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Bigger science

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:52 pm
by Jenine
Hi everyone!

A big thanks to everyone who answered my question about placement. I now have another question. How is the science in bigger?

I was very disappointed in the books that MFW Adv used for science. I would really like to do Bigger science next year, but am concerned about the books after my experience with MFW. I felt it was really light and easy to push aside when things got busy. I also did not like the layout of the Usborne books! Not to mention the evolutionary items in there. I guess what I'm saying is I like a meatier, more organized science that won't be as easy to push aside when busy. Does Bigger science accomplish this?

My friend gave me her Apologia Astronomy and I'm thinking of doing that for next year because I like that it is organized and meatier. But again, I would really like to do Bigger science if it would meet my criteria.

I hope this wasn't to confusing! Thanks so much in advance!


Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:54 pm
by blessedmomof4
Hi-I love the science in Bigger! It is scheduled in so neatly, with activities being varied daily so it stays interesting. There is read-aloud and narration, an experiment day with making a lab notebook page, a science notebooking day (separate from lab day) and an activity day (also separate from lab day). The books are very well selected-my daughters' favorites are the One Small Square Books-they are written very story-like, yet have loads of information and lovely, realistic illustrations-inspires my girls to make their own nature drawings :)
I don't remember what age you are looking for, but if you really needed more science, you could add Exploring Planet Earth from the Extension Pack if your student can read really, really strongly (it is for grade 4/5 and up). Otherwise, if your student is grade 2 or 3 or even a 4/5th grader who is not a strong reader, the science in Bigger is plenty!
By the way, we NEVER skip science-Carrie's lessons are so well-organized, science is always the high point of our day (well, we like art, too :D )
Forgot to mention-supplies for science and art probably really ARE in your home, instead of stuff you have to go run and look for!

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:05 pm
by my3sons
Hi! We're doing Bigger... and think the science is awesome! The notebooking and experiments really make it memorable as well as the very living books we read for it. My son is really remembering his science so well, and is very proud of his science notebook already. We're in Week 19, and he's already learned so much. I think you'll be very happy with it - I think it is quite a bit meatier than MFW's science, but that is just from me looking at the MFW's guides, not using them. One thing I know for sure though, Bigger... has more than enough science for us, and we love doing it!

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:50 pm
by water2wine
We just started but had already been using Planet Earth before we started. I like it with the extension for older kids. However the science that is in BHFG looks simple in a way but it gets them thinking scientifically. What I mean is that if you were to do scientific research for a career. You would write the Theory, Purpose, Reagents used, Protocol and Conclusion. So the idea is you have something you want to investigate, you are testing the relationship of X Y and Z under conditions A and B. You write out what you did and then you draw a conclusion based on the results. That is real science. The facts are just the tools you use but the thinking can't be memorized it has to be developed. I'm excited to see Bigger science is not only fun and informative but it also helps to teach kids how to think scientifically which carries over to much more in life than just science. 8)

So love the extension science because it actually ties into the exploration and all that in history but if you do it don't be fooled to skip the science in the actual book. You will see what I mean when you do it.

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:41 pm
by Tansy
We love the science we don't dare skip it because My dd loves it sooo much!

Well narration day isn't to popular. but every other day is.
I have seen my dd's eye wide with excitement just before she yells "Mom the coin sinks because it solid! And the lexington (a huge boat) doesn't because its hollow." she figured that one out all on her own. Some days it don't always look meaty but it's a stick to your ribs kinda program.

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:19 pm
by my3sons
O.k. water2wine - fess up... you have one of those brilliantly scientific minds, don't you? The way you worded that email, well, it just gave you away. You are one of those rare people very comfortable with all of the ins and outs of science and the scientific method, aren't you? I am jealous! This does not come naturally to me. Thanks for this post, and I agree with what you said wholeheartedly, though I would not have been able to word it nearly as well as you. I too believe that it is a way of thinking being taught that can impact so many other areas of life. My son was surprised he had to make a "guess" at the possible conclusion of the experiment prior to us doing it this year. That has really made him stop and think before just diving into the "fun" of the activity... what can I say? He's a first-born - it's very important to him that his guess is right!

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:49 am
by water2wine
One other thing you can tell for my posts...I was born in the age computers were developed but did not bother to learn more than how to make a graph and type email. :oops: Sorry for the double post.

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:49 am
by water2wine
my3sons wrote:O.k. water2wine - fess up... you have one of those brilliantly scientific minds, don't you?
If you put me back in the lab I might not look so brilliant. :lol: But I did spend eight years there and loved it. Molecular Bio major. :wink: So really I meant what I said. When I interviewed people for chemistry I asked if they fixed cars or built things. Biologist I always wanted to know if they cooked and what types of things they cooked. Grades are great, a top school is great, but all of that is not guaranteed to teach you how to think. Some people are just really good test takers but unfortunately that does not necessarily make a good scientist. So people call some science "light" and some "deep". But science that makes you think and translate one set of conditions to interpret it in the next is key to me. That is what you would do in the real world of science and medicine really.

A lot of the research I did always involved developing an assay to analyze data or prove theories we had. To me HOD is a really good assay (actually I am talking not just about the science here but also the science). It's a good system for translating information into other things. We do have other science lying around but we do not skip HOD because it is perhaps not teaching class, order, genus, species taxonomy but it is teaching them how to think, explore and how to translate one bit of information to a new system. At this age that is what makes the most sense and seems the most useful in the end. There's a million things out there if you want more deep. But it is hard to find more "think" science. Simple is best for teaching that. 8)

So to answer your question, no brilliant science mind here, :shock: but I can tell a good assay when I see one. :wink:

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:54 am
by MamaMary
Oh what an excellent response W2W! I bet you'd look a lot more brilliant than ME! :? :shock: :lol:

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:30 am
by water2wine
Mary I thought your posts were brilliant and the pictures of what you are all doing looked quite brilliant to me. In fact it inspired me to do more with HOD and take it that step farther. To me that is brilliant. I love moms who lift other moms up! It's refreshing and very much needed! 8)

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:44 am
by Melanie
OH! You guys are scaring me with all the big words! :shock:

LOL....ok....I vaguely remember some of that from labs, but not enough to talk about! You guys are so funny! I hope you guys are still aroung by the time I get to Bigger....I'll need the help!

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:01 am
by MamaMary
water2wine wrote:Mary I thought your posts were brilliant and the pictures of what you are all doing looked quite brilliant to me. In fact it inspired me to do more with HOD and take it that step farther. To me that is brilliant. I love moms who lift other moms up! It's refreshing and very much needed! 8)
(((Warm squishy Hugs!))) You made my day!


Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:25 am
by netpea
Ok, I must admit, I have a BS and an MS in Chemical Engineering, and I worked as an Environmental Engineer for 8 years, so math and science are important to me.

When we did Little Hearts, I thought the science was weak. And that was why I was second guessing my choices and tried MFW. :oops:

I've come to realize that the science is not weak at all, it's just not drilled into their little heads, they experience it and retain more than I ever imagined. 8)

I like the idea of the living science books that will be used in bigger (next year for us). I wish I had a more CM type education myself instead of falling asleep over boring textbooks... :lol:

I am also thrilled that HOD has creative endeavors built in because as I mentioned, I am math and science oriented and would easily let the creative side slide. :wink:

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:20 pm
by my3sons
You know everyone has her gifts and talents from the Lord! I'm so glad for the wide array of talents He has brought together here at the HOD board. We're sort of like a patchwork quilt of talents, aren't we? Lee Ann and w2w - I could have used you in advanced biology in undergrad college. Don't ask me WHY I took that. The beginner's would have sufficed, and that SHOULD have been the route I went. Anyway, while I enjoy science, it always makes me a bit uncomfortable because I don't have the important things (probably even the basic things) memorized. Now math is another story. I love math - go "figure"! :lol: I got a masters in administrative leadership and was actually considering being a principal at one point. Thank the Lord He changed my heart, and now I would never go back! What a blessing to have my children home with me and all of us learning together! It's kind of fun to hear what all of us did in life before homeschooling! Glad you shared!