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  1. #1

    Default Earth Science books?

    I've run into a snag with my kiddo - we're now using units from Moving Beyond the Page for science, and we've stumbled upon a book that he just can't handle. (Barron's Painless Earth Science, ironic since it's proving to be a real pain for him.) It's got small, tightly-packed text and dry writing that's about at a high school level. My kiddo's normally fine with texts geared for older readers, but this one is not working for him - he can't get past the dense-ness to understand the meaning. And of course, it's the core text for 3 of the units we've got planned. (Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere) Go figure.

    Has anyone done Earth Science with an upper elementary/middle school child and used a book they loved? My son's in 5th grade, for what it's worth. I'd be happy to use the lessons from MBtP if I can find another book that would teach the same information in a more approachable way... But I can also create my own units around a different book or books if necessary.

    Thanks

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  3. #2

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    Is it more information than would be in a Usborne type reference book?
    On short notices, I usually just swap out with free video documentaries I find on youtube / amazon / netflix. Crash Course has been a favorite of my older boy.
    If the concepts arent too much, you can also read it aloud to him.

    (Im doing prehistory unit study now, and the boys expect a daily documentary before lunch... even when none was planned.)
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3

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    Earth Science books?
    I was going to suggest as AM did to read it aloud to him and discuss it with him on the spot. You can also paraphrase and condense dry text on the fly that way.

    AM, for those days that your ds's want a documentary when you have none scheduled, have you seen the PBS/Youtube series called It's Okay To Be Smart? I plan to use a few of their videos for prehistory studies when ds is closer to middle school age. Here is one about Deep Time that could easily tie into prehistory and they have a lot more that could tie in as well


  5. #4

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    MHA, Thanks! My oldest watches Its Okay sometimes on his own. If I dont see something I like on Amazon or Netflix, I will let him help me find something “reputable” from youtube.
    We probably should renew our PBS Passport, but I hate the idea of being nickeled and dimed to death for tv. (We ditched Cable years ago.)
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  6. #5

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    The episodes I've been saving for future use are all on Youtube for free. No subscription necessary. If you want to get away from the ads and comments and stuff on Youtube, you could run the address through something like ViewPure or something though.

  7. #6

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    Thanks, alexsmom and MapleHillAcademy.

    Yeah, it's more in-depth than an encyclopedia type of book. Though it might be helpful to pick up a Usborne or DK or whatever to use as a base anyway, since he's struggling to make any sense of the book we do have. Couldn't hurt!

    There's no series of Earth Science Crash Course videos, unfortunately! I took a general look for earth science videos on YouTube and didn't love what I found, but I should probably try the specific topics we're covering - maybe there'll be something more accessible that will help my son make heads or tails of things.

    I have been reading the pages to him since we began this unit. The problem is, read-alouds are not his preferred learning style. He's far more of a verbal/visual learner and finds it difficult to focus on being read to for very long, so he's still missing a lot of the sense of what's being read even when I read aloud. I know he's absorbing less (and his frustration levels are HIGH), so I was hoping someone would be able to weigh in with a book their kids loved...

    I hadn't come across It's Okay to Be Smart, so I'm glad you mentioned that. Another resource is always welcome, thanks.

    Oh! A question specifically for you, AM, if you don't mind - I was thinking of paying for the PBS Passport, but I was wondering how useful it would be - do you get access to all the stuff that is otherwise unavailable, like old Nova episodes and such? Is it worth the monthly fee? Thanks again!

  8. #7

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    My feeling on Passport is that youre supporting your PBS station, for however much that is worth to you. But yeah, I believe you get access to all the NOVA and Nature documentaries. (I tried convincing our charter school to pay for it for us, but apparently giving us access to back episodes of Antiques Roadshow wasnt approved).

    I remember when we were studying geography, there was some Australian or NZ high school teacher who had a lot of videos on youtube.... also one from Dallas area. Once I found a teacher I liked, Id often go back to that resource. (Most courses seem to have the same general sequence.)

    If you son learns best by videos, theres no reason to not use it as a primary instruction tool. Decades ago, it wouldve been unfeasible, but now there is no reason to stick to books. Especially dry unengaging ones!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  9. #8

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    I can't recommend a text, but both of mine loved Christiane Dorion's books and the TinyBop apps. We somehow cobbled together a full program from just 'supplemental' stuff.
    Home schooled two kiddos from a remote location for seven years. DD16 has transitioned to public high school. DS8 tried PS, but likes home schooling better.

  10. #9

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    My son can't focus on videos as a primary learning mode - they're great as a supplement to reinforce what he's learning, but he needs to read first. I will keep looking for videos that fit our topics. I use videos all the time when I'm working with him, I just haven't found an Earth Science channel that I'm particularly fond of... (Maybe it's that earth science is kind of a dry topic itself?)

    Probably worth seeing if there are some old NOVA episodes that might help.

    Those Christiane Dorion books look lovely - thanks for pointing them out, Solong!

    I bought Mr. Q's earth science book and we're going to give that a try for a bit. I need to read through the whole thing myself and prep for teaching it to my kiddo, so we're pausing on science for a few days until I can get caught up. Fingers crossed that it goes better!

  11. #10

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    We just started doing the CuriosityStream (free 1 month trial). It has way more apparently quality videos than ive found on amazon prime or netflix. Watching WalkingWithDinosaurs now, and it looks like there is a ton of documentaries on the rest of prehistory and evolution as well.

    (We had originally subscribed to netflix for the documentaries, but they definitely have gone away from that in the past coulle years.)
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

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Earth Science books?