Today, I'm going to share with you all my absolute favorite curriculum purchase of each year!
I wish we had found this curriculum earlier in our homeschooling! It wasn't until Dan Jr. hit 3rd grade that I really ventured out from the comfort zone of a "boxed" curriculum.
Dan Jr. is a unique kid. Although we've never had him officially tested, I could very easily classify him as 2E. I'd go into detail, but that would be an entirely different post...or blog! lol!
He very much needed something more "intense" then the average curriculum. He needed something different. Something that would hold is attention, keep his interest and be fun!
Best. Science. Ever.
|I do want to mention one thing. Even though this curricula is Bible-based, they do not use only the King James Version.|
We keep our Bibles on hand for scripture reading, memorizing, study, etc.
We absolutely loved the Exploring Creation Series written by Jeannie Fulbright for elementarty grades! Dan Jr. did Astronomy for 3rd & 4th (it's his absolute favorite topic, so we stretched it and really studied it!). We did Botany for 5th and Anatomy/Physiology for 6th. Ben & Jo are wrapping up Astronomy in the next 2 weeks!
I have learned more Science in the last 4 years of homeschooling than I ever learned in the 12 years of school. I highly recommend them!!
This being Dan's 7th grade year (yikes!), it was time to move on in his studies and hit the hard stuff.
Enter my absolutely favorite homeschool product EVER!
The Lab Kit.
Not offered by Apologia itself, this kit (and others like it) is put together buy a company called Nature's Workshop Plus. They have put together countless lab kits for several projects and science curricula!
There are actually a couple of companies that build lab kits for various science curricula, but Nature's Workshop Plus offers the most complete I've seen.
Even if you feel you can get by with what you have on hand, I HIGHLY recommend buying the kit.
I cannot even tell you how many times we've needed an ounce of something, or 3 pebbles, or specific shade of food coloring, and have had to skip or postpone the lesson 'till I could get the missing object.
After Dan's first year of Astronomy, I swore I'd never do that again - and I haven't!
Seriously, it's the best $ I spend each year.
As soon as I get the box, the boys & I can't help but open it up! Usually it's packed so perfectly that we have to find another bin or box to put it all in after we've rummaged through it. Doh!
Fortunately, I snagged a bunch of these bins from IKEA for $1.49. Everything fits perfectly!
Just about (but not quite) everything you'll need for EVERY project/activity is in the box! Not only is it all there, but they have taken the guess work out for you and organized everything you'll need for each chapter (or module, depending on book)! They even tell you what you'll need to provide (like water, or measuring cups or other super common household items), what you can reuse and what lesson you can reuse it for!
They really include everything they can. I mean, who doesn't have a bowl?!
But, seriously, when you're doing the experiment with a baby on one hip, while 2 other kids asking questions about their schoolwork and the dishes sitting dirty in the dishwasher, you'll be glad it's in the box!
AND! For those of us who were born with black thumbs and/or allergic to the outdoors (which I am both), and don't garden - this one has a shovel! A SHOVEL.
Okay, so it's a spade. But, still. It's in the box!
Here's why you should buy a lab kit, no matter what curricula you use.
*You WILL NOT have everything you need for every project. Yeah, yeah, every curricula says: "Fun activities and projects you can do, using common household items. No extra stuff to buy! Blah blah blah." And then today's project (that you totally forgot to add to the lesson planner) needs iodine. Yeah, chances are you won't have that. Even if you happen to have some in your cabinet, there so many other random things that you just might not have that are in these kits. Sugar cubes? Really, who keeps those any more? Yarn? I have 3 non crafting boys. Duct tape? Daddy took it with him to work! Magnifying glass? Oh, you mean the one the baby hit against the wall and cracked? You get the idea.
--> If you don't have what you need, you will not get the experiment done on time or at all.
-->If you don't do the experiment, they might not understand the concept!
*The activities, projects and experiments make the content in the book come alive! The kids become engaged in what they're learning, remember what's being taught and can relate to it!
*Having everything you need on hand keeps the day running smoothly. I cannot tell you how frustrating and chaotic it can get when everyone has to stop what they're doing to search the house for the roll of electric tape, or dig in the back yard for 10 medium sized stones. Seriously, it's amazing to have it all ready to go!
If you're homeschooling, running a co-op, a teacher, or just have a kid who loves extra science fun, take a look at this website!
I think you'll be glad you did.