These were recently recommended to me as I am looking for a second grade science curriculum. (also have K & 3 year old). We did 106 Days this past year. Was good but I would like a bit more depth. Like Apologia, but also have heard good things about both of these. I think it is hard to judge by the websites…they always say good things! Looking for some advice from families that do CM style & have experience with these…
We have used Real Science 4 Kids and looked at Noeo. The latter is much longer and includes real books to read. Real Science for Kids has its own book which explains the science and then materials to help you do the experiments. My kids loved the book. It has cute pictures and does explain things well. It is only 10 lessons per book, each of which coudl be easily done in a week, so really only 10 weeks work each, not a full year curriculum per book (though you could do 2 or 3 in a year). Things may have changed as thye updated but in my editions I found their lists of materials needed for experiments which are meant to help you plan were often incorrect. And in one of the courses (physics? can’t remember) a lot of the experiments didn’t work (and we were doing it with a friend at that point so I know it wasn’t just me). So while we overall liked Real Science, it has some drawbacks.
If you decide you want NOEO Biology I, I have an unused copy of the guide and then you can get the books secondhand to save money. If you’re interested. I ordered a brand new set (like the whole set, spent well over $150) directly from NOEO a few months ago and then changed my mind … but, too late to return it. Let me know if you want it.
As far as the set up, it’s very CM friendly. Basically, there are small bits to read each day from real books and then the child is to draw and/or write what they’ve learned. They also schedule the experiments to go along with it. You can either do science daily and only spend 20 minutes or so on it, reading the tiny chunks. Or you could easily combine 2 days into one and then do science only twice a week, taking 30-40 minutes each time. I think it is excellent. We are just too ecclectic / Uncschooly to follow a teacher’s guide/lesson plan like that. My girls love to read the books on their own and we’ll likely do the experiments for fun with Daddy. But, that’s just our style. The teacher’s guide/lesson plan is EXCELLENTLY laid out for someone who would use it.
We love Noeo. We did Bio II this year and are continuing with Chem II next.
While we are discussing Noeo, I just want experiments for my DH to do with the kids in the evening. Would this be a good investment or would Elemental Science which potpourri0710 mentioned work. I tend to like reading Apologia or just living books on Nature so I don’t need to tie it into our lessons but my DH likes to do experiments with the kids. We want something different then the usual stuff like celery stalks and the young experiments that are the usually in books. DS11 and DD almost 9. Anything else I can check into for next year?
Potpourri, I have never heard of Elemental Science. I checked out the site and it looks interesting. I’m wondering if you know anything about the living book series on their site?
Thank you all for the advice. I looked at Elemental Science (had also never heard of it). It’s so hard to really know what is best for your family until you are doing it…but all the advice helps. I need to pray more and I guess look at the sites some more as well. Thanks again…more opinions welcome!!!
Mysterious Lady in PinkParticipant
Potpourri, are you using the “classic” series for Elemental Science? They have a number of lines, I see.
For the OP, I actually just bought some of RS4K at a homeschool conference. I was thinking of my 3rd grader who has more interest in science, but not a big fan of nature (gets freaked out by bugs after some unpleasant close encounters). After talking with the author at the conference and looking through her books, I felt like physics and astronomy would be good for her, but thinking of the younger kids thought they might have some interest in the bio and chem. And I have to say that I really liked they way some of the topics were described in those.
Bottom line is that I ended up buying all 4 sets of the elementary level (didn’t buy the geology…yet). lol I’m not a big “experiements” person, so we shall see how that end goes. But the books look interesting. I can post more in the weeks ahead as the kids start using them.
Question about Real Science 4 Kids:
If you have a child who will be 10 or entering 5th grade, would you recommend using the middle school edition or the elementary edition?
joytoread I am doing Noeo Physics2 and to answer your question it doesn’t have that many experiments, it is a lot of reading (not too much though), there are some good internet links my kids liked but you can be 2-3 weeks at a time w/out any experiments. I like that program a lot, it is a lot of variety and the readers (there were 2 of them) were really good but I don’t think experiments are the strong point of this program. For the one we did anyway.
Rebekah P– It has been a few years since we did RS4K but I might be inclined to do the middle school series for a 10yo. Unless they have changed something, the books are set up so that chapter 1 of the elem. series covers the same material as ch.1 or the middle school and so on. It is actually nice that way if you have multiple kids because each could read the material at their own level but then you could do the higher level experiment. All of which is to say that the middle school level doesn’t cover mroe topics, just presents them in a more mature way. I would try to see samples online if they have them to get an idea of the reading level and see if it is right for your kid.
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