Real Science 4 Kids | Curriculum Review

RealScience-4-Kids

I mentioned Real Science-4-Kids in one of my recent blog posts, but I failed to realize that I haven’t shared much with you about it. I couldn’t believe it! So now, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite science resources hands down.

Real Science-4-Kids was written by Rebecca Keller (Ph.D in molecular biology)  in an effort to set a solid scientific foundation in an easy to understand way for her kids. She noticed that often the very basics of science, chemistry and physics, aren’t taught at all until high school. By that point, there is so much new language that it becomes confusing and burdensome for students. Dr. Keller believes that it’s best to begin understanding physics and chemistry as the basis for science (biology, astronomy, and geology) at the very beginning.

We started with the chemistry book in our home when Samuel was about four and even then, he understood it. The illustrations and simple explanations even had me understanding more of chemistry than I think I ever have. As a visual learner, Samuel finds the catchy comic book-like drawings both amusing and key aids to help him grasp the concepts.
IMG_3022
Each section in the book is really short. This is perfect for those tiny attention spans, and it also prevents the danger of being overwhelmed with too much information at a time.

One of my favorite things about Real Science-4-Kids is that the accompanying science experiments are actual science experiments. They aren’t activities the kids are doing to prove a scientific point, rather the student is expected to make a hypothesis, test it out and really engage in the actual scientific method. Here is a video of one of the science experiments in action:

Since the time I purchased our books, the leveling has changed a bit, and they have restructured things a bit, but there is still the same great content in all of these fabulous books. There are also tons of supplemental materials I haven’t explored yet.

There are two main tracks when you are ordering Real Science-4-Kids. The first is the Focus On series. In this track, each subject is taken one at a time and can be taught over the course of a semester or a year. While you can teach the subjects in any order, it is recommended that you do Chemistry first, followed by Biology, Physics, Geology, and finally Astronomy.

The Building Blocks series is a leveled series that is intended to last over the course of a year. It will have concepts from all of the branches of science and will provide more content than the Focus On series.

All in all we have really loved this series and I highly recommend it either as a staple or a supplament for the young scientist in your home! If you’re interested in a peek inside, check out my video below.

 

Science in the Beginning | Elementary Science Curriculum Review

IMG_2329

In general I have been happy with Real Science for Kids, as our primary science curriculum. Both the kids and I really enjoy the books and we have learned a lot about what are typically considered hard and difficult science concepts. I look forward to continuing to use the books through the years and they will have a special space on our bookshelf. However, I feel like something is missing.  Real Science for kids seems like a great supplement, or great for small units, but not a whole package.

I’ve hunted and searched. I have explored high and low, near and far to find the perfect science curriculum for our family. There are lots of good programs out there.  I like how one uses a lot of great books, how another has plenty of  hands-on science experiments. I like how that one has a great Christian base, and this one is grounded is solid science. Nothing seemed to have all the pieces I wanted and I was about ready to give up until I found Science in the Beginning by Dr. Jay Wile.

I think I’m in love!

What I love:

This is the first in a series of science texts written for elementary students. The text goes through science chronologically, starting with creation, and exploring science as we track through history of great scientific discoveries, thoughts, and ideas.  I particularly LOVE this format for my history-loving little boy. It’s also great to keep in step with our chronological history curriculum. I really like being able to teach science and math in the context of real life, keeping it practical. This format makes that really easy to do.

There is a science activity with every single lesson. This makes my heart happy. Some people don’t like all the prep, but I find the activities super easy, and not much of a big deal. There are also lists of every single supply you will need in the front of the book, which is super helpful for planning ahead. I find these activities give us a way to see science in action and keep our hands busy while we talk about the lessons.

This is a Creation-based curriculum, but it doesn’t have weak science. That’s been one of my biggest struggles. With many of the curriculums out there I feel I’ve had to pick between grounded scientific ideas, principles, and reasoning or a Biblical worldview. It has been frustrating to say the least. With this curriculum I get both. I don’t have to chose! It’s wonderful!

Sometimes science can be dull, dry, and boring. While, this still has a bit of a text-book feel to it, it is very user friendly and easy to follow and understand. I love that Dr. Wile actually talks to us through the text as that makes it feel more alive.

I like unit studies . . . a lot! I love being able to take ideas that the kids are excited about and expand on them. This curriculum is very adaptable. We started in on day three instead of day one as it goes perfectly with our gardening unit. It’s been going great. We also did a mini unit study on rocks when we hit that section in the text book. I love using the book as a springboard for all sorts of scientific discoveries.

The last thing I want to mention about this curriculum is that it’s family friendly. Dr. Wile believes in doing science together as a family. All of the lessons are written to do together with multiple ages.  There are leveled questions and assignments at the end of each lesson for independent work.

What I Would Change

For the most part I really love this curriculum. There is really only one thing I would change, and it’s not actually a change, just an addition. I would add a resource section. I think this is so important for almost any curriculum. If we are studying about color and prisms, and my kids want to know more, I would love to have a list of books and resources right there at my fingertips to get me started. I think a lot of this might stem from my love of unit studies, but as a homeschooling parent, I would much rather spend my time “doing learning” with my boys than tracking down tools and resources.

Overall, I really LOVE this curriculum. We are having so much fun with it and I see all four texts from this series in our future with many, many hours of science fun.

Have you tried Science in the Beginning? What did you think of it?

To see the book inside, check out my video review.

{Giveaway Closed} Bible for Our Little Learners

When it comes to homeschool, it’s easy to think of Bible or devotional time as just another subject or something else to cross off our to-do list.  Yet, teaching our children about the Bible and who Jesus is is so much more.

Check out my  blog post over at SDA Homeschool Families to find out ways to teach Bible to your preschool, kindergarten or early elementary child. Then, watch the video below to see the felt set we use in our family. If it’s something that you could use with your kids, enter the giveaway over on my YouTube channel.