Real Science 4 Kids

In a comment on Finding Our Rhythm, JoVE asked:

Do you have more details about that science program? I'd be interested. Thanks.

The science program that we have started to use is called Real Science 4 Kids put out by Gravitas Publishing. We are doing Chemistry Pre-Level 1 (the Level 1 programs are supposed to be for 4th-7th grades, so I decided to start with the Pre-Level and do it with both Jason and Kyle. I think that it will give Jason a sound base before going on to Level 1. Kyle is probably still a bit on the young side, but he seems to be enjoying and it and following it). I am not a big curriculum person, but these materials looked really neat. I had heard about them on several email lists and my interest was peaked. Gravitas Publishing was at a homeschool conference that I happened to be at, so I checked them out and wound up buying the whole kit and kaboodle.

What I like about them is that the "textbook" is really well done and fun. The way that Chemistry is presented is easy for kids to understand…the text is big and easy to read. The graphics are great. The explanations are clear and connect things to my kids lives. And the science (from what I can tell and what I have researched) is good and not watered down or simplified. I was very impressed with how good the explanations were. I looked through the textbook and I could really see just reading this to the boys and them enjoying it. Basically I decided to get it because I really thought the boys would like it and find it interesting. And so far they have. One day Jason actually kept reading on his own after I stopped and kept saying "Mommy, did you know that…".

We are doing the experiements on Thursdays with my friend Kathi and her kids Zak and Kaiya. So far they have been having fun.

It is not without controversy though. In doing some research, I found out that the author advocates for the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools. However, the materials are secular and the biology book does not get into either ID or evolution. You can read more about this here and here.

What it came down to for me is that the materials are good and I could not see not using them just because I disagree with the politics of the author. We also tend to use curriculum more as a resource then a "one stop shopping" type of thing so I plan on pulling more materials and including things on evolution when we get around to biology (whenever that will be). But I know that everyone has their own opinion on this subject, so I figured that I would throw this info out in the interest of full disclosure.

Hope that this answers your questions!