Earth Science

We are pretty close to wrapping up Elemental Science Logic Stage Biology!!

We’ll be getting together with three other families to do the dissection together with the kids.  Should be fun!  I’ll post pics when we do that.

But, what to do next!?  I’m not going to say Elemental Science was bad or hard or anything negative at all.  It really wasn’t.  We enjoyed it and worked through it and did almost every experiment.

However, I have learned quite a lot through the process of using Elemental Science.  It used the encyclopedia’s a lot as its main resource and it got me thinking -why then do I need to purchase a curriculum for science?  There are tons and tons of experiment ideas online, there are tons of videos, documentaries, etc etc.  And there are loads of awesome encyclopedia’s for science..  Yes, it is absolutely super simple to get a curriculum that walks you through what all you need, what to do next, etc.  I can definitely see why it would be helpful and easy and oh so simple.  However, it costs an arm and a leg.

I had actually considered ClassiQuest next.  I love how it looks so robust and offered a lot of hands on experiments.  However, I just don’t have the finances right now to purchase this curriculum.

Enter hours and hours of alternative ideas for  our next Science choice.

At first, I wanted to do Physics with the kid.  However, after several hours of researching this, I learned that it would be in my daughter’s best interest to hold off one more year before tackling that subject.  Having algebra under her belt will help tremendously so we’ve put that on the back burner for now.  We kinda already did Chemistry and I do plan on revisiting this subject more in depth, but again, not quite yet.  So, what’s left?  Earth Science and Astronomy.

I researched ideas just about everywhere online, message boards, reviews, homeschool blogs -you name it, I probably visited it!

I came across an awesome lab book for Earth Science that was actually used by college students.  Time and again, I ran across homeschool moms saying they were using it for grades 7th through 9th.  Hmmm  so I further investigated it and ‘lo and behold it looked perfect.  It’s called Applications and Investigations in Earth Science (7th Edition) by Edward J. Tarbuck.  I got it used for eight bucks!

I also got access to the teacher’s instruction via Pearson’s website for free (you just need to fill out a form requesting access), and I found some amazing resources available via that site, as well.  Mini flash movies, powerpoint presentations, etc. etc.

I will also be using DK’s Earthbook and some neat online links filled with extras:

http://www.thesciencequeen.net/7Units.htm

http://geology.com/teacher/

http://middleschoolscience.com/earth-science/

I have a box of minerals and rocks so we can test its hardness, luster, etc., I have this beautiful visual book for Astronomy, a telescope, and celestial body navigation pamphlet.

I think I can make this all work!

I’ve been sitting down with my book, links, and jotting down notes on how I want to proceed with this.  I am, essentially, making up my own curriculum for Earth Science.  Yes, it is quite time consuming!  So for those who need something that is already put together and organized, this method is not for you.  For those who don’t mind the prep work required, I say go for it!!  I already have a bunch of the materials and books on hand so I essentially only had to shell out money on a used copy of Tarbuck’s book.

I’ll let you know how it actually goes once we start.  I don’t foresee us beginning this until June.  Wish me luck!  :)