This school year is the first time since I started homeschooling that I have FOUR kids in FOUR different grades… and on top of that I now have a middle schooler, as Connor has entered 6th grade (gulp!) Lemme tell ya, it’s not easy to homeschool a 6th grader and a kindergartener at the same time and feel like they are both getting challenged!
So this year I decided to do something a little different in Science. Usually, science is a subject that I teach all of the kids together — what I call Group Subjects. We also have Independent Subjects, which they each do their own books, individually. Our course of study in science this year as a group is Earth Science/ Geology. But I have added an additional science for Connor to do independently ~ this is not something that bugs him, believe me. Science is one of his favorite subjects, so he doesn’t mind the extra work!
One of my reasons for doing this was so that Connor could get more in-depth study of various topics. Another reason is so that he can get a more well-rounded study of science as a whole, as opposed to the topic-driven studies we do as a group. But one thing I did not want was more work on my plate (I have enough of that!)
One day we were browsing a book store and I came across this little gem. I fell in LOVE with the bright, bold colors; the fun, informative drawings; and the full-of-knowledge-but-easy-to-understand text! So I bought it on a whim, and we are loving using it as Connor’s independent science curriculum.
Take a look inside at some of the charts & pictures:
Now, this book covers every kind of science I can think of — so it is definitely all-encompassing enough to be a science curriculum all on its own.
There are questions at the end of each chapter that can be answered and/or discussed by the student & teacher if you wish. But I wanted to get away from the quiz-like nature of the questions and really get Connor’s gears turning. So I made up this fun worksheet to go with the book.
The beauty of this whole system is that it requires no planning for mom. Just print the worksheets, pop them in a binder, and give them to the kid. No lesson planning AT ALL. At the end of each lesson, you’ll glance over the worksheet (and ‘answer’ the trivia question if you can!) So easy.
How to use the worksheet:
What you’ll want to do is print one sheet for each chapter (49 total). Instead of asking test questions, in puts it on the student to pull information that he has gleaned from the text. The information that Connor has to come up with includes:
- a new vocabulary word (and definition, which he looks up in the dictionary)
- a fact he didn’t know before
- a chart/graphic from the text (reproduction of the information = retention)
- a trivia question for him to try to stump mom or dad (he loves this one!)
- a silly picture based on the topic
- checkboxes for me to gauge his understanding of the topic
Hear Connor’s take on it!
I asked Connor to do a quick video to show us what he thought of his science curriculum this year:
I also wanted to add that this publisher has several books in this series — in addition to the Science, there is also Math, Language Arts, American History and World History. After looking at them in the store, I decided to get the English/Language Arts book — though I’m not quite as big a fan of it as I am the Science. (There just aren’t as many fun pictures & charts in grammar!) I didn’t purchase the Math or History, because our curriculum already covers those pretty thoroughly.
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