may be a bit light for some families, but the girls also take science classes through our co-op and local aquariums which is a fabulous supplement.

fastweedpuller
09-21-2014, 10:04 AM
I hope that's the case for RSO! They will like both of the experiemnts, and DD1 already has a microscope w/ slides, so we are set there. Does anyone know of a RSO pintrest board, that gives links to experiments and ideas? If this week goes well, I guess I will purchase them w/ the sale code. If it's just terribly hard, I can always continue into the summer or finish up next year.

And does anyone know if RSO is going to have another level 2 out soon? Earth science or Chemistry? Is there a plan to finish the series?

Free Thinker, some wonderful responses came up in this recent thread: Real Science Odyssey Biology 2 (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/homeschool-curriculum/14302-r-e-l-science-odyssey-biology-level-2-a.html) Crunchymum and Sciencegeek are complete goddesses after all the info they supplied.

Pandia Press does indeed have plans to complete the series. Blair Lee (author of RSO Bio2 and others) is working on geology/astronomy (I could be wrong=It could be chemistry). She links a lot of stuff on her blog (http://blairleeblog.wordpress.com/), including how to approach Bio2 as a co-op (thanks to Crunchymum's post here, incidentally).

And yes, there's at least one Pinterest site (http://www.pinterest.com/pandiapress/real-science-odyssey-biology-2/).