A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Science Lab

I've been away from this space a lot, and though I've thought of it often I haven't found my way back nearly enough. It feels that since we've come back from the rush of the holidays finding a good school rhythm has been anything but easy for any of us.  Finally, in the last week or so; I dare say things are falling into place.  Part of the predicament (this whole school year in general) has been finding curriculum that we are happy with that is at the appropriate level for each child.  Along with this is my continued wavering somewhere between a solid classical education and complete and total unschooling...a bit extreme I know but some days I stand on either side of that proverbial fence.
One thing that is clear is that we all really like science...A week with a science lab (or two) is a good week.  It seems that getting through a math lesson is that much easier when kids know a microscope is coming next.  The CPO Focus on Life Science text and investigation workbook have been a super find for us.  I know I mentioned them at the beginning of the school year but now being in the middle of it I can say I'm quite happy with the curriculum.  It takes a bit of creativity sometimes as it is a school based curriculum and the chapters of the California text available on line are lined up differently; but it is  thorough, engaging and full of extra activities.  There is a plethora of teaching material available for free on their website (another bonus).

Some of the supplies we have gotten from Home Science Tools they are reasonably priced and ship fairly quickly.  Other times I have changed things around a bit,  In the beginning of the year there was a lab with a marble launcher (very expensive for two homeschoolers and one lab experiment).  Luckily I was able to find directions on line to build one with a few things from the plumbing department at our local hardware store for around $5.00!  So presto, just like that we had to labs in one, as you can imagine building it was just as fun as the experiment.
Now we are in the thick of cell biology and really having a blast.  Who knew looking at your own cheek cells could be such fun. 
We've got some live protozoa coming next week to view under the microscope before moving into some genetics and then evolution (something I'm especially looking forward to).

What do other folks use for a science curriculum?  Are you having fun?  I'd love to hear about it.


Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear comments and try to answer any questions so feel free to tell me what's on your mind!