Friday, June 13, 2014

And What About Science?

I have shared before that science is one of the subjects I find hardest to teach.  I like science, really I do, but I have found that many programs for the younger ages are either complete fluff or way over their heads.  It has been a challenge for me to find a happy medium, despite having walked this road for 16 years now.

The elementary science I was using is one I like a lot, but it is hard work and was wearing me out.  I was doing A LOT of daily reading and quite frankly, I felt like my 1st grader was only catching snippets of it.  I knew I wanted to put it aside until he was slightly older, think 4-6th grade, but just not sure what to replace it with.

I have asked questions, I have researched and I have visited blogs until I just about drove myself crazy. Seriously.  But with the help of a few friends and some youtube videos, I have found something that seems to be the answer for us!

This is NOT a sponsored blog or an affiliate post.  It is just my experience with Nancy Larson Science and my opinions.  Take it for what it is worth from this homeschooling momma.

First the facts-
  • Nancy Larson currently offers 5 levels of science kits- Science K, Science 1, Science 2, Science 3 and Science 4.  They are all inclusive kits, meaning EVERYTHING you need to use for the program comes in the box.  Just open it up and go.  If it says "show a picture of".... then that picture is in the kit.  
  • The teacher's manual is a scripted lesson by lesson account, with answers included for any worksheets or tests.  Think Saxon Math.  It tells you what to say, and then gives you an appropriate student response.
  • It contains multiple student booklets as well as worksheets.  Each student booklet has reading in it just like a textbook, as well as places for the student to write in.  The books are leveled with progression in mind- the first having bigger text and fewer sentences to read, and then progressively gets a little harder as the year goes by.
  • The worksheets are concise and to the point, requiring some circling of answers and some written work.
  • Nancy Larson Science is not Christian based, nor it is evolution based.

The ins and outs as we see them-
We ordered Science 1, even though my son just completed 1st grade.  I am a little anal retentive like that.  I like to follow rules and numbers so I wanted to start at the beginning, but knowing the Kindergarten would be too easy.  Since we school through the summer, I figure we will have no problem finishing Science 1 and Science 2 by next year.  Plus, Science 1 does fun things like raising ladybugs and butterflies which I just did not want him to miss. The only negative I see so far is that he can read the booklets himself instead of me reading them to him.  Not really a negative, don't you think?

A little excited about what is to come!

Level One covers-
  • Developmental Biology
  • Botany
  • Earth and Space
  • Zoology
  • Anatomy
  • Entomology

I LOVE that everything is included.  Maybe it is because I am old, or tired, or that I have done this for now four times, but I do not have it in me to run around collecting supplies.  Nancy won me over pretty quick by taking the extra parent leg work out of her program. She even included plastic bugs and x-rays, both of which I have had a hard time convincing CJ needed to wait until the appropriate lesson.

The Teacher's manual is so well laid out.  At the beginning of each lesson is a list of what you will need for the day, including anything you might need to gather or print out ahead of time.

And that scripted part? Yes, I am perfectly capable of asking my child questions but it never hurts to get some help from the pros.  It also allows someone else to pick up that guide and fill in for me easily should I get sick, or decide to take a trip somewhere. ;)

I love the booklets!  There are 6 books, one for each unit for level one.  They are easy for him to handle and not nearly as overwhelming to him as a big textbook.  He loves writing in them and making them his own.  I am adamantly opposed to busy work, but the worksheets only have a few questions on them and only take a few minutes, while still allowing me to make sure he comprehended what we just covered.  Reviews are built in as well.

So, about not being Creation based.  This was the hardest part of the decision for me.  I love presenting all of our school subjects from a Creationist point of view- it is one of the many reasons we homeschool.  While I do not run screaming from evolution, we do not believe in it and do not want our children exposed to unnecessary amounts of it.  That is why I asked and asked other people who are using Nancy Larson Science about it within the program.  So far, no where can I find any questionable facts that would lead me to put aside Nancy's science.  So far those kind of issues have not even been touched on.  Everyone I have talked to assures me it will not be an issue.  I finally decided to take a chance and so far I have not regretted it.  We teach creation in everything we say and do, so I make sure that am even more aware of it while I am teaching this science.  I also know that once he learns basic science with Nancy, we will using a Creationist immersed program for the older grades.

Sample pages are available and they helped us a lot in making a decision about this program!

A quick note about  the price...
Science 1 costs $269.00- I know that seems like a big chunk of money at first but again, remember, this is an all inclusive program.  You get a lot of bang for your buck.  I know from experience that even those lower costing programs out there will end up being more once you gather all of the supplies.  Plus, think about your gas expenses and your time spent!

Three weeks into Nancy Larson and I have no regrets.  It is easy to follow, gets done with no problems, and thrills my son.  He ASKS to do it every morning.  What speaks better of a program than the happiness of the one using it?!

Thanks Nancy, for creating a program that stands among the best and provided a much needed answer for this homeschooling family.  We are thrilled to have found you!



  1. I always hear wonderful things about it too!

    1. Me too, it is what finally convinced me to give it a try!

  2. That sounds great. I love the idea of everything in a box.

    1. Me too. If it saves me time, I am all for it!

  3. This was a great look at NL Science. I'd love something like this, but I don't see us spending that on science any time soon. (Mama needs a new roof!) But it's definitely something I'd look into. I still have a two year old, so it isn't outside the realm of possibility.

  4. If it is considered for a school year, how are you doing it to last for just the summer months?? We are doing Apologia Botany this summer and I am covering a lesson a week so it has been pretty simple for me so far. Is this program set up to where you can do that too?? Thanks.


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