Sunday, September 11, 2011

Good Science Curriculums Suited to Multiple Grades

As my second daughter entered first grade this year, I began thinking about ways I could potentially group my children's instruction for certain subjects.  For the most part, they each work in separate texts for each subjects.  They listen to each other's stories and Eli comes near to listen as we read from many of their books.  I would like to follow a core science curriculum, but break that up with two or three years in which I teach them altogether.

Last year, I came across The Nature Connection, published by Storey Publishing which I love.  I plan on using this for Autumn's 6th grade year (Sami's 4th grade and Eli's 1st grade).  I love the look of the book and that it is very affordable.  All I will need is a book for each child and some nature guides.

Recently I found two other curriculums that looked very promising. 

The first was Great Science Adventures published by Common Sense Press.  Common Sense Press also publishes the very popular Learning Language Arts Through Literature Series.  I have been perusing the books on Atoms and Molecules as well as the book on The Earth's Landforms and Surfaces.  This curriculum is perfect for families who love lapbooking or for families who want to lapbook, but need it to be more organized and need everything in one place.  This is a secular curriculum so you'd want to choose science topics that you feel comfortable with being taught from a secular perspective.  I've been using a public school textbook for three years (1st through 3rd grades) and haven't had any issues so far.  But, I do forsee issues as we get deeper into our science studies.  This science curriculum has specifically avoided addressing the earth's origin.

I was surprised at how much this curriculum contained.  It's very affordable on CBD at about $19 per book.  The minibooks are reproducible for your family.  Each book has 24 lessons.  They suggest using 3 books per year, but I would recommend using 2 books per year.  Otherwise, I think it would be overwhelming to try and get all of the work done.  They do recommend the books for grades K-8 so I think you could even do 1 1/2 books per year (1 lesson per week) for grades K-5 and 2 lessons per week for middle school.  That's how I think.  I break things down per year.  How much can you cover if you do science one day a week?  If 1 lesson per week is too light, then do 2 lessons per week.  For K-5, you want to expose your children to science and build their background knowledge.  If there was a particular topic in science, like space, that your children love--you could take a break from using a science curriculum that covers all topics each year and use one of these units.  

One neat feature is that there are activities to cover all grade levels.  The extension activities are interesting and creative.  It's a simple and straight forward curriculum series.

Please note that I received a complimentary digital copy to review from Common Sense Press. 

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