Real Science 4 Kids #1 Home Schooling Books
Science is an area where most home school parents feel overwhelmed and under qualified, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The goal of this curriculum is to provide the basic knowledge and structure so that every home school teacher, no matter what his or her background, can give students a good understanding of what science is and what it says about the world around us. Children are naturally inquisitive and want real answers to their questions. They are also naturally inclined toward hands-on experimentation. Our approach is to combine these two natural interests to guide students into scientific thinking and actual science investigation. The main purpose of the curriculum is not to turn every student into a scientist. Rather we hope to equip students (and teachers!) with enough foundational knowledge so that they can think critically about the world around them and evaluate for themselves the various claims and counter-claims they will encounter in daily life.
Science today is a huge enterprise, and even the most highly trained scientists are not masters of it all. Scientists today are specialists, and are usually very narrowly focused in one small area. But despite the volume of science information available, the fundamental concepts are simple and can be easily grasped even by the elementary school aged child. By building a solid foundation in the basic science areas of Chemistry, Biology and Physics, students will be able to understand a much broader range of science topics (e.g., environment issues, weather, space travel, etc), and will be prepared to go on to more advanced scientific training. Also, by thinking critically about the nature of scientific investigation, students will gain an appreciation for both the exciting conclusions and predictions of science and the limitations of scientific explanation.
Real Science 4 Kids is a comprehensive science curriculum geared towards the elementary grade levels. The Level I set includes basic Chemistry, Biology and Physics. In this set, fundamental concepts are introduced and will begin to form a solid science foundation. Upon completion of this set the students should be able to answer questions such as:
- What is an atom?
- What is a molecule?
- What is a pure substance and what is a mixture?
- What are the parts of a plant or an animal?
- How do we classify living things?
- What is inside a cell?
- What is energy and how is it converted between its various forms?
- What is force and work?
- What is an electromagnet?
Each of the three sections contains ten chapters divided into two parts. The first part of each chapter is a short introduction of basic science concepts and fundamental facts. The second part is a hands-on activity designed to incorporate the concepts introduced in the first part of the chapter. These are actual science experiments in which students propose a hypothesis, collect and record data, and finally state conclusions based on the data they’ve collected. In this section, the students are instructed how to keep a laboratory notebook, how to collect and analyze data, how to use “controls” and “unknowns”, and how to state valid conclusions. Each chapter concludes with a review of terms that reinforces the science facts presented in each chapter.
The Level II set expands and deepens the concepts presented in the Level I set. It overlaps with Level I so that multiple grade levels can be taught simultaneously. Upon completion of this set the students should have a solid foundation of science facts, and have learned the ability to think critically about scientific experimentation and theory.
Below is a table showing the various Level 1 Books. Below that you will find links to Level 2, Pre Level 1, and other various Real Science 4 Kids books, with ratings, prices, and links to purchase.
Looking to Expand Your Knowledge? Level 2 Real Science 4 Kids Books
Looking for Pre Level 1? Pre Level 1 Real Science 4 Kids Books
Want an even greater extended knowledge? Real Science 4 Kids Additional Books
Questions about Real Science 4 Kids
How does this curriculum differ from what is already available?
The Real Science 4 Kids curriculum differs from the materials currently available in two ways. First, the Level I series is designed to lay a foundation of science information through a systematic introduction of basic science facts. This curriculum is not a “special topics” approach which can lead to seemingly disconnected topics being grouped together. Instead, the building blocks of each of the three main science disciplines of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, are presented in a logical fashion. We believe that this approach helps students’ to better understanding and remember the important concepts. The Level II series builds and expands the basic building blocks given in Level I by introducing many new facts and concepts. Second, the Real Science 4 Kids curriculum stimulates scientific inquiry through hands-on experiments. These experiments are not merely demonstrations, but have been carefully designed to engage the students in actively using the concepts they learn in each chapter. The experience of actually making scientific “discoveries” will also help students develop critical thinking skills.
Can I teach this curriculum without a science background?
Yes! The Real Science 4 Kids curriculum is designed to be self-sufficient and most of the concepts are very simple. A complete teacher’s manual is provided. It includes much additional information about the concepts and terms introduced in each chapter, together with complete instructions for the hands-on experiments. In the student work/text book new science facts are introduced sequentially in each chapter, building on previous chapters. Additional reading materials (beyond an encyclopedia or dictionary) are suggested and can be helpful, but are not required.
Do I need special equipment to do the experiments?
For the most part, no. Most of the experiments have been designed to require only household items, and additional equipment, such as a microscope, is optional. A complete materials list is given at the beginning of each book. If a microscope is not available, those experiments can be easily skipped. For all of the experiments that will be performed a list of materials is given. To facilitate the execution of the experiments it is recommended that all materials be collected prior to beginning the curriculum.
How much time do I need to complete this curriculum?
The RealScience 4 Kids curriculum contains a total of 60 chapters–ten for each of the three basic subjects Chemistry, Biology, and Physics–in each of Level I and Level II. Each level can be completed in a single year. Biology and Physics should be taught following Chemistry since Chemistry introduces concepts discussed in both Biology and Physics.
Most of the chapters can be completed in one or two days. The text sections of each chapter are typically four or five pages in length and can be read in a single sitting. The experimental sections can be discussed on the first day and performed the same day or the following day. Some experiments require a week or two of observation and/or data collection but these are not generally time-consuming.
What age does my child need to be to follow this curriculum?
The Level I set is geared toward third to fifth graders, but this is a target age that may depend on the skill levels of individual children. For Level I the students should be familiar with numbers and be able to read and write. Level II is geared toward sixth to eighth graders and requires some basic math skills.