Topic | Living Science books for grades 5 and 6, AO SCM Tiner Suggestions?

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  • Wings2fly

    Can you please help me figure out what to have my 10 yo use this year and next year for science?

    I have looked at the Ambleside Online lists for grades 4 – 8.

    and the SCM list for grades 4 – 6

    I plan to have him read the SCM books.  Is that enough for 2 years?  What should I add from the AO list or other?  Is the reading level of AO advanced?

    I also have some of the books from SCM General Science and Physical Science lists: Along Came Galileo, The Fossil Book, Galen, The Geology Book, The Astronomy Book, Carry On Mr. Bowditch, Mystery of Periodic Table (AO year 6), Ocean of Truth.  Some of these are scheduled for history, but I am wondering how/when to work the others in.  Can they be read in grades 5 or 6?

    He has read all of the Christian Liberty Nature readers (books 1 – 5).  I read aloud the Among the … People series by Clara Dillingham Pierson.  We did Outdoor Secrets and companion guide/books.  We listened to the audio book of Burgess Bird Book for Children and I have the Dover Burgess Seashore Book he could read.

    We did parts of three Exploring Creation books by Jeannie Fulbright (Flying creatures, Swimming creatures and Astronomy).  I am thinking of having him spend a year or 1/2 year doing one of these books and experiments, maybe in grade 6 or 7.  Maybe Anatomy or Chemistry/Physics?  I noticed the AO recommendation is for grade 8 for the Jay Wile Apologia science book.  So do I start Apologia General Science in grade 7 (as I have seen most people doing) or grade 8?

    I also have the John Hudson Tiner books series Exploring the World of … which look too hard for this year.  Has anyone had success using these books and in what way?  When?

    Would it work okay for me to read aloud the Jean Henri Fabre books (Storybook of Science, The Secret of Everyday Things, Wonderbook of Chemistry) on kindle at bedtime to the 10 yo and an 8 yo?  Or are these best for the 10 yo to read to himself?  Are these good books?  Two are on the AO lists.  

    Also concerning AO science, we are young earth creationists and it seems that one book, The Sea Around Us, does not support that belief, based on Amazon reviews.  Are there any other books on this list I should know about?

    What are the best living science books not to be missed?  There are so many books to choose from, it is hard to pick and use the right amount each year.  Please help me decide.  I have many picture books too.  My son has no preference, but wants to study science on his own.  We will do nature study too.



    When did you look at the AO site?  

    Just so you know (in case you aren’t on the AO forums) the AO advisory is adding more living books in and removing (or making an option?) the Apologia books…..

    They just made the announcement on the forum yesterday (or maybe the day before?) and they are working on updating the site…


    I just checked the AO site today.  But I am not on the forum there.

    Do you mean removing the Apologia by Jay Wile or the Jeannie Fulbright or both?

    The books I am looking at are:
    Madam How and Lady Why

    Storybook of Science

    Gregor Mendel

    Wild Animals I Have Known

    The Story of Inventions

    School of the Woods

    Mystery of Periodic Table

    Sea Around Us

    The Elements by Theodore Gray

    It Couldn’t Just Happen

    and some biographies.  These are all listed in grades 4 – 6 on AO.  I am just wondering which ones are really good. 


    Do you mean removing the Apologia by Jay Wile or the Jeannie Fulbright or both?


    I think both….   I don’t want to quote the whole announcement on the forum as I’m not sure if there would be permission to do so…   But if you look at Years 4-7, none of them mention Apologia at all.

    Years 6 and 7 are posted on the AO booklists and schedules, and AO will be transitioning Years 8-12 as completed. Those who prefer to use Apologia (or another program) may still do so, and the change doesn’t need to affect them at all.


    Have you looked at the book, Pagoo by Holling (same one who wrote paddle to the sea)? Such a great book and there is so much you can pull from it and expand on (crustaceans, bivalve and univalve shells, molting, invertebrates, so much more).


    Has anyone used The Sciences by Edward S. Holden. It is from Yesterday’s Classics. There are no reviews on Amazon, but suggests age 11 and up. I like the Table of Contents with physical sciences. Is it a good book?


    Some AO books are YE, some are not. I think that’s a good thing. The Sea Around Us is a year 6 book though, so I’d probably wait a little bit – sometimes a bit more maturity helps, especially with deep topics. (FYI, I haven’t read the Sea Around Us yet – just going from what I’ve read about it.) I think reading Fabre’s Storybook of Science with your 8 & 10yos would be a great idea – short chapters, easy to understand and fun. I’ve really enjoyed the “living science” approach. I wish I had been taught this way – I would have seen science as beautiful, not just a series of tasks and formulas.

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