Science Weekly {review}

We have not done as much science as I would like this school year. Now that the weather is warmer, I am looking forward to getting out more and enjoying the study of science and nature. Even though science is not only to be found outdoors, there is something about being outside that makes me just a little more curious.

We recently received an issue of Science Weekly which is a research-based supplementary science study lesson for parents/teachers that helps children “enhance his/her ordered skills in science, math, reading, and writing.” Although the word weekly is in its title, subscribers to the study receive 15 issues with a one year subscription. Subscribers receive two issues during the months of September through November and also January through April with one issue received during the month of December rounding the year out to 15. Some of the topics covered this past year are the following:

September – December 2010    January – April 2011
Pulleys   Scuba Diving
Cats   Poisonous Animals
The Flu   Caves
Glass   Teeth
Fractions   Deserts
Composting   Green Buildings
The Science of Movies   The Moon
The Science of Money     

We received the issue with a study about the flu a.k.a. influenza virus (in-flu-en-za vi-rus). Although we completed our issues in one day as a day of science study, each issue is one that can be completed in one week so it easily fits into a school week for study. What really makes this study easy to use in a school, especially a homeschool, is that each issue comes with an individually prepared lesson for each grade level paying close attention to the reading comprehension of a student in that particular grade. What that means is that multiple grades can cover the same topic at the same time in the same classroom which worked well for us since we have three different grade levels in our school. I was also happy because again Canyon was able to complete a study with his older siblings.

The lessons are broken up in the following manner:

  • Level Pre-A (Kindergarten)
  • Level A (Grade 1)
  • Level B (Grade 2)
  • Level C (Grade 3)
  • Level D (Grade 4)
  • Level E (Grade 5-6)

I gave each of my children a primary lesson to use which was appropriate for their comprehension level, but did pull a few activities from some of the other levels to use also. I did use Level Pre-A for Canyon, but after reading through the lessons decided to give Lily and River lessons above their grade level because I knew they would understand the presented material.

Along with an explanation of the topic, each lesson includes sections that cover the topic with exercises for practicing vocabulary, math, critical thinking, and completing a lab (yes, the Pre-A Level too). Depending upon the grade level, there are also other areas of practice that are included like writing (Level D and Level E) where the student writes up the weekly lab they complete and additional learning activities in other sections titled Puzzles, Bringing it Home, and Meet the Scientist. I also like the 30 second hand wash reminder that was included in some way in each lesson. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water to reduce the spreading of germs.

You can see and print a sample issue of the Coral Reef study which includes lessons for all six levels and the Teaching Notes.

A new feature on the site is their interactive hands-on subjects which are really cool. So far, they have five topics (Pyramids, Living in Space, Kites, Hurricanes, Dams) that can be completed online and/or the lessons can be printed (link accessible on the last page of each lesson) for students to complete away from the computer.

I really like the way the lessons are set up with the content being written for specific comprehension levels. It was nice having a subject where each of my children were able to participate in the same activity and each being able to complete a lesson on their learning level. The Teaching Notes were quite handy and work well to guide you through teaching the lessons, so you do not have to have a degree in science to teach your children.

The only thing that would probably keep me from purchasing a subscription to this curriculum is the price. If I had one student, then I might be able to justify paying the annual subscription price of $19.95, but for one year with three children each needing one subscription, that would be a bit pricey for us.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.
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