We have been trying to keep our summer session of school a bit on the relaxed side, so I was glad when we had a chance to add some simple science into our days with these science collections from WriteBonnieRose. While the older girls worked on their own science, I was able to work with the younger children on the science topics of their choosing from the Learning About Science Collection, Level 2. I took some time to peruse the WriteBonnieRose site, and I was quite impressed by the numerous products in multiple subjects she has available to enhance your homeschool for children from preschool through high school. As always, I am so thankful for the opportunity to be on the Homeschool Review Crew, and to get the opportunity to discover another wonderful resource for our homeschool.
The Learning About Science Collection, Level 2, which is suitable for children in first through third grade, contains eight different lessons along with a resource file. These downloadable PDF files were sent via email, and all it took was a couple of simple clicks to download each of them to my computer. Each lesson is only around 20 pages in length, with the smallest being 15 pages, and the largest being 26. Here is a list of the topics you will find:
- Understanding Food Chains
- Why Do Animals Hibernate?
- Plants: How They Grow and How They Help Us
- A Closer Look at the Body Systems
- The Cycle of Water and Types of Clouds
- The Solar System: Planets, Earth's Moon, and Constellations
- Force and Simple Machines
- Scientists and the Scientific Method
The lessons all have material to read, plus pictures for the children to color and keywords for them to trace. They then conclude with a short, two-page multiple choice review, followed by the Answer Key. In order to utilize this curriculum you will need a computer with printer and ink, plus paper, pencils and some sort of colored pencils or crayons. I kept each child's papers in a separate folder, but you could easily hole punch it to store it in a binder or find another way to keep track of the pages that works for your family.
I let Harold and Hannah choose which topic they wanted to learn about, and then I worked individually with each child during their "mommy-time," doing a page a day, a few times a week.
Hannah wanted to learn about hibernation, and Harold wanted to learn about the water cycle. So, those are the lessons I am going to focus a bit more on here in this review.
Why Do Animals Hibernate?
This 25-page unit begins with an introduction to hibernation before looking at 11 different animals, 8 of which have their own 2-page focus, while the other three have just a small mention with a picture of each combined on one page. Here are the animals we learned about:
The first eight animals are the ones that had a full page of information each, with a little picture to color, along with a question to answer, in addition to a full-page coloring sheet with the name of the animal to trace. The final three animals were grouped together on one page with just a short paragraph and small picture, along with the handwriting practice. These three animals were together as they don't truly hibernate.
Here is a look at what the pages look like:
I read the information to Hannah while she colored, then I asked her questions to see if she was comprehending. Finally, she wrote down the answer to the question. Sometimes she colored the extra picture, though most of the time she chose not to as she isn't a huge fan of coloring.
At the end of the study she answered the review questions.
We (yes we) learned some really neat information about these animals. The lessons gave us information about each animal, telling us how big they were, what they weighed, where they lived, and what they ate. Then we were told what kind of space they hibernated in and some more details about the hibernation. The details were quite appropriate for the first through third grade age range. With the added writing assignment I would almost say this was actually more appropriate for children who were in the upper part of the range, though parents could easily write the answers their child(ren) gave them if they weren't ready to write it out themselves. And these short answer questions took the information learned and had the child think through additional details. Here are a few of the questions asked so you can see what I mean.
- What problems do you think a drought in the summer that hurts fruit trees and other plants causes for bears?
- What might happen to a frog if a winter is unseasonable cold or lasts longer than normal?
- What would happen if someone bothered a chipmunk while it was hibernating and made it move to a new burrow?
Hannah really enjoyed learning about these animals. Her favorite was the hedgehog.
The Cycle of Water and Types of Clouds
This 17-page unit begins with an introduction to the water cycle before going into more detail about each step. We learned about:
- Infiltration and
Each step has its own page with pictures to color along with the keyword to trace.
As the pictures are on the same page as the reading passage, I did things a bit different than I did with Hannah. I read the entire section and then left him to color the pictures and trace the word. If your child is really into coloring, they could add even more color by coloring the fancy title at the top of each page. Sadly, Harold wasn't interested.
There are then three pages that focus on clouds. The children learn why clouds have these strange-sounding names and what the different parts of the word mean. They learn "strato-," "cumulo-," and "cirro-." Then there are more details, such as how high they are in the sky, and what they look like. Of course, pictures are included on the page so the children can see them, plus they get to trace the words.
Harold then had the two-page review questions to answer.
Harold enjoyed having his own science to learn about. He doesn't really have a favorite section, though he really did like the pages that had bigger pictures to color.
They are both looking forward to starting a new study. My plan is to work on Plants: How They Grow and How They Help Us next, as the older children and I will be working on that from our core curriculum. Plus, we learned a bit about transpiration in the study on the water cycle, and I have an observation planned that will help to demonstrate it.
While I was looking into each of the other units, I did notice that they are all laid out similar to the Water Cycle study, as opposed to the Hibernation study. The Hibernation study seems to be unique in that is has full-page coloring sheets and short answer questions. However, unlike the Water Cycle lessons where each step has its own page, the other lessons seem to follow the format of the "clouds" pages or the "non-hibernating animals" page. Here, let's take a quick peek at a couple of the pages.
From the A Closer Look at the Body Systems lesson:
And from the Plants: How They Grow and How They Help Us lessons:
These studies are simple introductions to these topics, appropriate for early elementary students. Children get a chance to color and practice their handwriting, and then they can check their comprehension by answering the review questions. I admit, I do wish there were at least some full-page coloring sheets in the other lessons. And I really liked the short answer questions in the hibernation study, so I was a bit disappointed to see there were none in the other lessons. Of course, Harold enjoyed the water cycle study, so he didn't feel like he was missing out.
I really appreciate that the author of these studies is a Christian, so I know I am most likely not going to come across material that I disagree with. However, the facts given in these studies do not bring up Christianity or creationism or anything along those lines, so they would also be appropriate for secular homeschoolers to use. That said, if you are a Christian, and more specifically one who believes in a young earth, you will appreciate, as did I, the "Discussion Helps" file that is brimming with creation science resource links to help enhance your study of the different topics. We actually found a podcast on the website Creation Science 4 Kids that looks at the water cycle and clouds, including Bible verses showing that God in His Word shows what it took other cultures many years to figure out regarding the water cycle.
If you are looking for a way to add science into your day in a simple way, I can definitely see using these studies from WriteBonnieRose. The one thing I feel would make these studies even more amazing is if there were some hands-on ideas added during the lessons or at the end as a review. Of course, we are big "hand-on" fans, which you should know by now. If you aren't big on hands-on projects, this would definitely be perfect for you. You can go at your child's pace, reading a bit a day until you finish the study. If you are good at coming up with relatable activities, you could expand these lessons even further.
The Learning About Science Collection can be completed as is, or you can add to it, whichever way is best for you. Whichever way you choose, just know that the information included is a wonderful way to include science in your homeschool routine.
Don't forget to click on the banner below to read the reviews from my fellow Crew Mates. In addition to Level 2 that we reviewed, you will find reviews for Level 1 and Level 3 (which is available with either print or cursive handwriting practice).