My six-year old daughter is circling behind me as I write this review. Her idea of heaven on earth is having scissors, tape, glue, and piles of paper with which to create things. Great Science Adventures is PERFECT for her!
Great Science Adventures is designed as a complete science program for kindergarten through eighth grade. Each book includes 24 lessons. Designed with multi-level teaching in mind, the lessons are organized around books that the student and teacher make, called Lots of Science Library books. Reading these books, defining vocabulary, doing activities and completing labs make up each lesson.
As an example, in the Space volume, chapter six is entitled "What is the solar system?" This chapter includes defining solar system, planet, moon, axis, orbit, rotate, asteroid, revolution, and rotation. The Lots of Science Library Book is read, and there are five graphic organizer activities to do on the solar system, the sun, planets, distances from the sun, and a story. You can do all, or pick and choose what works best for you. Depending on the age of your children, you can assign the projects, or portions of them, to make sure the lesson offers an excellent learning opportunity with the right amount of work for each child. This lesson does not include a lab, but examples of labs from The World of Space include sky gazing for the Big Dipper, using a ball to investigate the concept of the round earth, and learning how the atmosphere creates a colorful sunset.
At the end of each chapter is a section called "Experiences, Investigations, and Research." "These activities expand upon concepts taught in the lesson, provide a foundation for further study of the content, or integrate the study with other disciplines." This gives a great opportunity for students that need more challenging work, or have a particular interest in the subject matter.
The World of Plants discusses plants, photosynthesis, types of plants, types of seeds, roots, pollination, fruit, and more. The World of Space covers stars, sun, galaxies, an eclipse, comets, planets, the asteroid belt, space exploration, and more. The World of Insects and Arachnoids includes insects, entomologists, form and function of insects, metamorphosis, crustaceans, arachnids, and more. The World of Tools and Technology discusses friction, tools, planes, wedges, levers, wheels and axles, pulleys, and more.
Each book has all the originals that you will need. I do recommend buying a copy card from your local copy center; this program will involve many copies to create the supplies for each of your students.
When you have many ages in your homeschool, getting all the subjects covered can be difficult. The helpful folks at Common Sense Press have provided an excellent multi-level teaching resource for science in Great Science Adventures. If you are interested in learning more about these great books, see their website at www.greatscienceadventures.com, or call them at (352) 475-5757. On their website you will see all the titles that are currently available, and those that are planned for the future.
Gather your scissors, your glue, your tape, and your energetic, craft-loving students. Great Science Adventures has books, projects, labs, and more just waiting to be created and enjoyed. My daughter can hardly wait!