This homeschool year started off just perfectly! And then life happened. We've been plagued with illnesses, a death in the family and had so many days off, that we just struggled with getting back into the groove of our schooling schedule. It's been a time of trials and perseverance for us just to kind of make it through. I'm almost embarrassed to admit our struggles. However, we have a great God to lean on in times of strife. He's seeing us through and we know our wellbeing is in His capable hands.
I want to update everyone on one of our favorite curriculum choices this year, Nancy Larson Science. Each booklet/unit takes about 6 weeks or so to finish. Of course with our tumultuous time, it's been stretched a little longer. I want to share the pros and cons thus far.
- Vocabulary. Even though we ordered level one for our 5th/6th and 3rd/4th graders, they are learning the scientific names of everything. It has really expanded their vocabulary.
- Retention. After a few weeks off in the middle of a booklet/section, I was so worried that my kids wouldn't remember anything. BUT THEY DID. They remembered the scientific names AND basically everything we had learned and then some from extra research that's built in for older learners. To say I was impressed is an understatement. I was blow away. My kids don't always remember stuff that I read to them so the fact that they remembered what they had learned a month before is AWESOME!
- Application. My kids are using their new vocabulary, and showing off their retention skills by labeling the world around them. This impresses my husband. Since he's away at work when we are doing school, he loves to see them using what they've learned and sharing that with him. For example : at the beach my kids were labeling the types of leaves that the differing trees had, whether they were broad leaf or needle. Then they started figuring out whether they were deciduous or evergreen.
- Ease of Use. With my being out of commission lately, it's great that this is a curriculum that anyone can pick up where I left off. I have a sticky note that marks our next lesson and it's all pretty much open and go. Not a ton of prep required.
- Nature. Thus far, my kids have had "assignments" to go and find things in nature for various lessons. They LOVE that. We are big on Charlotte Mason, Waldorf and Montessori methods and believe children should spend lots of time outdoors exploring their surroundings.
- The only cons aren't really the fault of the curriculum. We can't do ALL of the activities scheduled because our budget doesn't allow for ANY extra purchases at this season of life. So we could get a plant or seeds to plant for that part of our booklet, etc. We just improvise where we can and skip what we aren't able to do. I wish we could do it all! However, this hasn't hampered their learning and retention so that's good. I was worried about that for no reason apparently.
- If you don't like scripted lessons, this won't be for you. I don't mind it. It reminds me to ask questions I didn't think of.
Our youngest is four years old so he listens in and tags along doing activities he can do. Our eldest does extra research & extra reading.
Watch videos of our Nancy Larson Unboxing and see what all comes in the kit here : Unboxing Video & Close-Up Video.