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Cheryl
03-28-2011, 07:21 PM
I searched and searched for a secular Science program. So far, I have been using pilfered texts from my PS teacher. They are ok, just boring.

soooooooo, I look on this site, found the reviews for the program I want to use and bought the WRONG ONE!!! I bought real science 4 kids, *NOT* R.E.A.L science for kids from pandia press. I'm trying to find out if I can return it, I bought it at the homeschool expo. If I can't what do you all recommend? I found some cool childrens guide to evolution books on amazon but do I even need them yet? Do they even go over that stuff for 4th-5th grade? Isn't that middle school'ish? 6th grade and up? ugh.

dbmamaz
03-28-2011, 07:27 PM
No one seems to cover evolution before middle or high school, BUT - my 7 yo LOVED studying evolution. We looked over the book list at charliesplayhouse (website), we got their wall timeline and the cards, we found only a few picture books at the library about evolution, but that was enough. We watched the full 'walking with' series - walking with dinosaurs, prehistoric monsters, 2 others - they are GREAT - computer animated so it looks like a nature show about the various creatures from prehistory, done in chronological order, explaining various factors which effected the changes, and sometimes showing how one creature seems to 'morph' in to another over time. They are all streaming on netflix - or at least they were.

I've heard that the 'wrong' one is still a decent program. I've only seen the chemistry from pandia press, and havent actually used any of them.

farrarwilliams
03-28-2011, 07:42 PM
Yeah, I don't love Real Science 4 Kids, but it's really not bad. The text is simple but good for early elementary - it doesn't talk down to the kids. The experiments are decent, though I would personally add more. But I can't compare it to R.E.A.L. Science as I've only heard about that one, I haven't seen it.

MoonSprite
03-28-2011, 07:56 PM
We have really liked the Academy of Science for Kids Kits (http://www.academyofscienceforkids.com/). It includes *everything* that you need (Well, except water.)

hockeymom
03-28-2011, 08:07 PM
I'm not terribly impressed with R.E.A.L. science; it's mostly just a book of simple experiments and not too much "meat". I feel like I have to make up the curriculum using outside sources just to make the book useful. Since I wanted an all-in-one science curriculum, it just doesn't work well for me. So, I'm not sure how much you are missing, but I can understand your frustration!

We talk about evolution regularly and studied it somewhat when DS was 7. As with any other subject, I don't think there is any age too young, if the child is interested.

pandahoneybee
03-28-2011, 08:09 PM
Hey Cheryl~
We started using Homeschool Science Education site (or supercharged science) (http://www.sciencelearningspace.com/members/go.php?r=5589&i=l26) and my boys love it! It is run by a ex-NASA scientist and the boys love her. She is very funny and has ALOT of energy. They do an experiment for every lesson along with videos and additional reading afterwards. And it is secular as far as i can tell so far! If you sign up for a newsletter then you get free experiments too:) that's what got us hooked, Love science as much as the boys do I just couldn't teach it!

Ariadne
03-28-2011, 08:09 PM
We are science junkies here and have had the most success with Usborne books, Netflix, Magic Schoolbus videos, stuff on Youtube, science experiment kits, etc.

We have studied evolution in that it comes up in conversation fairly regularly. To facilitate conversation I *highly* recommend the BBC's Walking With Monsters (pre dinosaurs), Walking With Dinosaurs, Walking With Prehistoric Beasts, and Walking With Cave Men. They are all available on Netflix streaming. It was fun to watch 4 billion years of Earth's history like that, and it made it very easy for them to grasp basic evolution concepts. (e.g. Animals don't change themselves to adapt; Earth changes and whoever happens to survive the changes gets to pass on their DNA. If you're a little different and you survive longest, you'll get to have more kids than the next guy. Multiply this over generations, centuries, millennia and you get massive changes.

Cheryl
03-28-2011, 08:31 PM
is it too early to tell you all I love you? THANK YOU SO MUCH for all these suggestions!!!!!

We have seen the walking with dinosaurs and all love it!!! Science and History really scare me. I want them to learn it all and make their own choices.

Ariadne
03-28-2011, 08:32 PM
Hey Cheryl~
We started using Homeschool Science Education site (or supercharged science) (http://www.sciencelearningspace.com/members/go.php?r=5589&i=l26) and my boys love it! It is run by a ex-NASA scientist and the boys love her. She is very funny and has ALOT of energy. They do an experiment for every lesson along with videos and additional reading afterwards. And it is secular as far as i can tell so far! If you sign up for a newsletter then you get free experiments too:) that's what got us hooked, Love science as much as the boys do I just couldn't teach it!
Oh oh oh this looks good.

But gosh I don't need to spend more money and time on science.

Oh who am I kidding. I am weak.

Cheryl
03-28-2011, 08:44 PM
$38 a month.....................hummmmmmmmmmmm

Is there a 12 step program for collecting curriculum?

Ariadne
03-28-2011, 09:45 PM
$38 a month.....................hummmmmmmmmmmm

Is there a 12 step program for collecting curriculum?I know, right?

There's no way I'm paying $38 a month for a science curriculum. That would buy me equipment and books, you know? It's really hard to justify that cost without seeing it.

Michelle, care to share with us about this online program? What makes it worth it for you guys? <reaches for the popcorn>

CatInTheSun
03-28-2011, 11:12 PM
I searched and searched for a secular Science program. So far, I have been using pilfered texts from my PS teacher. They are ok, just boring.

soooooooo, I look on this site, found the reviews for the program I want to use and bought the WRONG ONE!!! I bought real science 4 kids, *NOT* R.E.A.L science for kids from pandia press. I'm trying to find out if I can return it, I bought it at the homeschool expo. If I can't what do you all recommend? I found some cool childrens guide to evolution books on amazon but do I even need them yet? Do they even go over that stuff for 4th-5th grade? Isn't that middle school'ish? 6th grade and up? ugh.

ps does a truly abysmal job of teaching evolution. National Academy of Sciences has a pretty scathing review of how badly it is taught (their report is published as a book, "Science, Evolution, and Creationism"). The majority of science teachers don't even understand what it is and is not, so how are they supposed to teach it? There are many good books for the adult ("Why Evolution is True" by Coyne is an enjoyable read and thorough primer) recently some good ones for kids, and if nothing else I urge you to watch the NOVA special "Intelligent Design on Trial". You can see that for free online:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

The greatest science advancements of the last 20 years and likely the next 20 as well are in the area of the human genome. You simply cannot understand biology without understanding evolution any more than you could understand planetary motion without gravity.

Evolution deserves a prominent place in any science curriculum supposing itself to be rigorous, and the fact it gets the shaft in ps is probably not something we should emulate. I think 7yo is about the perfect age to intro evolution -- we just spent 2 months on it. M 5yo isn't too into it but my 7yo has a pretty firm grasp on it and pours over the books on the subject.

pandahoneybee
03-29-2011, 04:49 AM
Oh oh oh this looks good.

But gosh I don't need to spend more money and time on science.

Oh who am I kidding. I am weak.

I know I know! I used the free stuff from the newsletters for a year and half because I just couldnt fit it into the budget! But I really wanted something fun for us all to do together. The most time consuming part was running around looking for the experiment supplies! usually found most of them in the junk drawer;) see I knew that I would use that old film canister! With the oldest going to be in 9th grade next year I figured that I could use it as his science credit at least for the first year and give me a break from having to worry about teaching science! My youngest loves doing it to and for right now we do the extra reading together;) OK I am rambling now just we are so excited to have science on the check list for now! LA and Math are checked because of T4L (with supplements as needed) now if I could get off my butt about history! We bought SOW two years ago but the ADD in me can't get past the first 10 chapters! LOL

pandahoneybee
03-29-2011, 04:58 AM
Michelle, care to share with us about this online program? What makes it worth it for you guys? <reaches for the popcorn>
BAHAW I wish! I can't explain it well enough just that they boys love science so much and I just don't have the time to find everything on my own or really the confidence to teach it the way this lady does. It is definitely the whole package, it gives it to the parent in unit studies and gives you a list of what you need(which is great for me) because once I have the supplies together we are set! Then you watch the videos, then do the experiments and then after they are pumped up about it you do the additional reading. It works for our oldest ADHD/visual reader and my youngest who is a budding mad scientist at the moment!

I never loved science as a kid in school (hated all the boring reading, ya know)and my boys love science at this moment, the experiments, the videos etc. I am planning on doing it thru the summer and see how we like it. BUT so far we did a hovercraft experiment that the boys can't say enough about, and they know a little of why it can hover! double bonus for me! makes me look smart LOL.

did that help at all? I think that every once in a while they have a $1 month special which I can post if I find out about it? usually they do that about twice a year;)

pandahoneybee
03-29-2011, 05:03 AM
$38 a month.....................hummmmmmmmmmmm

Is there a 12 step program for collecting curriculum?
TEHEE yes its called sending your kiddos out to beg for money;) Believe I know what you are saying. My goal is to use it thru the summer and see how much we really get out of it. BUT so far we have done some cool experiments which the boys retained SOME of the laws of science behind why it worked! i really want to use it for my so to be 9th grader for his labs for science next year, but I can pay the 38 and they both can benefit from it! I don't know I know that there are other science programs that you can put together on your own for free that would be just as great i guess. I just don't have the time or the desire to do everything anymore like I did those first couple of years. I was needing a little help with science so I decided to turn to someone would is fun to watch and listen to and WHO did all the work for me! hehe yes I know I am lazy right?:)

Gem
03-29-2011, 09:11 AM
We are science junkies here and have had the most success with Usborne books, Netflix, Magic Schoolbus videos, stuff on Youtube, science experiment kits, etc.

We have studied evolution in that it comes up in conversation fairly regularly. To facilitate conversation I *highly* recommend the BBC's Walking With Monsters (pre dinosaurs), Walking With Dinosaurs, Walking With Prehistoric Beasts, and Walking With Cave Men. They are all available on Netflix streaming. It was fun to watch 4 billion years of Earth's history like that, and it made it very easy for them to grasp basic evolution concepts. (e.g. Animals don't change themselves to adapt; Earth changes and whoever happens to survive the changes gets to pass on their DNA. If you're a little different and you survive longest, you'll get to have more kids than the next guy. Multiply this over generations, centuries, millennia and you get massive changes.

I am going to second these suggestions - we have watched some wonderful documentaries this year that have made evolution seem very real to my kids - the ones mentioned above, definitely! Plus some others: The Universe series and Atlas: Discovering Earth (these give a sense of changing over vast time), The Human Family Tree (national geographic), Stonehenge Decoded, Becoming Human (Nova). All these about human evolution were watched mainly by my fifth grader, who is completely fascinated by this. I liked how all these shows tied together the vastness of time, changing geography/geology and evolutionary as well as cultural changes. A big picture, as they say.

I think that seeing the workings of human evolution will make it easier in later studies to relate to evolution as a whole.

We also have the evolution time line from, I think it is Charlie's Playhouse, and lots of books about evolution and science. It is pursued in our studies not as curriculum, but as a basic common interest topic.

I do have the R.E.A.L. Science from pandia press - the life science book. It is good material, but we have not been very consistent with a program that is laid out for us to do a bit each day for science. We have done much better with what I call "topic studies". Like right now we are reading a magic school bus about electricity and playing with snap circuits and magnets. We just finished a topic study about plants and plant families using Shanleya's Quest as our spine.

You might look at http://www.eequalsmcq.com/ The Lab of Mr. Q - his life science book is free, I think. The materials look appealing to the 4th-5th grade crowd and the monthly email experiments I get from his list are fun and easy.

hockeymom
03-29-2011, 10:40 AM
Oooohhh...I'm just now looking at the Lab of Mr. Q mentioned by Gem, and it looks PERFECT for us!! Whoo hooooo! I've been searching for a better, more fun, more engaging science curriculum for next year, specifically for chemistry since that's what DS wants to study, and this looks just right. Thanks for the great suggestion! :)

dbmamaz
03-29-2011, 11:01 AM
we actually started mr q's free bio a week and a half ago . . .but Raven is, as usual, resisting.

hockeymom
03-29-2011, 12:03 PM
Oh Cara, I just showed DS the site and he's so excited. He finally wants to study biology now too, and he's talking about turning the downstairs kitchen into a science lab. He wants the books, though; online stuff doesn't interest him so much. I had wanted to do biology over the summer, but it's a full curriculum and we're still slogging through geology. The subject matter is okay, but REAL is so booorrrinnngggggg. Mr Q looks like HE will make science fun, so I don't have to! :) Can you incorporate real life spring happenings with the biology unit? Tadpoles and tree buds and all that, to make it more hands on for Raven?

Cheryl
03-29-2011, 12:11 PM
ohhhhh, that Mr Q looks good too! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! why is this so hard????? NONE of this stuff is offered on my local HS groups page! NONE OF THIS!!! whats a "normal" homeschooler to do?

I'm gonna have to buy a bigger house if I keep buying all this stuff!!! I have 6 kids! if I keep buying 3-4 different series per grade I am going to be able to open up my own HS store!!!

Cheryl
03-29-2011, 12:14 PM
We have really liked the Academy of Science for Kids Kits (http://www.academyofscienceforkids.com/). It includes *everything* that you need (Well, except water.)


these look like what our local Science center offers once a month. They may even use the same kits, they look the same in the picture

dbmamaz
03-29-2011, 12:59 PM
You know, I just wrote a long email to the people who did our home school fair about how little they offer in teh way of helping people find curriculum. There needs to be a better way.

jess
03-29-2011, 04:18 PM
I *love* RS4K chemistry. Haven't looked closely at the others, and probably won't use Bio due to the author's stated ID bias, but chemistry is great. Pre-level-1 has explanations my 4 year old can easily grasp (seriously - she's figuring out how many atoms can link with which other atoms faster than I can, having taken approximately 13 years of math and a college-level chem class more than her). Level 2 seems to be similar in depth to my college textbook, with much clearer explanations. At some point I'll probably have to take o-chem, and RS4K is what I'll turn to for review.

albeto
03-29-2011, 08:27 PM
You simply cannot understand biology without understanding evolution any more than you could understand planetary motion without gravity.

Dh is an evolutionary entomologist. In our home, evolution "just is" in the way reading "just is." Meaning, it isn't so much taught as it is picked up. I think things like this are better learned that way - a little here, a little there, when the illustration is pertinant to the topic of conversation. Anyway, here is a nice website (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/index.shtml) that explains evolution in simple illustrations. It's a creation of UC Berkeley in hopes of offering ps teachers a way to explain how evolution works in their classrooms considering their lack of resources. I thought it might be a nice side resource for you and your kids rather than a lesson plan.

Martha
03-29-2011, 08:29 PM
I really like Home Science Adventures kits for mid-elementary to 7th-ish. They come with everything you need and are very low stress for mom. I own them all and at this point, my kids just pilfer the plastic bin of supplies and folders of lessons and "play" with it.