Rawlins Family

Rawlins Family

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Sassafras Science Review - Zoology

Because I love to read reviews before purchasing curricula, I've decided to start reviewing the stuff we love! Hopefully it will help others.

This year we are trying a new science curriculum that I'm really loving. It's called Sassafras Science Adventures, Volume 1. It's an elementary science course that teaches through literature. If you're looking for a super-intense, experiment-based science program for your five-year old, this is not for you (and also, you should slow down). If you're looking for a fun, age-appropriate, engaging science program with lots of hands-on projects, this program IS for you. I originally intended to use this with my 3rd grader, but after day one I realized I wouldn't be able to do that...because the rest of my kids wouldn't ever leave us alone! They were all hooked. So I ditched our plans and went with it. That is, after all, the point of homeschooling.

Sassafras Science is a book about Blaine and Tracy Sassafras, a twin brother and sister who hate science. After a dismal year, they are sent to spend the summer with their crazy Uncle Cecil who happens to be a scientist. He sends them on adventures where they are able to learn about various habits and wildlife. As students, you're encouraged to track what you're learning. You can do that in a simple blank notebook, or you can purchase the SCIDAT logbook. That was totally worth the money, in my opinion. It's great for keeping information organized, and it keeps the kids involved. There is also a separate teacher manual. It provides suggestions for how best to schedule your studies, additional reading material, experiments, activities, etc. I found it really helpful at the very beginning, but haven't used it much since. One activity from the manual that we've really come to love, though, is the habitat poster. As we learn about a habitat, we make a poster and then add the animals as we learn about them. It's my kids' favorite part.
I've read that this curricula is intended to take half of a school year, but I don't know...that would be moving at a pretty fast pace. We are taking the full school year, and it's given us plenty of time to do additional reading and activities without feeling like we're only ever doing science! I have to be careful not to let exciting subjects totally dominate our lives. But maybe that's just me...

We plan to continue on next year with the twins as they take on Anatomy. Cameron will be in sixth-grade, so I'll be adding more meat (pun intended) to his studies to make sure it's rigorous enough, but I think it will be great.

This series is still in production. Volume 3: Botany was published in late 2014, and Volume 4: Earth Science is slated for 2015 (hopefully!).

*This review was for my own purposes, and I am not affiliated with Sassafras Science. I was not compensated in any way for this review.

1 comment:

Jennifer W. said...

Thank you for this review. I've been thinking of using this for my first grader, but wasn't sure it it would be too advanced for a first grader. It looks like a lot of fun to me!