Science - What if your "walking encyclopedia" wants more?


Science - What if your "walking encyclopedia" wants more?

Unread post by cbollin »

Science - What if my child wants more?
Blessed Beth wrote:I have used Adventures for 5 weeks now and am very pleased overall.
My 7 and 5 year old sons beg me daily to do a science experiment. Is this an issue for anyone else?
Yes, well sorta yes. My oldest loves science. My husband is a PhD scientist at a Big Ten University. Everything to us is science.

Here's what we did when oldest just had to do more experiments. We did them for extra fun and not as the basis for our science lessons. It kept it fun and kept the love of learning.

Grandma got us a crystal growing kit (we'll save the jokes with my name for later).

We got some fun science experiment books from the library (Janice Van Cleave books were fun for us. And just looked for some recommendations from the librarians too.)

We watched a lot of Magic School Bus Videos. Oldest child likes to play around on a website that NASA has for kids. And, every once in a while, husband would take oldest up to the lab. After all he is a scientist who works with crystalline structures (again we'll save the jokes with my name for another time).

Here's what didn't work. We wanted to do a different hands on experiment based homeschool science program. It was driving the fun out of the science. A lot of writing, a lot of keeping really good notes and a lot of work for us. I even let hubby take over and try it on the weekends. He didn't like it. But when it was grab a library book and "hey let's do this cool thing" it stayed fun.

Just my experience.
Last edited by cbollin on Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kim Schroter
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Unread post by Kim Schroter »


My daughter is very excited to do science experiments and was thrilled to hear they were included in Adventures. After doing what is assigned for the science day, she looks at me and says "What else?"

I just ordered a book to add to her "experiment cravings".
The Incredible Secret Formula Book: Make your own Rock Candy, Jelly Snakes, Face Paint, Slimy Putty and 55 More Awesome Things
Shar Levine

I'm not sure how "scientific" it is, but it sure sounds fun for a 7 yr. old!

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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:33 am

Oh yes my 8yo ds...

Unread post by hsmomto3 »

Oh yes my 8yo ds wants to do arts and crafts and science EVERYDAY.... he is very hands on.

He likes cooking too so maybe I can get together some recipes to somehow go along with our lessons.


Re: Oh yes my 8yo ds...

Unread post by cbollin »

You'll find several different cooking activities in Adventures as you keep going through the weeks. Or if that isn't enough, I wanted to suggest an idea for turning his fun cooking into a service project --- take some food to a neighbor or invite them over for lunch some day.

Never too early to plant seeds in our children to be thinking of service projects.

Just a thought that I wanted to share a bit.

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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:29 am

Unread post by KimR »

I haven't used Adventures, so I don't know what books are recommended for the book basket. I do know there are some good cookbooks available for kids that combine cooking with history, geography, science, and math. You could do a search under "Cooking for Kids" or "Curriculum Cookbooks for Kids."
Kim ~ Wife of Mike; Mother of Matthew (21) and Tyler (12) Currently using RTR <><
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:36 pm

Unread post by Fly2Peace »

I have to agree with all that was said above.

We added in some videos (Schlessinger Media) with related topics. We added some kits and books. What we did not do, and I am so glad, is we did not add a whole other science program. That would have been too much. But, to be able to add as we wanted and when we had time, was great fun.

Also, sometimes on a page there might be several experiments, and we usually did them all, even if the TM didn't call for them all to be done.

We also got much better at the "scientific" process in Adventures, working on our hypothesis, and determining the outcome. That was fun.

We also love that NASA sight. The alka seltzer rockets are FUN! :)
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)
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Unread post by blessedmom2 »

We like science here too. There should be books at the library for more.

And check out the links in the Usborne Science book in Adventures.

My husband and I designed a science report form and my boys fill it out every time we do experiments. We take a picture of the experiment and add it to the report. We really like the form and hope to have a good science note book by the end of the year.

Those who have "walking encyclopedias"

Unread post by cbollin »

I have a VERY bright 7yo going into the 3rd grade. After viewing the science in Adventures, I have some concerns that it will not be enough to keep his interest. This is the type of child that will go to the library and ask the librarian for books on military war planes and devour each book. He loves science and I do not want to discourage that. How do you all handle this, those that have "walking encyclopedias" for dc? Is it too hard to add?

Sorry this is so long; I just want the best for my ds.
Blessings, Charlene
Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:37 pm
In my personal opinion you can add any topic of interest for your child and library books is a great way to do that. I'm sitting on this side of the screen smiling that your son is learning to use the library as a resource. Good job Mom!

We love science around here (my dh holds a PHD in Chemistry, he worked for 12 years as a research scientist before going into full time computer software development). Now, we made the mistake of overadding science to MFW the first 2 years of doing MFW and it took away the joy of science from our child. We added another full program.

What we did right was to keep doing fun experiments and visiting science centers and open houses at local university science departments. And more library books.

In Adventures, the science is light to keep interest and to keep it doable given the age of the intended audience. It also keeps to general science topics so that you have a breadth of topics to discover.

Here are some ideas to add in science:

*Adapt book basket and reading time to fit your child's needs. Maybe when they say "we want more" you can say "well, go look in book basket, let's see what we have." In the manual there is an extensive list of library books for history and science topics. We liked Magic School Bus shows and books.

*The Internet-linked book that is included with ADV--- use it to help you add in more information and ideas. When you do the birds unit in ADV -- don't forget to check out the ADV archive sticky...

* Do the Nature Journaling that is part of MFW---- it is more important than I realized back 4 years ago. I skipped that stuff because I saw it as "fluff" (well I did --- I didn't know). I have changed my views now. Nature Journaling helps to build some science skills that just will not get developed by sitting around reading books or only having lots of fun "blowing up the kitchen." All three (hands on experiments, book knowledge, and journaling) are important, I think.

Journaling will help with learning to pay attention to details and learning how to keep good records of your findings. Over and over and over my husband in his years of being a PhD faculty member had to keep excellent records of research and good documentation. Now that he writes software code, he still has to pay attention to details and DOCUMENTATION. LOL

If you have a child who is loving science the way you have described your son, use journaling to get him started in the right direction on that. His college professors will thank you for it. :)


Posted Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:23 am by cbollin
*also, let your children do the work on the experiments as much as possible all on their own as well as the clean up. Help them to follow instructions, but let them "take chances, make mistakes". Let them come up with ways to vary the experiment and do it again. (my kids love doing that as long as I back off and let them do it.)

Realize also, that they'll gain more and more information over the years. I had to learn that the harder way. My dh holds a PHD in chemistry and we tried to make sure our oldest knew every science thing out there. It's really ok to let them wanting a bit more. They can look it up in the books themselves from book basket. So, find books that are easier for them to use (even if it is a little bit below reading level.) She's more likely to remember what she finds and reads too.
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Re: Those that have "walking encyclopedias"

Unread post by Mom1669 »

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 1:36 pm
We've used the Backyard Scientist books here. We loved them! We didn't necessarily supplement with them; they were just on the shelves for those times the kids wanted to do more science. I think my favorite part is the way they have you do the experiment and then they explain why it (the result) happened. Too many kids' science books say, "Go and do this to see what happens," but never get into much discussion of WHY it happened that way.

I absolutely agree with Crystal that Nature Journaling is essential! And it has nothing to do with my MS in Biology LOL. We've done nature journaling every summer since my oldest was about 6. It really helps to develop powers of observation that are not only important in future science classes, but in many other subjects. Good writing, math word problems, reading comprehension all require students to pick up on details.

If you son is really interested in a particular topic, then the library, field trip, talks with "experts" are all good things to encourage him. Just give him time to pursue what interests him. Keeping a light schedule with planned topics will allow that freedom to explore other areas, while still giving a general knowledge base. I wouldn't be as concerned about a light science program killing his interest as I would be about one that was too heavy, where it became a chore rather than a joy. I know with my boys if I planned a curriculum choice around a topic, that was the fastest way to make sure they were no longer interested.

Switch or add?

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:05 pm
The science and Bible lessons are related to each other in ADV, so you might not want to completely skip the science if you do ADV.

You might want to add in something here and there to enrich if you have a child who really likes science. In the manual there is an extensive list of library books for history and science topics. So, it becomes easy to read more about a topic. Also, one of the main science books in ADV is an internet linked book so there will be more experiments and information that way.

Then, when you just have to have more science experiments, I've liked adding in the occasional Janice Van Cleave book from the library. That way we can do some more fun stuff and still not overwhelm the school week or end up overteaching topics that you'll come back to in a few short years. That's just one way to do it. My dh holds a PhD in chemistry and we learned the hard way to not go too deep in the early elementary years.

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Re: Switch or add?

Unread post by claraskids »

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:04 am
My dd is extremely into science - her favorite part of each day. For her, the ADV science just isn't enough. We do all of the MFW science plus 2-3 days of Apologia science. I have often found that they complement each other quite nicely.

Now, if I had a child who didn't care much for science, I would definitely not add to what MFW plans. A lot depends on your child.

[Editor's Note: Two of the Apologia Elementary science programs are used in later MFW years]
Julie in MN
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Science junkie

Unread post by Julie in MN »

kalphs wrote:Dd is a science junkie, she just can not get enough of the topic. I am wondering if I will have to supplement Adventures Science with something else to satisfy her appetite.
Posted Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:59 pm by Julie in MN
As always, I suggest starting with the included science. Then, for kids who love science, the others are right that the library list & books used often have extra suggestions or links. More ideas to add without getting tied up with an extra curriculum:

* Often sciency children include various science kits on their wish list for holidays & such. You could even make suggestions, using one of the homeschool science vendors who sell "real" stuff, like HomeTrainingTools .

* If you haven't already done the butterfly & ant farm kids from MFW, those are great science experiences. So is growing a plant or helping with a garden. Add in a spiral notebook where you jot down the observations, maybe even graph something in there.

* Whenever your child shows an interest in a topic, you can look up experiment ideas online. HTT also has some free experiment instructions.

* One of your child's "science questions" could lead to doing a "science fair" project. It can add some public speaking and presentation skills, besides being a great way to add in science.
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Adventures - Adding to science

Unread post by Lucy »

Make sure too that you are helping her to make the connection(when it is there) between the bible and the science. This is an important part of the bible/science unit this year.

I like Crystals idea of her keeping a little journal so that she can write down some facts of the day along with a picture to go with the days topic.

Another thought maybe to find out some topics she would like to learn about and get some books on that. It sounds like though that she may want to go a little deeper with what you are already learning about each week.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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he is a scientist

Unread post by RBS in OH »

momto6 wrote: My 7yo ds and I will be starting Adventures soon as we are just finishing up 1st, yay!! Anyway, he is a scientist...I mean it...he is a paleontologist who is going to work for the Institute for Creation Research. My question is this... Have any of you used the Apologia Elementary zoology books and how did you do it? Did you do both? I am assuming that would be too much? Did you do some of each? Did you skip the science in MFW? I hate to miss out on great things that go along with what we are studying!
We are in week 20 of Adventures and the science really does tie in beautifully with Bible (names of Jesus)!

Children at this age tend to think concretely and so this side of the unit study approach has really helped my children understand and know Jesus better. For example, our study of water taught us how vital it is to our physical well-being. That helped us to understand the importance of Jesus, the Giver of Living Water, is to our spiritual lives. And taken a step further, just as we would want to share water with someone in a desert, so we are growing in our desire to share the gift of Living Water with those who don't know Jesus.

I wouldn't trade this wonderful teaching for anything!

We also have the Zoology 1 book and had planned to use it alongside our MFW science. My children LOVE to look through the book and and, in my opinion, the author does an absolutely beautiful job with the text. We even started the first chapter, but it was a little heavy for my 6 year old dd and ds. AND I'm not the fasted person when it comes getting many extras done academically and our school day would be too long.

As mentioned, doing it on Fridays may work for you. Or it could be done over the summer (my plan). I think going through the book alongside MFW science just really depends on how much you care to fit in or how much your son can handle altogether. And you can choose how much in depth to go with MFW science-- depending on how much extra reading you do on each subject and how much you explore the Usborne internet-linked websites.

I hope this is helpful. Rachel

Unread post by cbollin »

momto6 wrote: Anyone else have some input? Especially if you have a very science oriented child?
I'm not sure if my kids are very science oriented. But my husband has a PHD in chemistry, so we certainly are a science loving family. He worked for over 12 years as a researcher in the university's molecular structure center. He changed careers a couple of years ago to be a software geek (I mean) a software architect. I hope some of his input via my typing might help with your planning.

Like the others have said, you don't really want to skip the science in ADV because it is tied to the Bible units in ADV.

Another thing to consider is checking out Answers in Genesis's kids site

Maybe that would be what your child would like to do to keep the fun in learning???? Grab some fun age appropriate books from them and use it on light and independent Fridays. Don't over spend of course. You can't do everything at once and you have several years to learn much. It isn't ICR, but it is the place that did the creation museum in Kentucky.

One idea, instead of also adding more science curriculum or feeling the need to finish a full science curriculum like Zoology books, is to just get some fun stuff to read that is related to the topic they like. You might find that the Zoology books that you want to use will become more of a ready reference book to use in "book basket style" instead of it having to be get the curriculum done. Can it be a reference book, and ideas for nature journaling?

Work on notebooking skills and nature observation (walks, journals). Learning to observe and take notes is a skill to have as a scientist.

Also, you'll want to make sure to keep a breadth of topics in science at this stage. That's one of the advantages of the science in ADV --- lots of topics. My husband thinks that is something important at this age.

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Unread post by blessedmomof3 »

I am doing Adventures with my 8 year old and 6 year old this year. We are doing the science that goes along with Adventures but we're also adding in the Apologia elementary too.

This year we are doing Flying creatures (kind of goes along with the science in Adventures with birds).

Next year with ECC we will add in Swimming Creatures, then the year with CTG we will add in "Land Animals". RTR we will add in Astronomy, Exto1850 we will add Botany. Then when we're ready for 1850 to Modern times I think that's when MFW adds in Apologia upper level, if I'm not mistaking.

My husband and I both have advanced degrees in science so we really love lots of science here. I really haven't found it to be too much for us. We are guilty, though, of leaving out some of the experiments that Jeannie Fulbright suggests but haven't found this to be a problem with our children learning. We do notebooking activities and usually do the other experiments in the other science through Adven.
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Apologia Exploring Creation Books

Unread post by RBS in OH »

armywife03 wrote:I really love all the Apologia Exploring Creation books. Is there a good year I can squeeze the other three Creature books into? Or, do you think that would be way to much with what MFW already has scheduled?

We have used Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. It was a great follow-up to ADV; we went through the first 5 or 6 chapters in the summer. We plan to pick it up again this spring when more birds return and they begin mating, nesting and all that good stuff. Any spring/summer is an ideal time for this book. Using the others books that MFW schedules is something I really look forward to. God's creation is amazing and fun!

Have a wonderful day!

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!

Am I making this a bigger issue than it is?

Unread post by cbollin »

mlbuchina wrote:I love MFW, but I would really like to do science differently. We will be beginning Adventures, and I don't like how the science skips around from physics to astronomy to earth science to biology... I don't like the unit study feel of it. I like a more cohesive study of science.

I guess what I'm looking for is someone to tell me it is perfectly fine to do science how I think would be best for us, and not do the science as written in the TM. LOL 8| I'm afraid I'm going to mess the curriculum up or something, I guess. Does anyone else change things?
I would encourage a different route on this.

The Bible and Science are very connected. They are not really separate subjects in ADV.
So, if you want to do more science that fits what you think is best, that's ok.

But, find a way to not leave out the science that is in ADV. When you are in ADV and learning the names of Jesus, the science topics are connected to that. I honestly believe it will help with seeing that science helps us to know God more. That is what holds it together for the cohesive science study in ADV.

In the long run, it really will be ok to have one year in the 2nd grade where science is like this.
Yes, you can do whatever you want. I just hope the reason behind the science in ADV will help you decide what to do.

It is of course your decision. Some of it comes from knowing what you want elementary science to be. My dh (who is a phd scientist) thinks "The principal objectives of elementary-level science should be to teach students to be curious about the world around them, to train them to observe, and to provide an introduction to the scientific method"
I think the science in 2nd grade ADV does that.

If you need more than what is in the program, add in controlled ways. But given how it is so related to the Bible study in ADV, find ways to not completely leave out the science in ADV. just one opinion.
mlbuchina wrote:Am I making this a bigger issue than it is?
no you aren't. you're just like any homeschooling mom and wanting more information to make the best decisions for your family's needs. Everyone's been there and I don't think we stop being there even when they are in high school. We all want to do good stuff with our kids.

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Re: Am I making this a bigger issue than it is?

Unread post by mlbuchina »

cbollin wrote:science helps us to know God more.
Yes, this is what I want my dc to see. I see how they do it in Adv.

Secretly, sometimes I wish I had never read about classical education (one book in particular). It always makes me over think things! :~
Wife to Sailor Hubby for almost 14 years
Mom to DD6 (7) and DD4 (almost 5!)
MFWK~done and about to go again
Adv.~beginning this upcoming school year
Lisa M
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Re: Am I making this a bigger issue than it is?

Unread post by Lisa M »

I am a HUGE over-thinker! I totally understand your predicament! As one who can now look back at "if I could do it again", I recommend to just go with MFW science. They will serve you well. Look at the big picture of your educational years and you will see that there is much structure coming up.

In an effort to create a perfect curriculum and follow the right plan, I jumped around alot and ended up very hodgepodge. And I often skipped formal science altogether, because I had to spend many hours teaching math to my oldest daughter. Fast forward several years: Now I have children in 9, 7, 5, and 3rd grades. I have found that most of the science they know come from reading the good books I have on my shelf! And they have filed alot of things in their brains! They constantly surprise my husband and me.

Don't worry about structure: Each of the 5 years in MFW's "cycle" covers a specific topic in science. Even the ones that are ordered within a certain popular classical education book:-) Then, by 7th grade, they start doing Apologia science. Both my older children are now in this series and often come back with memories of the very few experiments we had done in their elementary years. Junior High and High School will help cement the science that you might see as random right now.
Last edited by Lisa M on Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
DD 8 yrs homeschool; Junior in PS
DD 2017 10 years homeschool; graduated 2 of 70
DS 2015 Homeschool Graduate; Four year college tuition scholarship
DD 2013 Valedictorian of tiny PS; 10 years home school

Re: Am I making this a bigger issue than it is?

Unread post by cbollin »

gratitude wrote:We will be starting ADV once we finish MFW Grade 1, sometime next school year. We have already done the experiments for Science in the Kitchen and Science with Air for Sonlight's Science K this school year.

Is the integration so much, and so beneficial, that you would suggest using the lessons as planned even though they have done them before? It will be about a year between those particular experiments and doing them with MFW, or a little less than a year, if we did repeat them.
It is my experience that children this age love to repeat really fun science experiments. Given that you'll have a year in between them, I think you'll be fine if you do it again. You might find that you do the same experiment and then try for a twist. Or you'll grab the other book in ADV for science as well and use the internet links for more information and more experiments.

There will be times (as Lisa mentioned) that you will do some of these similar kinds of experiments and demos even in jr. high books. So don't be surprised when they do an experiment in MFW's CTG program and then it shows up in 8th grade Physical. (or in college physics for non physics majors. been there, done that!)

Kids usually don't mind repeating fun games and fun experiments. They want to "try it again". "Let me do it this time". It's just like watching them play on the playground. They don't just go down a slide one time in their life. They don't just play their favorite video game once. Science can be repeated too. Let them set it up. Let them clean it up. Let them design their own twist in the procedure.

and yes, I think the way the Bible ties in will make it worth it to repeat it.
mlbuchina wrote:Secretly, sometimes I wish I had never read about classical education (one book in particular). It always makes me over think things! :~
Then go and listen to MFW workshops on classical education from a Christian perspective to see another interpretation of classical education in the homeschooling world.
What Should 21st Century Christians Be Teaching Their Children? $3.95

Classical education is often defined by what was taught to children long ago. Should we not rather ask the question: What did classical tutors intend students to know once they were educated? Five key questions help us interpret what these tutors would teach our children today if they were in our homes, in our culture, with our language, and with 21st century knowledge.

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Re: Am I making this a bigger issue than it is?

Unread post by RBS in OH »

Hi ladies. I'd also like to affirm the benefits of using ADV science since it really helps our dc understand God and His Word as it refernces his names.

Also, I would say "ditto" to what Crystal said about a repeat of science study. Here's a little testimony to the enjoyment they've brought: There have been a number of times in this last school year that either the kids or I have brought up a concept or experiment that we remember from ADV science last year. We wanted to get the books out and read it and/or do the experiment again BUT I didn't keep the materials! I've actually considered buying those science books again when I place my next order soon. Needless to say, I plan to keep the books from now on. :)

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!
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ADV Science and Apologia Zoology

Unread post by rjsmomma »

Mexmarr wrote:Since the beginning of Adv, I have wanted to add on to science. My kids LOVE the science included, and I'm NOT going to replace it. They just think that is is so fun and they want much more.

I've just discovered Apologia for the first time. I see that Zoology is the only elementary one not used in MFW, so I was think that could be great one to add. I found a lab supply kit at CBD, and I thought that my be a great gift. I KNOW that I would skip the funnest parts, if I had to gather too many supplies..... I'm thinking that she would be proud of having a science notebook, and that I could do PLL verbally and let her do her writing there. Thoughts?
We tried using the Birds of the 5th day when dd was in 4th and it was a little much for her, and we didn't do the notebook then either (to be fair, it was probably me that didn't stick with it well enough:). Now we are doing the Human Body of the 6th day and she really loves it. We are doing the notebook now, however, not all of the pages, as most of the just repeat themselves in different formats. So she pretty much does the crossword, Bible verse copy work and then the fun mini book. I believe they have come out with a Jr notebook for some of them now that might be a better fit.

[Editor's Note: MFW studies the human body in RTR]
Shannon Meyer
DD - 13 years old - 7th grade
Used MFW for K, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and now 7th:)
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Re: ADV Science and Apologia Zoology

Unread post by baileymom »

Apologia breaks down Zoology into 3 books for elementary. We got through about half of the Flying Creatures when we did the first half of ADV. It got to be too much, even though the kids were enjoying it...we just couldn't fit it all in. Once we quit overloading, my kids really got into the Science in ADV, it's been our best Science-y times yet.

Have you considered putting more effort into Nature Study? The Handbook of Nature Study blog is wonderful. It would actually go nicely with ADV, IMO.
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1
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Re: ADV Science and Apologia Zoology

Unread post by gratitude »

Are you looking for more hands on experiments like the science in ADV? If you are it sounds like you have some great suggestions already listed.

Are you looking for more science reading with note-booking, and a science experiment every two weeks (or more); if so Apologia may or may not be what you are looking for.

We started Apologia Astronomy in January with ADV since we had done the ADV Usborne books in 2010. It sounds though like you would like to do both. The Apologia books are great if you are looking for science from a creation stand-point, and a lot of Bible & God put into the curriculum. The Junior Notebooks are great for these ages, but the older ones are too old for early elementary.

I hope this helps while you decide how to supplement ADV science. My children loved those ADV Usborne experiments last year; I hope you enjoy them.

P.S. I Love doing Apologia with my 7 & 6 year olds! :-) (It is beyond my 4 & 2, but my 4 listens a little, very little).
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