Topic | Middle School CM Styled Living Books Science

This topic contains 9 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Jimmie 8 years, 6 months ago.

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  • Jimmie

    Hi! I am HSing my only child, a daughter almost 10. I’m researching curriculum for her 6th and 7th grades. We’ve used Sonlight Science and Noeo Science all these years. These types of curricula are what I want — living books in a package with a schedule and experiments. A complete kit. (I live abroad and have no access to a library or even bookstores. So I have to buy it all in one shot.) I LOVE Noeo. It’s exactly what I want. But the problem is that my daughter is outgrowing it.

    So I need a middle school level living books science curriculum. Does anyone know of one?

    I’ve looked at Living Books Curriculum. They have a 6th grade science set and are soon to have 7th & 8th. But to get the schedule, you have to buy the WHOLE IG from $50-75. Also, I don’t think it includes experiments. Has anyone here used their material? The website doesn’t offer a lot of detail.

    And on a related note, since I know someone may recommend Apologia….why do so many people use Apologia? Can someone tell me how it is not a textbook? Or do we just stop using living books at upper levels for science? Even SL uses Apologia. Everywhere I look for middle and high school science I see Apologia. It feels that I’m forsaking the living books to switch to this curriculum. Can someone help me understand why Apologia is so popular among CMers?


    I really like Real Science 4 Kids. While it is a “textbook” it is fun and engaging. I add lots of other living books to go along with each chapter. You can view the books, teachers guide and student lab sheets online for free to help you get a feel for whether you’d like it or not.

    I have not personally tried Rainbow Science but I’ve heard good things about it.

    I don’t know why people use and recommend Apologia. I own two of the books (the younger version, Exploring Creation). I tried one for a few months and gave it up because it was boring and the projects were too involved. I picked it back up again (2 years later) and my kids are able to understand the material better, but we’re still bored with it. It’s too dry or something. We ditched it again and are trying a “living science” experiment where we are just reading whatever science books we want and are doing experiments as they come. I’d love to hear other insights because from my experience Apologia just doesn’t feel the same as the living books we’re doing. It doesn’t match the excitement in my kids voices as they narrate, voluntarily, to every person they meet.

    Living overseas does create a challenge. Can you buy lots of living books to cover a variety of subjects or does shipping kill you doing it that way?


    Hi! I also use Noeo for my elementary kids and we all love it. My son will be in 7th grade next year and we will be doing Rainbow Science from Beginnings Publishing. We used the High School Chemistry from them with our oldest daughter this year and she really liked it. For Jr. High and Biology she used Apologia and she thought it was just OK. The reason why I switched was because I felt like everyone uses Apologia just because there isn’t an other good Christian science curriculum out there. When I saw Beginnings Publishing at our homeschool convention I thought I would try something different. I jut don’t know if you can get away from using text books for Science with the upper grades. I have heard that Apologia is written in a way that it feels like the author is talking to you and I think Beginnings Publishing is the same way.

    Hope this helps!


    Rachel White

    There are numerous excellent, “very living” books at Yesterday’s Classics. It’s hard to not buy them all!



    Queen Homeschool also recommends Real Science 4 Kids. This is what Sandi Queen has to say about it….

    “Long-time users of the Charlotte Mason method know that much is gained through the many years of varied nature study that we offer in so many different venues. And yet, the question has always come up:

    “What do you recommend for upper grade science?” Of course, none of the traditional “out there” curriculums appealed to us, and this was a problem we faced with our own children when they got into the upper grades. Until a few years ago, when I met Christian biophysical chemist and homeschool mom, Dr. Rebecca Keller at a homeschool convention. She was there to promote her new books, “Real Science 4 Kids.”

    And I was interested!!! These books were JUST what I was looking for! First of all, they had “life” to them – unlike any of the popular, best-selling (which means nothing if it doesn’t sell the student because it’s boring them to death!!!) textbooks out there. They were wonderful introductions to the sciences for all ages, though they were written to be simple enough for a 4th grader to understand. Knowing this series would be a wonderful, interesting way to introduce the basics of upper level science concepts to my uninterested second daughter, this is what I bought to use for her high school science curriculum that year. And plan to use with the rest of my children as they enter that phase of life.

    Keep in mind, these books, even though they are targeted for grades 4 – 6 (and the Level 2 book is geared for grades 7 – 9), cover the basics of everything there is to know for each of the chosen subjects. Since my daughters were not science-minded in that they were not planning on medical school or engineering, I knew they only needed the basic information on these topics, since they had such a broad knowledge of science already from the intense nature study we have done throughout our homeschooling years.

    What am I saying here? I am saying that, like all wonderful living books, these books have been found in our family to be truly multi-level. You can use them as young as 4th grade, while the high school student who has not been exposed to these topics or doesn’t really want to “go there” will get what they need from them in a down-to-earth, friendly way. Simply put, these books fill a need in the homeschool market, and we are honored to be able to make them available to you in beautiful, full color, quality hardcover, for many years of use.”


    Thanks so very much to all who replied!


    Yes, I can buy lots of living books and bring them over. Yes, it’s terribly expensive to get them here. But that’s doable. The point is that I have to select all I want/need at one time. I appreciate your suggestion of the RealScience4Kids and the Rainbow Science. Those are textbooks, and I’m still holding out for a CM styled science. 🙂


    Yes, we’ve used Noeo and LOVE it! I just wish that Noeo had higher levels. Thanks for your input about Rainbow. I did visit the website. You said, “I felt like everyone uses Apologia just because there isn’t an other good Christian science curriculum out there. ” YES!! This is exactly what I feel as well. What a shame. I think that a science minded person could find a great market among CM homeschoolers with a true living books science curriculum at middle and high school levels. Wish someone would devise that!


    Those books are exactly the type I want to use. I’m starting to feel that I’ll be creating my own curriculum through middle and high school! LOL!


    Thanks for the review (from Queen) about RealScience4Kids. Do you use it? Again, it’s a textbook, and I’m going to hold out for a CM curriculum even if I have to create it myself.

    Thanks again, ladies!

    And I’m totally open to other options. Anyone know of someone who has created her own living books science for upper grades? I’d love to touch base with her!


    Here’s another site for a literature based science:

    I am using sets from this website paired up with dissections/hands on kits from here:

    …and lots of real life, hands on experiences, field trips, and a couple of written papers each year. I am doing the above with a high schooler. He loves it, I love it, and because we are enjoying it so much we are always adding books, trips, and DVD’s to go further with our studies.

    I also do really like Real Science 4 Kids and am planning to use it. I have to agree with Sandi Queen:

    “First of all, they had “life” to them – unlike any of the popular, best-selling (which means nothing if it doesn’t sell the student because it’s boring them to death!!!) textbooks out there.”

    They will not retain what is boring.


    We like Master Books. You can see them at New Leaf Publisher: then click on Master Books.


    My 7th grade son is enjoying Apologia this year. He took it in 5th grade but it was to much work for me. Now that he’s older he can do more himself, plus I don’t require him to do all of the experiments. This year he has learned a lot about the scientific method. My oldest daughter on the other hand did Apologia for Biology but didn’t enjoy it as much last year so she’s just doing the Lifepacs (not CM) for Chemistry. So all in all I think that it just depends on the child, their interests, and learning styles. I believe that because Apologia is written by 1 author that is obviously passionate about the subject is why it’s considered a living science program.

    I am beginning the CM method with my 3 younger children this year (please pray for me) and I am very much looking forward to this. I’ve been reading everything I can, have purchased several of Sonya’s seminars and books, and am enjoying all of the great insight from the forum. I will have to look into the Real Science 4 Kids that sounds great for my soon to be elementary students. Blessings to you all!



    Thanks for this link. These books are new to me. I will check them out. Again, they look like textbooks, but I will dig deeper to see.


    Thanks for that link too. The Ocean book from this publisher is part of Winter Promise’s Sea and Sky curriculum that we’ll be using for 6th grade. I will look at the other titles in depth.


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