Can I just say how much we love this curriculum? Every so often I think, “Well maybe this is too easy,” because they understand the basic idea behind much of the vocabulary, but the word itself never entered the picture. Then they show me how much they’re really learning. Nancy Larson’s Science lessons are just so very easy to follow that it almost seems as though it’s too easy, but they’re learning and thinking about science in new and fabulous ways that I credit to the well planned and yes, scripted, Nancy Larson Science.
I wasn’t sure I would like the scripted nature of it, I’m such a free flowing kind of person in the way I do things, but I do. It makes the teaching very easy on the mom, and ensures that all the information is covered in a fun, engaging way. I think this is part of what makes it feel like it’s almost too easy, because as much as I adore science, I always expected teaching it to be difficult. This isn’t. At all.
Each of the lessons has a list of needed items to either gather (like plastic bottles and the like) or take from the kit, often both. I can gather the items myself, or I can have the boys gather them by just reading the list. In fact, I think this is a great way to get the kids involved in prepping for lessons! It’s like a treasure hunt, and we know how much my kids like treasure hunting, right?
We are just finishing up the first unit, The Physical Properties of Matter, this is an area of science the kids are pretty familiar with, BUT there were some pretty big knowledge gaps left from previous experiences in the school system. Whether this was because it wasn’t taught or it was taught, but so quickly they didn’t have time to absorb it, I don’t know. I just know that ideas like transparency, buoyancy and several others were completely new to them. I was so grateful for the easy and honest approach to teaching it. They understood the ideas thoroughly before the lesson was over, and I found them answering questions that I hadn’t even had a chance to read yet! They are bright boys, but don’t always think something through logically. The natural flow of the lessons leads them to think for themselves and think logically. I like this. Teaching them how to think, and giving the tools to find the answer is why we homeschool.
This is a very “hands-on” science curriculum, which suits my kids to a “T”. They are very tactile learners and need to be touching something pretty much all the time. This satisfies that need in a very appropriate way – they even had to tape samples of textures into the unit booklet as part of the unit. Love it!
There’s one more thing I like about this is there doesn’t seem to be an ax to grind – they cover science concepts and ideas that can be measured, described and observed. All the materials needed for experiments are included with the exception of a few things, like scissors, plastic bottles, etc. For pictures of the full kit, see the earlier post when we actually opened up the box.
We are looking forward to finishing the review on this unit so we can get to the next lessons. This is one of the subjects that they wanted to continue over the summer, so we will be doing that. If the rest of the set is as well done as the first unit has been, I can see us happily looking into the next level also.
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