How to Choose a Science Curriculum

If you are like me, you love paging through homeschool catalogs and reading reviews online.  So many fun subjects to teach and so little time!  The choices are endless and often times overwhelming!  Science curriculum is a big one for me.  They all look like so much fun!  Here are a few things to consider when making your choice.

Your child’s age

Early elementary is a blast as everything is exciting to them.  Kids are natural explorers and it’s our job to fill that inquisitive mind. 

Experiments should be kept simple and as hands on as possible.  Heavy texts and long explanations will ruin the fun.  Using every day objects further encourages their little minds to reach for more. 

When we soaked an egg in vinegar and discovered that the vinegar dissolves the shell, the first question was “what other things will vinegar dissolve?” and that was a fun question to explore!

Cost

You can go at it free with help from the library and hundreds of online sources ranging from free coloring pages to experiments. 

Science videos are a plus and many are free on youtube.  The Magic School Bus has been some of our favorite videos for years now.  I have learned a lot from them also!  

Equipment can become expensive as the science becomes more advanced.  Textbooks for older grades are also expensive.  Buying used is always a great option.

Your lifestyle

With three kids schooling full time and two little ones needing attention, its easiest for me to teach science as a group. 

I have to choose a curriculum that has simple experiments to keep my five year old engaged as well as some heavy text for my 9 year old science buff. 

If you have more time to commit to science and your child loves it, go for it! 

There are many unit studies which tie in writing, art, and vocabulary with science themes.  I like this as children will retain more if they have the opportunity to express what they have learned.

Some routines prefer self taught, workbook style.  Often these require a lot of reading, but they are designed to be inclusive-very little side prep for busy moms.  Many of the experiments in these curriculum are meant for the child to do by themselves.  If you have multiple grades, this could be a good choice. 

I have not been successful with them, however, as I felt I was spending a lot of time trying to fit three different science curriculum into our day and I was “bouncing” back and forth.

Biblical VS Secular Science Curriculum

I believe God is creator of heaven and earth and therefore should be included in all aspect of our learning, especially science.  I choose a science curriculum that reflects this and gives credit to God for the incredible way our bodies work or the creativeness of nature. 

Taking a moment to consider if you want creationism or evolution or something in between will help narrow your choices.

Read the reviews!

Most people are quite honest in their reviews which can give you a feel for if that curriculum will work for you or not.  We all have different learning styles, age groups, and interests so search until you feel comfortable with one that fits your needs. 

Don’t buy one because your neighbor loves it or one of the moms from your co-op highly recommended it. 

Also, don’t feel as if you should buy one that doesn’t fit your convictions or life style simply because your home school community is loving it.

Test drive a Science curriculum if you can

As much as I love shopping online, there is nothing quite like holding a book in my hands and paging through it myself. 

Other homeschooling moms are helpful in this department!  Ask to borrow their curriculum for a couple of days so you can get a feel for if it will work for your kids.  I love showing others my curriculum and pointing out what I like and dislike about it.

What are some things that are important to you when choosing a science curriculum?  Leave a comment below!

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lessons from home
Hello! I'm Heather and this is Baby Joel, the youngest of five. At Lessons from Home you will find encouragement for your parenting and homeschooling journey. Healing from loss is also a major part of this blog as my family struggles through grief and brokenness at the loss of my beautiful 8 year old daughter.
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