I ran across the Real Science 4 Kids while attending our local curriculum fair this year. Right from the start I was attracted to the colorful, yet informative, hands-on learning style. I didn’t pick up a copy at the time mainly because I really wanted to see what was out there and approach the pros and cons.
In the vast array of options, I really thought I wanted to do Apologia for our first grade. However, after delving into that a bit, I discovered that it really isn’t geared for the younger aged kids, at least from my perspective. I felt it would take more work to bring it down to their level than I really wanted to commit to, so I returned again to Real Science 4 Kids.
Fortunately, I found the Gravitas Publications website. I went about doing the proper due diligence before committing to a purchase.
Things I found I loved about the curriculum:
- They have a true K-3 grade option. It’s called their “Pre-Level” and it’s available in all of their subjects!
- FREE lesson plans! Included for each subject and available for download directly from their website. You can download it for free without a single purchase, which I found super helpful for me to see the inner workings and intentions of the program.
- They offer a club Lifetime Membership which gives you full access to additional resources like online testing, additional experiments, e-library, audio talks and more. You only need to purchase it once as it is offered to be used for all age groups and all of your kids.
- The student workbook is colorful, the experiments are fun, and the lessons are not too long.
- They have a gift at taking somewhat difficult concepts and making them not only presentable for younger ages, but somehow applicable and memorable.
- They have multiple ways of purchasing their curricula!
- Purchase each item (Student text, lab workbook & Teacher Edition) as a discounted book bundle or individually.
- Elect to skip the actual textbook and download e-books in a part or whole elements of the curricula.
- Or my personal favorite, you can choose to download the curricula a chapter at a time! I adore this idea because we don’t have to purchase a full set to get going. I don’t have to furnish a full purchase price initially and I am not “locked in”! We can elect to do chapters from all of their different subjects! (They tie in together anyway).
- The program can be extremely affordable! If you elect to do their e-book chapters, you can get the full chapter bundle for only $3.50! The full set is $34.95 for e-book download, or $74.56 for the traditional textbooks.
- They offer a chapter preview for free so you can try it out fully before you buy.
- Real Science-4-Kids has a full set of real experiments using household items so you do not need to purchase additional kits or outside teacher resources.
- The author created the curricula to appeal to all homeschoolers, so it is “Worldview Neutral“. A quote directly from their website sums it up rather nicely: “…. You won’t have to spend time screening your science curriculum for references to God or evolution because Real Science-4-Kids focuses on the science….” For some of you, this may be a plus, but I really wanted a directly biblical science curriculum.
- If you elect to save money with downloads, you will have to print some things from time to time which will ultimately cost more in ink and paper.
Ultimately, I have found that the curriculum will work for us a core to weave with what we have. I will use this as our base science, and Epi Kardia’s lesson plan to add biblical elements as well. We love going to the library to expand upon our lessons with living books; which is exactly what we’ll be doing with Real science-4-kids.
I LOVE RS4K!
It’s real, hard-core science presented in a way that is just right for kids. It amazes me to think that my 5 year old will be learning Chemistry, Physics, and Biology – subjects I didn’t really cover until college. We will be starting the Pre-Level 1 program next week and I can’t wait! My son is very science-y and he has been pestering me to start ever since he saw it on my desk.
I didn’t realize you could download tests from the website – I went right over and did it. Thanks for sharing that, and the fact that they are going to be covering earth science, too.
I do find it to be one of the more expensive programs out there, and there are other science subjects that I think my kids will be interested in. Since the Pre-Level modules are geared toward K-3, I am going to do one module per year, for 3 years. For the rest of the year, we will do lapbooking/notebooking in whatever other science area interests them – dinosaurs, volcanoes, gardening…
Then in 3rd grade, I will start with the Level One Materials and do one module per year, etc.
To do all three modules in one year would be prohibitively expensive, in my opinion. Plus, if I did do all three modules in one year, what am I supposed to do for the next two years until the kids are ready for the next level? I think doing one module per year is going to be a good compromise for us, and it will give us that chance to work on other topics.
The fact that it is value-neutral is a huge “pro” to me. I absolutely will not buy any science materials that present evolution as the truth, but I also don’t think I need to cram the Bible down their throats all day long, either. That is just my own personal bias – I was homeschooled with a really intensive Christian curriculum, and it made me feel burned out and resentful. I have seen Christian science programs where I disagree with the theology they are presenting, so then I’d be stuck countering those arguments the same as I would counter evolution. The fact that YOU are going to be able to weave in the biblical elements that you feel are relevant and important is terrific.
.-= Deb´s last blog ..Irish Beef and Stout Stew – Sort Of =-.
My five year old starts the pre-level biology in the fall! Love Real Science 4 Kids.
.-= Richele´s last blog ..Spanking Debate- YAWN! =-.
Our Nifty Notebook says
I just saw this mentioned somewhere else and it looks cool. I am currently using Earlybird Start Up Science, but I don’t care for it. It’s supposed to be for grades 1-2, but the activities are all over the place. For example: one page has the child match the baby animal to the mommy animal. Then the next page is asking the child to write a story. My daughter is 6 and can’t write full sentences yet!
.-= Our Nifty Notebook´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday- Furry Baby =-.
Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae says
I’ve had my eye on RS4K for a year or so. My twins are in first grade, but I decided to hold off on much of any science for them (other than nature readers) until next year at the earliest. But this one is at the top of my list. And I’m thrilled to see they offer the digital option. We use Tapestry of Grace digital, so that’s right up my alley!
Karie Bair says
Where did you find the lesson plans on their website? I cannot find them.